Metro Health Encourages Families to Sign Up Now for No Cost Program
Provided by Mission Park Funeral Chapels Cherry Ridge
Briana Gonzalez knows how expensive it can be to feed her 2-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. But thanks to Metro Health’s WIC Program, the young mom can provide the nutritious food their growing bodies need with cereal, milk, and other nutritious items.
“WIC has helped me so much,” said Gonzalez, who has been with the nutrition program for the past two years. “When my children were infants, I received formula through the program. I also enjoy the online classes. They helped me to know what to expect when you become a mom and what types of healthy foods to feed my kids.”
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children also known as WIC is a nutrition program for pregnant, breastfeeding women and families with children 5 years old and younger. Metro Health operates 10 WIC clinics throughout San Antonio and serves about 31,000 families per month. It can serve a maximum of 41,500 families each month.
As part of the program, registered dietitian Ana Kraft visits with families at the clinics to offer nutrition counseling. “When we enroll clients, we spend time making simple changes for the benefit of the family,” she said. “We encourage them to make healthy food choices. We also have online classes we encourage them to participate in from home.”
Kraft said they also address parents’ concerns about children who are picky eaters, as well as those who don’t eat enough vegetables or who are not getting enough physical activity. WIC also provides families with healthy recipes that are low in sodium and high in fiber and iron to encourage them to cook more meals at home. “
Maggie Saldana, WIC registered dietitian, explained that WIC provides families with infant formula, as well as cereal, cheese, yogurt, whole grain bread and pasta, and whole grain tortillas. “Currently, pregnant, post-partum women and children are receiving additional fruits and vegetables,” she said.
WIC also offers breastfeeding support with the assistance from Christina Padilla, internal board certified lactation consultant. “A lot of women need individualized care,” Padilla said. “We do a lot of high-risk consultations for moms who have breastfeeding problems, such those who have mastitis or infants with cleft palates. We make sure they have communication with a healthcare provider to make a proper diagnosis.”
Many times, Padilla added, the issue that a mother has with breastfeeding can be easy to resolve. “Moms are so grateful when we’re able to help them,” she said.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, has known about WIC since she was a child. “My mom received assistance from WIC,” she said. “We got formula, fruits and vegetables, whole milk and cereal. It really helped our family a lot.”
To enroll in the program, email LA41WIC@sanantonio.gov or call 210-207-4650.