New milk guidelines for WIC program

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

The Illinois Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children is making changes designed to improve the nutrition and health of pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children.

Effective Oct. 1, WIC will offer only one percent or skim milk for children over the age of 2 and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have recently had a baby. Children ages 12-23 months will continue to receive whole milk to ensure proper growth and development.

“The Dietary Guidelines for Americans have recommended low-fat milk for some time and nutrition education provided at WIC offices has provided this message and now the milk we provide will support it as well”, said Penny Roth, a registered dietitian and the Director of the Illinois WIC Program. “WIC is more than a food program, it is an education program and it is vital that the WIC food packages reinforce nutrition education messages for optimal health for our participants.”

WIC offices around the state have been discussing the campaign “Their Bodies Change, so Should Their Milk,” which emphasizes that while children over 2 and adults benefit from the nutrients of milk, they do not need the saturated fat and calories found in whole and 2 percent.

This change aligns WIC with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

About 132,000 children and 64,000 women in Illinois receive WIC each month, providing them with milk, as well as other nutritious foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

For more information about WIC, visit the Illinois Department of Human Services website at