Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care.

Special WIC Food Updates

Find the latest changes to WIC foods, including infant formula recall information.

How to Apply for WIC

  • Learn how to apply for WIC.
  • You must live in Texas. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to be part of the WIC program.

Goals

  • Provide our most vulnerable women, infants and children with optimal nutrition education during the critical stages of fetal growth and early childhood.
  • Serve as many eligible women, infants and children of Houston and Harris County as we possibly can with the resources provided through funds and collaborative efforts.
  • Serve as an adjunct to medical care; promote breastfeeding, immunizations, and medical screening for all participants.
  • Provide healthy foods and make appropriate referrals to physicians in several programs.
  • Fight infant mortality by participating in community awareness activities that promote a better quality of life for the children of Houston and Harris County, so that they may become fully functioning human beings with a choice and a future.

Baby Formula Recall — Shortage Tips and Resources

A growing amount of social media content offers instructions to prepare homemade baby’s formulas to overcome nationwide shortages.  Although this may seem like a far less expensive option, it is not a safe.  The Houston Health Department and its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program discourage mothers from using this unsafe option. 

Babies need a specific balance of nutrients for perfect growth and brain development. Human breastmilk contains all nutrients babies need for a healthy growing body. It also contains components that support the development of the immune system.  When human milk is not available, infant formulas are the best choice to provide babies with the right amount of nutrients to support proper growth.  

Keep in mind the American Academy of Pediatrics’ formula-feeding tips below. 

If you feed your baby formula, make sure to always:

  • Choose a formula product that has been reviewed by and meets FDA minimum nutritional and safety requirements
  • Prepare it according to directions on the label, unless you are given different instructions by your pediatrician because of a special medical need your baby has.

What's important NOT to do:

  • Do not make a homemade formula from ingredients at the store, such as powdered cow milk or raw milk and sugar.
  • Do not feed your infant under 1 year old cow milk or other milk substitutes from the dairy section of the grocery store, such as almond or soy beverages (sometimes labeled as milk).
  • Do not use imported formulas from other countries that are not reviewed by the FDA.
  • Do not water down formulas by adding more water when mixing powdered formula or adding extra water to ready-to-serve, non-concentrated liquid formula.

Learn from HealthyChildren.org, and read the full article by Dr. Steven A. Abrams, a board-certified pediatrician, Director of the Dell Pediatric Research Institute, and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas at Austin.

Additional resources:

  •  Visit Texas WIC to learn more on alternative formulas brands and can sizes temporarily added to the WIC benefits. 
  • If you are a WIC participant and can’t find any of these brands or sizes at the store, contact the Houston Health Department WIC program or call 832-393-5427.