The U.S. Department of Agriculture has finalized changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

The changes – which increase access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy – are based on the latest nutrition science. Today’s announcement marks the completion of the first comprehensive revisions to the WIC food packages since 1980.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the updates to the WIC food package make pivotal improvements to the program and better meet the diverse nutritional needs of mothers and their young children.

Along with a more than 30 percent increase in the dollar amount for children’s fruits and vegetables purchases, the changes also expand whole grain options available to participants, and provide yogurt as a partial milk substitute for children and women.

In addition, Parents of older infants will be able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables instead of jarred infant food, and it gives states and local WIC agencies more flexibility to meet the nutritional and cultural needs of WIC participants.

Vilsack said the revisions reflect public comments submitted in response to the first major changes in more than 30 years.

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