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Mom’s easy and healthy WIC-approved recipes are going viral

This mom is sharing healthy and easy WIC-approved recipes on TikTok to make meal time easier for families.

mom cooking WIC-approved recipes

The internet is crowded with delicious recipes and meal ideas, but one new mom is carving out a niche in the online food world that focuses on something many families need: meal ideas that are healthy, easy and 100% WIC-approved.

Marissa “Sunni” Rudd, a mixed media artist and new mom from New York, has racked up nearly 50,000 followers on TikTok by sharing WIC-friendly recipes, as well as valuable information about how to use and apply for benefits from WIC (the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children). Her meal ideas cover everything from protein shakes and snacks to easy lunches and dinners.

WIC, which stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, provides food assistance to eligible lower-income people who are pregnant, postpartum or have children up to age 5; however, it can only be used to purchase certain items. States aren’t required to authorize all types of food for coverage under WIC, and some have limitations on commonly used ingredients. For example, in Rudd’s home state of New York, shredded cheese, certain kinds of milk, nuts, herbs, spices and salad dressings are all off-limits. 

Rudd’s recipes are designed to work within these limitations, while still giving people access to meals that are delicious, comforting, easy to make and that satisfy their cravings.

@justsunni

Reply to @ambaaa21 WIC provides support to mothers postpartum + babies up to 5 years #wictok #wic #postpartum #blackmomsoftiktok #newborn #fyp

♬ suara asli – gabut woi – gabut woi

She even shares her favorite “lazy” meals for those days when people are crunched for time or cooking feels like a chore.

She also answers followers’ questions about applying for WIC and even posts videos that show how to successfully shop for groceries on the program.

Rudd’s followers appreciate not only her creative use of WIC-approved items, but also the fact that she’s pushing back against the stigma of needing food assistance.

WIC is the third largest food and nutrition assistance program in the U.S., and the program served about 6.2 million participants per month throughout the fiscal year 2020, including almost half of all infants born during that time period.

“I love your content,” one person writes. “It really helps me when I struggle with making meals out of my approved WIC items. I can’t afford anything but what WIC gives me.”

“I work for WIC, and I love that you’re helping to normalize being on WIC and sharing great recipes,” another person adds.

WIC is the third largest food and nutrition assistance program in the U.S., and the program served about 6.2 million participants per month throughout the fiscal year 2020, including almost half of all infants born during that time period. Programs like WIC are especially vital during the pandemic as millions of families struggle to put food on the table. A staggering 60 million people required charitable food assistance in 2020, an increase of nearly 50% over the previous year, according to the nonprofit Feeding America. A survey conducted by New York University researchers found 18% of U.S. households with children experienced food insecurity during the early days of the pandemic. In some communities, the need has been even greater. In one report, almost half of Native American and Alaska Native survey respondents say they’ve faced food insecurity throughout the pandemic.

Food assistance programs can help ease the burden of food costs, but shopping, meal planning and cooking while on these programs still present unique challenges. Rudd is working on a WIC-friendly cookbook inspired by the response to her viral recipe videos. In the meantime, her TikTok channel offers a valuable service for millions of families who rely on programs like WIC because easy, nutritious meals should be accessible to everyone.