Cooking with WIC Foods


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By the end of this session you will:


Tired of the same old food day after day? Let's look at some creative ways to cook with WIC foods. Let's also look at nutrients provided by these foods and why they are important for good nutrition.  Let's start off with Milk Products!

Milk and Cheese

  • Provide calcium for strong bones and teeth. Milk is fortified with vitamin D to help our body absorb and use the calcium.
  • Milk, cheese and eggs provide complete proteins. (Proteins help you grow)


  • Grain products are fortified with many B vitamins:
  • Thiamin(B1): Helps the nervous system function properly.
  • Riboflavin(B2): Maintains skin and mucous membranes.
  • Niacin(B3): Maintains healthy skin, nerves and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Pyridoxine(B6): Breaks down fat, carbohydrates and proteins for our body to use. Helps with the production of red blood cells.
  • Cyanocobalamin (B12): Necessary for processing carbohydrate, fats and proteins. Helps make all blood cells in the body. Is important in the maintenance of nerves. It helps with making and repairing DNA.
  • Folic acid (B9): Works with B12 to make DNA needed by all cells in the body. It is necessary for the breakdown of proteins and the formation of hemoglobin.
  • Pantothenic acid: Used in the break down of carbohydrates, lipids and some amino acids.
  • Biotin: Functions as a coenzyme in many body functions.
  • Cereal is a good source of fiber, which is important for good digestive health.
  • Cereal is also a good source of Iron needed by red blood cells to help transport oxygen to the body

Dried Beans/Peas/Lentils and Peanut Butter

  • All of these are good sources of protein, iron, folic acid and other B vitamins, dietary fiber and minerals. Dried beans are the best source of folate and are high in fiber. Beans have more potassium, needed for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles, than one banana.

100% Juice

  • Provides vitamin C which is important in the production of collagen (connective tissue of skin, bone, teeth, tendons and forms cartilage).
    • Vitamin C helps protect fat-soluble vitamins A and E.
    • Vitamin C is beneficial in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia.

*Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no more than 12 oz of juice should be given to your child a day.

Infant Formula

  • Breast milk is still the best food for baby. Formula provides all the nutrients (Protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) needed for growth and development.

activity 1

1. Which vitamin is added to milk to help your body absorb calcium?

2. Dried beans, lentils, peas, and peanut butter are a good source of which nutrient?

3. WIC Foods provide a variety of nutrients needed for growth and development.

4. Most of the B vitamins help break down the food we eat for our body to use.

5. Vitamin C helps make connective tissue in our body.

6. Vitamin C helps our body absorb iron.

Getting Started

Choose a recipe or use an old favorite

  • Gather all the ingredients you will need
  • Assemble the tools needed to make your recipe: knife, spoon, bowls, mixer, pans etc.
  • Follow the recipe and enjoy.

Fast = Kid Friendly Meals

  • We all have days where there is just not enough time. The kids are hungry and want to eat right now. Lets start with fast, easy kid pleasing recipes.

Peanut Butter Banana Dogs

8 hotdog buns
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (softened)
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey (not recommended for children under 1 year)
3 to 4 medium bananas (sliced)

Spread cut sides of hotdog buns with softened butter.
Broil 6 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.
together peanut butter, cinnamon, and honey**; spread evenly over hotdog buns. Top with Banana slices. Makes 8 servings

** Honey can be replaced with applesauce, mashed

Adapted from recipes Lunch Kid Tested

Peanut Butter Crunch Snack

1  cup peanut butter
½ cup nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons butter 
6 cups KIX cereal
½ cup peanuts

Heat oven to 250°. Heat peanut butter, dry milk and butter in ungreased rectangular pan (13x9x2 inches) in oven, until butter is melted.  Stir until blended.  Stir in cereal and peanuts until coated.  Bake 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Spread on wax paper or aluminum foil to cool.  Store in airtight container.
*Peanuts are choking hazard for children less than 4 years.

Makes 6½ cups.

Peanut Butter Crunch

Peanut Butter Crunch

Peanut Butter Crunch

Breakfast Pizza

1 Italian bread shell
1 cup shredded cheese
8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk

Place bread shell on a baking sheet and sprinkle with shredded cheese and bacon. (chopped ham, chicken, cooked sausage or even vegetables can be used)
Whisk (beat) eggs and milk together until well blended; pour over the center of bread shell.

Bake at 400 for 12 to 15 minutes or until egg mixture is set and cheese is golden brown.

Breakfast Pizza

Sassy Bean Salsa

3 cups cooked or canned black, red, pinto beans...drained
2 cans tomatoes (14.5 oz. each)...diced
1 can whole kernel corn (15.5 oz.)
1 cup chopped onion
1 can green chilies (4 oz.)...diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in large bowl; mix well.  Refrigerate unused portions.  
This recipe makes a large portion.  The extra can be made into a wonderful "salsa" soup!  Brown 1 lb. of hamburger in a pan.  Drain off fat and add to left over salsa and simmer until warmed through.  Serve with tortillas.
Serves: 8

Preparation time: 30 minutes


Dry Beans

Now it’s getting a little harder and you must plan ahead because it takes several hours to cook beans.

Just the bean facts first:

  • Serving size is 1/2 cup cooked beans
  • 1 pound of dry beans equals 5-6 cups of cooked beans.
  • Dry beans can be stored in unopened packages or a sealed container, in a cool, dry place indefinitely.
  • Cooked beans can be stored up to 3-5 days covered in the refrigerator.
  • Cooked beans can be frozen for several weeks.

There are several ways to start:

  • Soaking
  • Soaking dry beans in water softens them.
  • Quick hot soak 
  • Cover beans with water and boil the beans for two minutes. Turn off heat. Cover the pot and let soak for 1-4 hours before cooking.
  • Overnight cold soak
  • Cover the beans with water and allow to sit overnight (8-12 hours or more).

Drain soaking water from beans and cover with fresh water before cooking.


  • Bring soaked beans to a boil and simmer. Add hot water as needed and stir gently. The beans should be tender and ready for use after simmering for 45 to 60 minutes.
  • To avoid foaming add 2 tablespoons of oil to each pound of beans. Wait until beans are tender before adding salt or any tomato products.

Taco Soup

1 can tomato soup
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
1 small can green chili
Mix all ingredients in saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until hot.
Crumble 8-10 tortilla chips in a bowl and cover with one cup of soup mixture.
Top with grated Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese.

Recipe from Campbell Soups

Red Beans and Rice

1 1/2 cups cooked or canned red beans
4 oz or 1/2 cup diced lean ham
2 tsp. Vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 small clove garlic, minced (chopped finely)
1/4 tsp. Ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. Bottled hot pepper sauce
4-6 cups freshly cooked brown rice
Optional: chopped red peppers, yellow pepper, green onions.

Sauté ham and onion until onion is tender. Add beans, water and seasonings. Bring to boil: cover and simmer 30 minutes. Mash 1/2 cup beans and return to mixture: mix well. Serve over cooked rice: Sprinkle green onion and peppers on top.

Recipe adapted from Idaho Bean Commission

Bean Huevos Rancheros

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon oil
1 2/3 cups drained red, kidney or pinto beans
1 8oz can stewed tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 dash hot pepper sauce
4 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 shredded corn tortillas
2 tablespoons diced green chili
2 tablespoons diced red chili

Sauté onion and green pepper until tender. Stir in beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilies, oregano, cumin and hot pepper sauce. Bring to boil. Spoon into 4 individual 1 1/2 cup baking dishes. Make a nest with the back of the spoon in each dish. Drop egg into the nest. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees F. 10-15 minutes or until eggs are cooked to desired doneness.
Serve with tortillas
Leave in skillet. Make 4 nests for the eggs. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Idaho Bean Commission

Western Chili Con Carne

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 pound ground beef
3 1/3 cups pinto, kidney or pink beans
1 cup water 2 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. Paprika
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1 bay leaf (laurel)
1 14-16 oz. Can tomatoes
4 1/2 teaspoons yellow corn meal

If you like it a little hotter add a dash (a very small amount) cayenne pepper

Sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add ground beef and brown, breaking apart with fork. Stir in beans, water, seasonings and tomatoes: bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. To thicken, slowly add cornmeal, stirring constantly. Cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens. Remove bay leaf.
Serves 5

Recipe adapted from Idaho Bean Commission


Cereals are often a fast easy meal. Just open the box, pour into a bowl, add milk, maybe a little fruit, and there you have a fast nutritious meal.
Lets take a look at some other ways cereal can be used in everyday recipes.


  • Beat: Mix ingredients vigorously with spoon, hand beater or electric mixer until smooth
  • Blend: Mix ingredients until they are smooth and uniform
  • Mix:Combine ingredients in any way that distributes them evenly
  • Stir: Mix ingredients with circular or figure eight motion until evenly combined.

Crushing cereal: Place cereal in baggie, plastic wrap or between waxed paper. Crush with rolling pin (if you don't have a rolling pin grab a can out of the cupboard). A blender or food processor can also be used.

Juicy Chicken

3 cups cheerios finely crushed
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
2 1/2 - 3 lb. Chicken
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. Margarine or butter melted

Heat oven to 350°. Line rectangular pan, 13X9X2, with aluminum foil. Mix cereal, salt and pepper. Dip chicken into milk: roll in cereal mixture until well coated.
Place chicken, skin side up, in pan. Bake about 1 hour or until chicken is done (do not turn chicken).

Serves 4

Adapted from easy recipes by General Mills

Easy Chicken Nuggets

4 cups whole grain total or total corn flakes
1 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces.
1/2 cup Italian dressing, honey mustard or pepper sauce

Heat oven to 425°. Spray baking sheet Chicken Nuggetswith cooking spray. Crush cereal put in bowl. Dip chicken pieces into dressing: then roll in cereal until well coated. Place in pan. Bake about 10 minutes or until no longer pink in center.
Serves 4

Adapted from easy recipes by General Mills

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets

Tuna Casserole with Crunchy Toppingtuna casserole

2/3 cup milk
½ cup green peas
½ cup shredded cheese (2 oz.)
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can (6 oz.) tuna in water, drained
2 cups cooked macaroni
1 cup Corn Flakes
Heat oven to 350°.  Stir together milk, peas, ¼ cup of the cheese, the soup and tuna in an ungreased 1½ quart casserole.  Stir in macaroni.  Sprinkle with cereal and the remaining ¼ cup cheese.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and cereal is golden brown. 

Serves 6

Baked Cheese Sticks

4 cups corn flakes, crushed to 1 cup
1 tsp. Garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 egg whites
2 tbsp. Water
1 package (8oz) mozzarella cheese
Combine cereal, garlic salt and oregano in shallow bowl. Put flour in 2nd bowl. In 3rd bowl beat egg whites and water together.

Cut cheese into 12 sticks. Dip cheese in flour, then egg, then in cereal mixture. Repeat dipping process so that cheese is double coated. Place on foil lined shallow baking pan. Lightly spray coated cheese sticks with cooking spray. Let stand 30 minutes.

Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until cheese is soft and sticks are lightly browned. Serve hot with pizza sauce or salsa.

Adapted from Kellogg's Corn Flakes recipes

100% Juice

Why only 100% juice? Juice containing 100% fruit juice has more vitamins without the added sugar. The vitamin C found in most of the juices also helps our bodies absorb iron better.

Lets look at some ways we can combine Vitamin C and iron containing foods. Many of the WIC cereals are also fortified with iron and they add a lot of nutrients to any recipe.

Orange Muffins

Ingredients:orange muffins
1 2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 cup of any bran cereal
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. Oil

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and cereal. Add eggs, orange juice and oil. Mix just enough to moisten all ingredients. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake at 425° for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 16

Adapted from a recipe from Post Cereals

Zesty Chicken Stir-Fry

1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
2 cups tomato juice
1 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Ground ginger
1/8 tsp. Pepper
4 cups cut-up vegetables
1 lb. Boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
4 cups hot cooked brown rice

Mix cornstarch, tomato juice, soy sauce, ginger and pepper. Spray skillet with vegetable cooking spray and heat 1 minute. Add vegetables and stir-fry until tender crisp. Remove vegetables and remove skillet from heat.

Spray skillet with cooking spray. Stir-fry chicken until browned. Add cornstarch mixture and cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Return vegetables to skillet and heat through.

Serve with rice.
Serves 4

Adapted from V8 Juice recipe

Milk, Cheese and Eggs

Milk, cheese and eggs are foods that we use often because they are fast and convenient.

Bone Building Smoothie

2 cups milk
1 6oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup nonfat strawberry/banana yogurt
2 Tbsp. Sifted powdered sugar
4-6 large ice cubes

In Blender combine milk, orange juice, powdered sugar and yogurt. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add ice one at a time through the opening in the lid. Blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into tall glasses: serve immediately.

This can also be poured in freezer pop containers for a snack.

Serves 4

Quick Potato Soup

1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. thyme
2 green onions sliced
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1 1/3 cups instant mashed potatoes (dry)
shredded cheddar cheese if desired

Heat all ingredients except instant potatoes and cheese to boiling. Remove from heat, stir in instant potatoes until dissolved. Sprinkle cheese on each serving.

Serves 4

Peanut Butter Smoothie

1 cup (8oz) vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup Karo corn syrup
1 banana chunked
5 ice cubes

In blender combine yogurt, milk, peanut butter, corn syrup and banana. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, add ice cubes one at a time, through the opening in the lid. Blend until thickened. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Print out all the recipes.

activity 2

1. Name 2 foods that are high in iron:

Now you have many other ways to use the WIC foods you get every month. 



 * Where are you taking today's lesson?

You have completed the lesson on "Cooking With WIC Foods". If you have any questions or comments, please contact your LWP nutritionist who will be glad to answer any of your questions. 

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