NPI collaborates on latest USDA WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 Report

Jun 21, 2024

The federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children—commonly known as WIC—safeguards the health of pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and young children from low-income households who are at nutritional risk. The WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study, also known as the "Feeding My Baby Study," is the only national study to capture data on caregivers and their children over the first nine years of the child's life after enrollment in WIC, regardless of their continued participation in the program. The WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2: Sixth Year Report is the seventh in a series generated from this study. It focuses on children's dietary intake patterns, eating behaviors, and weight status during the child's 6th year, after WIC eligibility has ended. The report also explores whether patterns of WIC participation in early childhood are associated with dietary behaviors and nutrient intakes after WIC eligibility ends. Key findings from the report include:

  • Consistent 5-year participation in WIC is associated with better overall diet quality at age 6 compared to participation during only the first year of life.
  • Longer participation in WIC is associated with lower saturated fat intake at age 6.
  • At age 6, study children consumed recommended amounts of macronutrients but had inadequate intake of certain micronutrients, including vitamin E, calcium, and vitamin D.
  • Usual intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein foods, and grains among study participants was consistent with that of a national sample but lower than recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The report was published by the US Department of Agriculture and includes Nutrition Policy Institute's Lorrene Ritchie as a co-author. Read a summary of the report online.

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