I don’t like to say too much about it because there are people who so strongly disapprove, but it is probably obvious to at least some people due to the ingredients in some of my recipes that we are WIC recipients. I started receiving a food package during the late stages of my pregnancy due to a lot of encouragement from a social worker that helped get us medical insurance. My mom had been a WIC recipient after unexpectedly having twins, and the general consensus is that it is a help. I received a very generous food package as a breastfeeding mother up until my baby turned one. Starting at 6 months, Baby started receiving her own package. I happen to think there are a lot of politics involved in what they give you, and many of the foods are from highly subsidized industries. Far from us ripping off the government, I happen to think that someone is benefiting economically because they tend to push foods on you that you don’t even want (and what’s with that rule that you have to take everything on your check or you can’t get any of it?).
As a pregnant and breastfeeding mother, I received a lot of milk, way more than we could ever use, and if you tell them that, they offer you tofu and cheese and yogurt, but you still get way more milk than you can use. I was only allowed to get low fat 1% or less. A while before this, our family had made the switch back to whole milk after learning about how the body uses saturated fat to regulate blood sugar, how fat slows the sugar from entering the blood stream, how most of the nutrients in milk our fat soluble. I brought this up at my first WIC appointment even though I knew it was useless to argue with the policy, and beggars can’t be choosers and all (although I don’t personally believe that, I think that we all should have at least some right to exercise choices about our health and diet). I was told that the government recommends low fat milk even to diabetics because they are at higher risk for heart disease (which also ignores the more recent evidence that sugar, not fat is the bigger cause of heart disease). I was then (as if I hadn’t just expressed concern about the sugar in the milk) told that if I didn’t like the taste I could add chocolate syrup to it. Apparently, they are trained to tell people that. Do you know how much sugar is in chocolate syrup? I think it is more than is recommended to have in a day.
Anyway, I don’t actually dislike the taste of lowfat milk. It just doesn’t do anything for me. And that’s a big thing the “doesn’t do anything for me” because I think a lot of health ideas and recommendations are ignoring the “satisfaction factor.” My sister and I observed the phenomenon some years back that when people eat something they find disappointing in some way or simply doesn’t satisfy them, they eat more of it, not less (For example: Gee that pastry wasn’t very good. I think I’ll have a 2nd slice. Nope still not good. What about a donut? The donuts are worse than the pastry. How about chips? I don’t even like chips. Why did I eat those?).
When Baby turned one, I lost my food package and she started getting the milk instead (and yes the people at WIC know that she is still being breastfed, so presumably they realize that she isn’t really the one drinking the milk). Babies between the age of one and two receive whole milk. Once they turn two, they also have to get low fat. When I was a child, we weren’t even allowed low fat milk in Kindergarten. My how the times have changed. She also has to get whole milk yogurt. I wanted whole milk yogurt for years and couldn’t find it in the grocery stores. Now they have to carry it because it is a WIC item (offering yogurt is relatively new). Out of all the many many yogurts available in the grocery store, there is exactly one brand and one type of whole milk yogurt. The first time I ate this whole milk yogurt, my reaction was “Wow! This is good!” The first time I ate Cheerios with the whole milk, I had the same reaction. Now I think that’s a healthy reaction to have to food, a lot better than “that didn’t really do anything for me.”