Shopping for WIC Foods can be challenging at first. It does get easier as you become more familiar with the benefits available to you in your food package. You can shop throughout the month at any WIC Authorized store. Be certain to shop for all your food benefits before they expire on the last day of the month.
Your WIC Food Benefits
WIC approves many different brands and products in each of the WIC food categories: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, peanut butter/beans, cereal, juice and infant foods.
The specific types and amounts of foods you can get will depend on several factors, including:
• If you’re pregnant
• If you’re breastfeeding and how much
• The ages of your children
If you’re fully breastfeeding you get more of some foods such as cheese, eggs and peanut butter and additional items such as canned fish.
Food packages change as your child grows.
Key milestones are 6 months, 1 year and 2 years. For example, when your baby turns 6 months old, infant foods are added to the monthly food package. When your child turns 1 year old, a child food package that includes whole milk, whole milk yogurt and other foods, is issued. When your child is 2-5 years old, these change to low-fat or nonfat milk and low-fat or nonfat yogurt.
Choosing WIC Foods
To choose the right WIC foods at the store, match what is found on your Family Food Benefits List with the brands listed in the Nevada WIC Shopping Guide and UPC Database. It is helpful to make a list of these WIC brands and sizes before you go to the store.
Not all stores carry every brand and size of WIC foods. You’ll become familiar with what your favorite store carries.
The WIC Shopper App is a helpful tool to use before and at the store to help you choose the specific food items, sizes and WIC Approved UPCs to help you shop for your WIC Food benefits.
It is best to check your food balance before you go shopping. There are several ways to check your balance:
- Call the toll-free number on the back of your card.
- Go to EBTedge.com.
- Ask customer service or a cashier for a balance inquiry.
- Check the WICShopper App.
Try a WIC only purchase first.
As you learn to shop for WIC foods, it is very helpful to separate your WIC items from your non-WIC items and to try a WIC-only purchase first. This way if you accidentally picked an item that is not on your food benefit list you will know right away. Smaller stores that use separate equipment for processing WIC transactions, require you to separate your WIC items from your other groceries, this is extremely helpful during checkout at all stores.
At the Checkout
To make checking out with your WIC foods go smoothly, try the following: (1) Separate your WIC foods from your other groceries – at least at first. (2) Note: If you have more than 40 WIC items, you will need to divide them into two transactions. (3) Always use your WIC card first. (4) Swipe your WIC card when prompted and enter your four-digit PIN. (5) Approve your WIC purchase. You will be asked to review a display screen or printed list of the WIC items you are buying. (6) To make sure the WIC foods are listed correctly. Press “Yes” to accept the transaction or “No” to decline. (7) KEEP YOUR RECEIPT, it shows your remaining food benefits for the month and it is necessary to provide to your WIC office if issues arise.
What if a Food is not WIC Approved?
Check the WICShopper App or the Nevada WIC UPC Database to make sure the food is allowed and the UPC is listed. Check your balance to see if you have enough food benefits for that item. Make sure you have the correct size, brand and specific UPC that is WIC Approved. If you think the food item should be allowed but it’s not going through, take a picture of the bar code/UPC, front and back labels, complete the UPC request form and send it in an email to email@example.com. If you choose to purchase these foods on your own, WIC cannot reimburse you. Contact your local WIC office if you have questions.