Skip to content

WIC Food Package Final Rule

April 9, 2024

WIC Food Package Infographic

USDA released a final rule that revises regulations to align the WIC food packages with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to reflect recommendations from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine while promoting nutrition security and equity and considering program administration.

The changes are intended to provide WIC participants with a wider variety of foods that align with the latest nutritional science; provide WIC state agencies with greater flexibility to prescribe and tailor food packages that accommodate participants’ special dietary needs and personal and cultural food preferences; and address key nutritional needs to support healthy dietary patterns. This rule provides foods in amounts that are more consistent with the supplemental nature of the program; encourages fruit and vegetable consumption; and strengthens support for individual breastfeeding goals to help establish long-term breastfeeding.


Why It Matters

Under CACFP regulations, each institution (other than outside-school-hours care centers, at-risk afterschool care centers, emergency shelters, and adult day care centers) must ensure that parents of enrolled children are provided with current information on the benefits and importance of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the eligibility requirements for WIC participation. Therefore, it is important that sponsors, child care centers, and family child care homes understand updates that have been made to WIC in order to provide the correct information to parents.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Increase the cash-value benefit (CVB) base monthly amount for child, pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum participants:
    • Children $24
    • Pregnant, postpartum $43
    • Breastfeeding $47

Note: USDA adjusts CVB amounts annually for inflation in accordance with WIC regulations.

  • Require WIC state agencies to authorize at least one other form of fruits and vegetables (frozen, canned, or dried) in addition to fresh.
  • Require vendors to stock at least three varieties of vegetables, an increase from two different vegetable varieties currently required.
  • Expand what can be purchased with the CVV to include fresh herbs and allow larger package sizes.



  • Reduce juice amounts but all child and adult participants receive 64 fluid ounces.
    • Children: 128 to 64 oz.
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding: 144 to 64 oz.
    • Postpartum: 96 to 64 oz.
  • Allow substitution of juice for a $3 CVV.


Milk and Milk Substitutions

  • Reduce the maximum monthly allowances of milk as follows:
    • Children 12 - 23 months: 16 to 12 qts.
    • Children 2 - 4 years: 16 to 14 qts.
    • Pregnant/partially breastfeeding: 22 to 16 qts.
    • Fully breastfeeding: 24 to 16 qts.
  • Require authorization of lactose-free milk, currently a state agency option.
  • Permit only unflavored milk .
  • Modify the provision to establish an added sugars limit for yogurt of ≤ 16 grams per 8 ounces; and an added sugars limit for plant-based milk alternatives of ≤ 10 grams per 8 ounces.
  • Modify the provision to add a minimum calcium specification of 100 milligrams per 100 grams of tofu.
  • Add a minimum vitamin D specification of 106 IU (2.67 micrograms) per 8 oz of yogurt and extend the implementation timeline to 36 months.
  • Increase yogurt substitution amounts from 1 quart of yogurt for 1 quart of milk to allow up to 2 quarts of yogurt for 2 quarts of milk.
  • Add soy-based and plant-based yogurts and cheeses as substitution options for milk.
  • Update the FDA standard of identity citations for yogurt.
  • Allow yogurts other than whole fat (i.e., reduced fat) to be issued to 1-year-old children without restriction.
  • Remove cheese as a separate food category in the fully breastfeeding food package; cheese remains a substitution option for milk.


Infant Foods

  • Reduce infant cereal, infant fruits and vegetables, and infant meat as follows:
    • Infant cereal – 24 to 16 ounces for fully breastfed infants, 24 to 8 ounces for partially breastfed and formula fed infants.
    • Infant fruits/vegetables – 256 to 128 ounces for fully breastfed infants, consistent with the 128 ounces issued to partially breastfed or formula fed infants.
    • Infant meats – 77.5 to 40 ounces for fully breastfed infants; infant meats not issued to partially breastfed or formula fed infants.
  • Increase CVV substitution amounts for infant fruits and vegetables*, allow forms other than fresh, and lower the minimum age for infants to receive a CVV from 9 to 6 months.

* The CVV substitution allows half (64 ounces) or all (128 ounces) of jarred infant fruits and vegetables to be substituted with a $10 or $20 CVV, respectively, for all food packages for infants ages 6 through 11 months


Add Infant Formula Flexibilities and Create a Separate Food Package for Partially (Mostly) Breastfeeding Participants

  • Increase formula amounts in the first month for partially (mostly) breastfed infants from 104 fl. oz. to up to 364 fl. oz.
  • Allow all prescribed infant formula quantities to be considered “up to” amounts.
  • Create a separate and enhanced food package for partially breastfeeding participants rather than issuing the same package provided to pregnant participants.


Breakfast Cereals

  • Change whole grain criteria for breakfast cereals to require “whole grain” as the first ingredient.
  • Require 75 percent of breakfast cereals on a state agency authorized product list meet whole grain criteria.
  • Replace the total sugars limit for breakfast cereal with an added sugars limit of ≤ 21.2 grams per 100 grams (≤ 6 g per 1 oz.).


Whole Wheat Bread, Whole Grain Brea, and Whole Grain Options

  • Reduce maximum monthly allowance of whole wheat/whole grain bread and whole grains in the child food packages from 32 to 24 ounces; and increase amounts in the pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding food packages from 16 to 48 ounces.
  • Whole grain breads must contain at least at 50 percent whole grains, rather than having a whole grain as the primary ingredient by weight and meeting the FDA health claim labeling requirement as a “whole grain food with moderate fat content”.
  • Expand whole grain options to include quinoa; wild rice; millet; triticale; amaranth; kamut; sorghum; wheat berries; tortillas made with folic acid-fortified corn masa flour; corn meal (including blue); teff; buckwheat; whole wheat bread products (i.e., pita, English muffins, bagels, and naan); and whole grain options that meet nutrient specifications.


Canned Fish

  • Add 6 ounces canned fish to food packages for all children (1 through 4 years) and allow children to obtain canned light tuna and chub mackerel along with salmon, sardines, and Atlantic mackerel.
  • Add 10 ounces of canned fish to food packages for pregnant and postpartum participants and 15 ounces for partially breastfeeding participants; and revise amounts for fully breastfeeding participants from 30 to 20 ounces.


Legumes and Eggs

  • Require WIC state agencies to authorize both dried and canned legumes, instead of canned being an option.
  • Require authorization of legumes and peanut butter as substitutes for eggs (instead of just peanut butter for eggs) and allow WIC state agencies to choose to authorize tofu as well as nut and seed butters as a substitute for eggs.
  • Implement a provision to allow WIC state agencies the option to authorize nut and seed butters as a substitute for peanut butter.


Maximum Monthly Allowances

  • Allow WIC state agencies to authorize a greater variety of package sizes to increase variety and choice, while still providing participants with package sizes that ensure they can receive the full benefit amount (i.e., at least one package size, or a combination of sizes, must add up to the full MMA).


Read the full rule Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Packages. For more information, see WIC Food Packages, Changes to the WIC Food Packages Q&As. Also see USDA’s video and infographic.