New USDA “Feeding My Baby” fifth-year report shows longer participation in WIC improves children’s diet quality

Jun 21, 2022

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the “Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2: Fifth Year Report”. The WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (WIC ITFPS-2), also known as the “Feeding My Baby” Study, is the only national study to capture data on caregivers and their children over the first 5 years of the child's life after enrollment in WIC, regardless of their continued participation in the program. The study also conducts additional follow-ups with children at ages 6 and 9. There were several key findings from the study. Families who remain in WIC during children's fifth year of life report continued participation because of the food they receive, the education and information they receive, and that WIC staff listen to their thoughts about their child's health. Children who consistently participate in WIC through their fifth year of life have better overall diet quality, on average, than children who only participated in their second and third years of life. When compared to children not receiving WIC or SNAP, children participating in WIC but not SNAP at age 54 months are more likely to meet recommendations for limiting added sugar intake. The study was conducted by Christine Borger, Thea Zimmerman, Jill DeMatteis, and Bibi Gollapudi, and Laurie May from Westat, Shannon Whaley from Public Health Foundation Enterprises-WIC, Lorrene Ritchie from the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute, and Lauren Au from UC Davis. The study was conducted under Contract AG-3198-B-11-0020, Order Number AG-3198-K-15-0050, supported by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.

By Danielle L. Lee
Author - Director of Communications & Research Engagement
By Lorrene Ritchie
Editor - Director of the Nutrition Policy Institute and Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist