More Fruits and Vegetables!
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the WIC Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fresh fruits and vegetables will be temporarily increased to $35 for each WIC participant over 1 year of age. Make the most of your increased benefits with these tips from Cooking Matters! Learn to Get the Most Produce with My Benefits, Make Your Produce Last Longer, and Get Your Family Enjoying More Fruits and Vegetables.
Get the Most Produce With My WIC Benefits
Here are our best tips for getting the most fruits and veggies with your increased benefit.
Tip #1 – Buy fruits and veggies in their most whole form
While pre-cut fruits and veggies are convenient, they often cost more! Save money by buying whole produce (think whole carrots instead of baby carrots) and cutting up yourself.
VIDEO – How to save money on fruits and vegetables
Tip #2: Compare unit prices, and buy in bulk when it makes sense
The unit price is a quick way to compare foods to see where you can get the most value for your voucher.
VIDEO – How to Compare Unit Prices of Groceries
Tip #3: Take advantage of great prices on seasonal produce, or sale items
Recipes can be flexible – you don’t have to follow most recipes exactly. This allows you to choose the best deal at the store and feel confident that you can adapt your dish with the produce you’ve got.
VIDEO – Making Recipes Work For You and Your Family
Here are some great examples of ways you can shop seasonally and make recipes work for your family. Tap any image to stop them from scrolling!
Tip #4: Look for produce you can use in meals throughout the week
Buying in bulk can save you more money! Choose produce that your family loves, and stretch it over the week by planning out your meals.
VIDEO – Meal Prep Made Easy
Tip #5: Remember, all forms count!
Fresh, frozen, and canned produce all counts toward your health goals! Compare different forms at the store to see what will save you the most money and still taste great in your meal or snack. If your state only allows purchase of fresh produce with WIC benefits, use these great tips for purchasing canned and frozen produce when shopping with your own money or other food assistance.
VIDEO – How to Compare Fresh, Frozen and Canned Produce
Tip #6: Simplify your shopping trip with a plan
Take a little time to make a shopping list before you shop – it can cut down on expensive impulse buys at the store.
VIDEO – Meal Planning: Make Your Shopping List
Make Your Produce Last Longer
How can you get the most out of your increased benefit? Don’t let that produce go to waste! Check out these tips for storing fruits and veggies to last longer.
Freeze More, Waste Less!
Properly Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Get Your Family Enjoying More Fruits and Vegetables
Now that you’ve got all this produce, what should you do with it? Check out our tips for getting your family to love their fruits and veggies!
Tip #1: Make fruits and vegetables kid-friendly
Who says you can’t have fun with your food? Have fun with fruits and veggies to keep your kids excited about them.
Tip #2: Include fruits and veggies at snack time
Snack time is perfect for pairing a fruit or veggie with another food group. Check out these short demonstration videos for ideas about how to add more fruits and veggies in your kids snacks.
VIDEO – Tips for Making Fruit and Veggie Snacks for Kids!
VIDEO – Healthy Tips to Hack Your Snack!
Tip #3: Try out different cooking techniques
Experiment with roasting, sautéing, or steaming. The same veggie can be entirely different!
VIDEO – Veggies 3 Ways
Broccoli is a healthy, affordable vegetable that’s easy to make. Here’s a short demonstration video to show you how to make broccoli three ways.
Tip #4: Play around with different spices and flavor profiles
Changing the flavor can make the same veggies taste like a different meal throughout the week.
Tip #5: Try a taste test!
Use this opportunity to introduce kids to new fruits and vegetables.