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Women, infants & children (wic)

Federal Food Requirements and Examples

 

Food Category

Federal Authorization Criteria
(7 CFR part 246.10, table 4)

Current CDPH/WIC Authorization CriteriaExamples of Products to Submit for Temporary Authorization
Cow's milk2Must conform to FDA standard of identity for whole, reduced fat, lowfat, or nonfat milks (21 CFR 131.110). Must be pasteurized. May be flavored or unflavored. May be fluid, shelf-stable, evaporated (21 CFR 131.130), or dry.
Dry whole milk must conform to FDA standard of identity (21 CFR 131.147). Nonfat dry milk must conform to FDA standard of identity (21 CFR 131.127).
Cultured milks must conform to FDA standard of identity for cultured milk, e.g. cultured buttermilk, kefir cultured milk, acidophilus cultured milk (21 CFR 131.112).
Acidified milk must conform to FDA standard of identity for acidified milk, e.g., acidified kefir milk, acidified acidophilus milk or acidified buttermilk (21 CFR 131.111).
All reduced fat, lowfat, and nonfat cow's milk types and varieties must contain at least 400 IU of vitamin D per quart (100 IU per cup) and 2000 IU of vitamin A per quart (500 IU per cup).
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as quarts, .75 gallons, etc.
  • Cultured milks, such as acidophilus milk, buttermilk, or kefir milk
  • Specialty milks, such as calcium-fortified milk, milk with added DHA, Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) shelf-stable milk, A2 milk, ultra-filtered milk, or protein-fortified milk
  • Organic milk
Goat's milkMust be pasteurized. May be flavored or unflavored. May be fluid, shelf-stable, evaporated or dry (i.e., powdered).
All reduced fat, lowfat, and nonfat goat's milk must contain at least 400 IU of vitamin D per quart (100 IU per cup) and 2000 IU of vitamin A per quart (500 IU per cup).
This food is not currently authorized
  • Any goat’s milk meeting federal requirements
CheeseDomestic cheese made from 100 percent pasteurized milk. Must conform to FDA standard of identity (21 CFR part 133); Monterey Jack, Colby, natural Cheddar, Swiss, Brick, Muenster, Provolone, part-skim or whole Mozzarella, pasteurized process American, or blends of any of these cheeses are authorized.
Cheeses that are labeled low, free, reduced, less or light in sodium, fat or cholesterol are WIC eligible.
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 8 oz or 32 oz
  • Additional varieties: Swiss, Muenster, Provolone, or process American
  • Sliced or shredded cheese
  • Organic Cheese
Yogurt (cow's milk)Yogurt must be pasteurized and conform to FDA standard of identity for whole fat (21 CFR 131.200), lowfat (21 CFR 131.203), or nonfat (21 CFR 131.206); plain or flavored with ≤40 g of total sugars per 1 cup yogurt. Yogurts that are fortified with vitamin A and D and other nutrients may be allowed at the State agency's option. Yogurts sold with accompanying mix-in ingredients such as granola, candy pieces, honey, nuts and similar ingredients are not authorized. Drinkable yogurts are not authorized.Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 4 oz containers
  • Multipacks that divide evenly into 32 oz, such as 8-4 oz containers
  • New brands that meet federal authorization criteria
  • Greek yogurt
  • Yogurt with artificial, reduced-calorie, or no-calorie sweeteners
  • Organic yogurt
TofuCalcium-set tofu prepared with calcium salts (e.g., calcium sulfate). May not contain added fats, sugars, oils, or sodium. Tofu must be calcium-set, i.e., contain calcium salts, but may also contain other coagulants, i.e., magnesium chloride.Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • New brands that meet federal authorization criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 8 oz or 32 oz.  May also consider 14-15.9 oz
Soy-based beverageMust be fortified to meet the following nutrient levels: 276 mg calcium per cup, 8 g protein per cup, 500 IU vitamin A per cup, 100 IU vitamin D per cup, 24 mg magnesium per cup, 222 mg phosphorus per cup, 349 mg potassium per cup, 0.44 mg riboflavin per cup, and 1.1 mcg vitamin B12 per cup, in accordance with fortification guidelines issued by FDA. May be flavored or unflavored.Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • New brands that meet federal authorization criteria
  • Flavored soy-based beverage, such as vanilla
JUICEMust be pasteurized 100% unsweetened fruit juice. Must contain at least 30 mg of vitamin C per 100 mL of juice. Must conform to FDA standard of identity as appropriate (21 CFR part 146) or vegetable juice must conform to FDA standard of identity as appropriate (21 CFR part 156). With the exception of 100% citrus juices, State agencies must verify the vitamin C content of all State-approved juices. Juices that are fortified with other nutrients may be allowed at the State agency's option. Juice may be fresh, from concentrate, frozen, canned, or shelf-stable. Blends of authorized juices are allowed.
Vegetable juice may be regular or lower in sodium.
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 48 oz or 96 oz shelf-stable
  • Products that contain at least 80% vitamin C even if not stated on the front label
  • Additional flavors of juice, such as pomegranate or raspberry
  • Refrigerated juice
  • Organic juice
EGGSFresh shell domestic hens' eggs or dried eggs mix (must conform to FDA standard of identity in 21 CFR 160.105) or pasteurized liquid whole eggs (must conform to FDA standard of identity in 21 CFR 160.115).
Hard boiled eggs, where readily available for purchase in small quantities, may be provided for homeless participants.
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Brown eggs
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family
  • Specialty eggs, such as cage-free, vitamin-enriched, pastured, low cholesterol, or DHA-enriched eggs
  • Organic eggs
BREAKFAST CEREAL (READY-TO-EAT AND INSTANT AND REGULAR HOT CEREALS)Must contain a minimum of 28 mg iron per 100 g dry cereal.
Must contain ≤21.2 g sucrose and other sugars per 100 g dry cereal (≤6 g per dry oz).
At least half of the cereals authorized on a State agency's food list must have whole grain as the primary ingredient by weight AND meet labeling requirements for making a health claim as a “whole grain food with moderate fat content”.3
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Any product made by any brand that meets federal authorization criteria
  • Organic Cereal
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (FRESH AND PROCESSED)4 5 6 8 9

Any variety of canned fruits (must conform to FDA standard of identity as appropriate (21 CFR part 145)); including applesauce, juice pack or water pack without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt (i.e., sodium). The fruit must be listed as the first ingredient.
Any variety of frozen fruits without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt (i.e., sodium).
Any variety of canned or frozen vegetables, except white potatoes (orange yams and sweet potatoes are allowed) [NOTE: all types of potatoes are authorized per WIC Policy Memorandum #2015-03]; without added sugars, fats, or oils. Vegetable must be listed as the first ingredient. May be regular or lower in sodium. Must conform to FDA standard of identity as appropriate (21 CFR part 155).

Any type of dried fruits or dried vegetable, except white potatoes (orange yams and sweet potatoes are allowed); without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt (i.e., sodium).

Any type of immature beans, peas, or lentils, fresh or in canned5 forms.

Any type of frozen beans (immature or mature). Beans purchased with the CVV may contain added vegetables and fruits, but may not contain added sugars, fats, oils, or meat as purchased. Canned beans, peas, or lentils may be regular or lower in sodium content.

State agencies must allow organic forms of WIC-eligible fruits and vegetables.
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Fruits and vegetables with artificial, reduced-calorie, or no-calorie sweeteners.
  • Canned fruit cocktail
  • Tomato sauce
  • Salsa
Whole Wheat BreadWhole wheat bread must conform to FDA standard of identity (21 CFR 136.180). (Includes whole wheat buns and rolls.) “Whole wheat flour” and/or “bromated whole wheat flour” must be the only flours listed in the ingredient list.Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family: 8 oz or 32 oz.  May also consider 14-15.9 oz or 20 oz
  • Bread that does not have “100% Whole Wheat” on the front label
  • Bread with artificial, reduced-calorie, or no-calorie sweeteners
Whole Grain BreadWhole grain bread must conform to FDA standard of identity (21 CFR 136.110) (includes whole grain buns and rolls).
AND
Whole grain must be the primary ingredient by weight in all whole grain bread products.
AND
Must meet FDA labeling requirements for making a health claim as a “whole grain food with moderate fat content”.3
This food is not currently authorized
  • Any whole grain bread meeting federal requirements
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 8 oz or 32 oz.  May also consider 14-15.9 oz or 20 oz
Whole Grain OptionsBrown rice, bulgur, oats, and whole-grain barley without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt (i.e., sodium). May be instant-, quick-, or regular-cooking.
Soft corn or whole wheat tortillas. Soft corn tortillas made from ground masa flour (corn flour) using traditional processing methods are WIC-eligible, e.g., whole corn, corn (masa), whole ground corn, corn masa flour, masa harina, and white corn flour. For whole wheat tortillas, “whole wheat flour” must be the only flour listed in the ingredient list.
Whole wheat macaroni products. Must conform to FDA standard of identity (21 CFR 139.138) and have no added sugars, fats, oils, or salt (i.e., sodium). “Whole wheat flour” and/or “whole durum wheat flour” must be the only flours listed in the ingredient list. Other shapes and sizes that otherwise meet the FDA standard of identity for whole wheat macaroni (pasta) products (139.138), and have no added sugars, fats, oils, or salt (i.e., sodium), are also authorized (e.g., whole wheat rotini, and whole wheat penne).
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • New brands for tortillas and whole wheat pasta that meet federal authorization criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 8 oz or 32 oz.  May also consider 14-15.9 oz or 20 oz
  • Products with artificial, reduced-calorie, or no-calorie sweeteners
  • Organic tortillas, organic oatmeal, and organic rice
FISH (CANNED)5Canned only:
Light tuna (must conform to FDA standard of identity (21 CFR 161.190));
Salmon (Pacific salmon must conform to FDA standard of identity (21 CFR 161.170));
Sardines; and
Mackerel (N. Atlantic Scomber scombrus; Chub Pacific Scomber japonicas; Jack Mackerel10
May be packed in water or oil. Pack may include bones or skin. Added sauces and flavorings, e.g., tomato sauce, mustard, lemon, are authorized at the State agency's option. May be regular or lower in sodium content.
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Canned fish packed in oil
  • Canned fish packed in any sauce
  • Organic canned fish
MATURE LEGUMES (DRY BEANS AND PEAS)7Any type of mature dry beans, peas, or lentils in dry-packaged or canned5 forms. Examples include but are not limited to black beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, white beans (navy and pea beans), kidney beans, mature lima (“butter beans”), fava and mung beans, pinto beans, soybeans/edamame, split peas, lentils, and refried beans. All categories exclude soups. May not contain added sugars, fats, oils, vegetables, fruits or meat as purchased. Canned legumes may be regular or lower in sodium content.11
Baked beans may only be provided for participants with limited cooking facilities.11
Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Fat-free refried canned beans
  • Organic canned beans
PEANUT BUTTERPeanut butter and reduced fat peanut butter (must conform to FDA Standard of Identity (21 CFR 164.150)); creamy or chunky, regular or reduced fat, salted or unsalted forms are allowed. Peanut butters with added marshmallows, honey, jelly, chocolate or similar ingredients are not authorized.Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Organic peanut butter
Infant CerealInfant cereal must contain a minimum of 45 mg of iron per 100 g of dry cereal.12Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Any product made by any brand that meets federal authorization criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 32 oz
Infant FruitsAny variety of single ingredient commercial infant food fruit without added sugars, starches, or salt (i.e., sodium). Texture may range from strained through diced. The fruit must be listed as the first ingredient.13Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Any product made by any brand that meets federal authorization criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 2 oz
  • Infant fruits sold in pouches
Infant VegetablesAny variety of single ingredient commercial infant food vegetables without added sugars, starches, or salt (i.e., sodium). Texture may range from strained through diced. The vegetable must be listed as the first ingredient.14Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Any product made by any brand that meets federal authorization criteria
  • New sizes that divide evenly into the nutrition benefit amount prescribed to an individual or an aggregated family, such as 2 oz
  • Infant vegetables sold in pouches
Infant MeatAny variety of commercial infant food meat or poultry, as a single major ingredient, with added broth or gravy. Added sugars or salt (i.e. sodium) are not allowed. Texture may range from pureed through diced.15Please review the WIC Authorized Food List Shopping Guide (PDF) for current authorization/prohibition criteria
  • Any product made by any brand that meets federal authorization criteria
  • Infant meats sold in pouches
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2All authorized milks must conform to FDA standards of identity for milks as defined by 21 CFR part 131 and meet WIC's requirements for vitamin fortification as specified in Table 4 of paragraph (e)(12) of this section. Additional authorized milks include, but are not limited to: calcium-fortified, lactose-reduced and lactose-free, organic and UHT pasteurized milks. Other milks are permitted at the State agency's discretion provided that the State agency determines that the milk meets the minimum requirements for authorized milk.

3FDA Health Claim Notification for Whole Grain Foods with Moderate Fat Content 

4Processed refers to frozen, canned,5 or dried.

5“Canned” refers to processed food items in cans or other shelf-stable containers, e.g., jars, pouches.

6The following are not authorized: herbs and spices; creamed vegetables or vegetables with added sauces; mixed vegetables containing noodles, nuts or sauce packets, vegetable-grain (pasta or rice) mixtures; fruit-nut mixtures; breaded vegetables; fruits and vegetables for purchase on salad bars; peanuts or other nuts; ornamental and decorative fruits and vegetables such as chili peppers on a string; garlic on a string; gourds; painted pumpkins; fruit baskets and party vegetable trays; decorative blossoms and flowers, and foods containing fruits such as blueberry muffins and other baked goods. Home-canned and home-preserved fruits and vegetables are not authorized.

7Mature legumes in dry-packed or canned forms may be purchased with the WIC food instrument only. Immature varieties of fresh or canned beans and frozen beans of any type (immature or mature) may be purchased with the cash-value voucher only. Juices are provided as separate food WIC categories and are not authorized under the fruit and vegetable category.

8Excludes white potatoes, mixed vegetables containing white potatoes, dried white potatoes; catsup or other condiments; pickled vegetables; olives; soups; juices; and fruit leathers and fruit roll-ups. Canned tomato sauce, tomato paste, salsa and spaghetti sauce without added sugar, fats, or oils are authorized.

9State agencies have the option to allow only lower sodium canned vegetables for purchase with the cash-value voucher.

10FDA defines jack mackerel as any of the following six species: Trachurus declivis, trachurus japonicas, trachurur symmetricus, trachurus murphyi, trachurus novaezelandiae, and trachurus lathami in The Seafood List. King mackerel is not authorized.

11The following are not authorized in the mature legume category: soups; immature varieties of legumes, such as those used in canned green peas, green beans, snap beans, yellow beans, and wax beans; baked beans with meat, e.g., beans and franks; and beans containing added sugars (with the exception of baked beans), fats, oils, meats, fruits or vegetables.

12Infant cereals containing infant formula, milk, fruit, or other non-cereal ingredients are not allowed.

13Mixtures with cereal or infant food desserts (e.g., peach cobbler) are not authorized; however, combinations of single ingredients (e.g., apple-banana) and combinations of single ingredients of fruits and/or vegetables (e.g., apples and squash) are allowed.

14Combinations of single ingredients (e.g., peas and carrots) and combinations of single ingredients of fruits and/or vegetables (e.g., apples and squash) are allowed. Mixed vegetables with white potato as an ingredient (e.g., mixed vegetables) are authorized. Infant foods containing white potatoes as the primary ingredient are not authorized.

15No infant food combinations (e.g., meat and vegetables) or dinners (e.g., spaghetti and meatballs) are allowed.

 

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