Satisfaction with Jarred Baby Foods in the Revised WIC Food

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Presented by:
Lorrene Ritchie, PhD, RD
Loan P. Kim, PhD, RD

Significant improvement in dietary quality
including the addition of fruit and vegetables
Vouchers for
cash purchase
(for women and
older children)
Baby food (for
older infants,
6-11 months)
1. Examine participant utilization and satisfaction
with jarred baby foods
2. Assess preference for fruit and vegetable vouchers
versus jarred baby foods
3. Examine whether preferences varied among
selected ethnic groups

Multiple methods

Data drawn from three sources:
1. California Nutrition Education and Food Package
Impact (NEFPI) study survey of WIC participants
statewide
2. California WIC redemption data
3. Interviews with subset of WIC participants and
staff in LA County

Phone survey (Mar–May 2010)

Participants: 2996 women
◦ 9% pregnant, 14% breastfeeding
◦ ~29 years old
◦ 81% Latino

Questions:
◦ “How satisfied are you with the voucher for fruit and
vegetables?”
◦ “How satisfied are you with the WIC checks for jarred
baby food?”
◦ “If you had a choice of either continuing to receive WIC
checks for jarred baby food or receiving a voucher to
buy fruit and vegetables for your baby, which would you
choose?”



Examined all infant food checks which
contained jarred fruit/vegetables
Calculated as a percentage of checks
redeemed to checks issued (Mar-Oct 2010)
200,000 infants per month:
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦

74.8% Latino
9.2% White
6.5% African-American
5.1% Asian
4.4% other
Examined by ethnic group & age of infants

One-on-one interviews (Oct 09-Jun 10)

20 WIC Participants:

16 WIC Staff:

Topics:
◦ ~26 years old
◦ Enrolled in WIC for more than 1 year
◦ All Mexican; half born in the U.S.
◦ ~29 years old
◦ All Latino; 65% born in the U.S.
◦ 1) using the cash vouchers to purchase fruit & vegetables
◦ 2) using jarred baby food
◦ 3) preference for cash vouchers or jarred baby foods
90%
80%
77.5%
80.0%
70%
62.5%
60%
50%
48.6%
Latino
Black
40%
White
Other
30%
20%
10%
0%
% Very Satisfied with Fruit and vegetables
100%
95.0%
90%
84.4%
83.3%
80%
71.4%
70%
60%
Latino
Black
50%
White
40%
Other
30%
20%
10%
0%
% Very Satisfied with Jarred Baby Food
80%
70%
70.8%
69.5%
60%
50%
50.0%
45.7%
Latino
Black
40%
White
30%
Other
20%
10%
0%
Would Prefer More Fruit and vegetables over Jarred Baby Food
"They are good.
When I go to the
store, my daughter
can choose which
fruits she wants. “
"I wish they
would give
more checks
for fruit and
vegetables.”
"Families can
always use more
fruit and
vegetables.”
"Can I have more
money to buy fruit and
vegetables? I like to
make my own food for
my kids. It's better I
think.”
"When I am out, it's so
easy to have [jarred
baby foods]. But they
give us too many. I can
never finish them and
sometimes they
expire."
◦ "They like the vouchers for the fruit and vegetables. Jar
baby foods – they don’t use them; they make their own
baby foods and they don’t want it. I would suggest they
give the women the option of fruit and vegetable vouchers
so they can make their own baby food.”
◦ "For a long time we were telling them it was better to make
their own baby food…But now we’re telling them to get
baby food. It’s mixed messages. In Hispanic culture we’re
not big on jar food. If they got more money for the fruit
and vegetables, it would be much better. “



Addition of jarred baby foods to the
infant food package has been well
received overall by participants
As babies get older, mothers want the
option to choose between jarred baby
foods and cash vouchers for fruit and vegetables
in order to prepare their own baby foods
Pilot study is needed to explore the feasibility of
allowing states to offer older infants the choice
of fruit and vegetable checks instead of jarred
baby foods
Thank you!
&
Questions???
[email protected]
[email protected]
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