This summer, Texas WIC is increasing its fruit and vegetable benefits.
WIC will be offering benefits for $35 for fruits and vegetables per person starting June 1st.
WIC clients can use the benefits for fruits and vegetables that are fresh, frozen or in cans/jars or plastic containers, according to TexasWIC.org.
According to TexasWIC.org: “You will see this increase on your shopping list under your benefit amount for June through September 2021. If you already have benefits for June or July, your WIC office will contact you for an appointment to update your benefits.”
The additional WIC benefits will be available starting in June through September and return to the regular benefit amount in October, according to TexasWIC.org.
WIC normally offers $11 in fruit/vegetable benefits for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women and $9 for children age 1 to 5.
Avocados might be one of the most versatile fruits at the store.
They can shine in a wide range of recipes, like the all-time fan favorite: guacamole. This popular fruit can also be a star ingredient in everything from tuna salad to pasta. It’s even hard to find another fruit that tastes better eaten plain.
It’s no wonder why they are so popular with kids and adults alike. Avocados can take standard recipes and elevate them to a new level (like a lunch wrap or even a grilled cheese) or can add a little extra pizazz to a standard family favorite like tacos or even eggs.
Because they are loaded with nutrition, it’s a good reason to mix them into breakfast, lunch or dinner. Unlike most other fruits, they are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids and may help reduce cholesterol levels. They are also full of fiber, potassium and other nutrients.
But like all fruits, avocados are also a WIC-approved food. If you haven’t used your WIC benefits to pick up this versatile, nutritious fruit, we are going to give you a few more reasons (or recipes) to pick them up next time you visit Lone Star Family Market.
One popular avocado recipe having a moment in the online spotlight are baked avocado egg boats. If you haven’t tried this yet, it’s a fun recipe for kids and adults alike. Of course, like any recipe, it’s easy to make adjustments to add toppings you love. We will add a few variation options into our recipe for you to consider.
BAKED AVOCADO EGG BOATS
2 avocados, ripe and ready to eat
¼ cup grated cheese of your choice
Salt, Pepper to Taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash avocados and cut in half. Remove the seeds. Remove about a tablespoon from each half from the center of each avocado. Reserve the scooped out inside for another recipe like guacamole or to spread on a sandwich. Put avocado halves in a baking dish. In a separate bowl, crack eggs. Spoon 1 yolk into each avocado half. Add some of the egg white to fill the avocado halves. Bake until whites are set and yolks are not running (about 20 to 25 minutes). You can cover with foil if avocados begin to brown toward the end of cooking. Top cooked avocados with grated cheese of your choice and salt and pepper. Enjoy!
FUN OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: Sauteed diced bell peppers, sauteed diced onions, salsa, chopped green onions or cilantro or even crumbled bacon bits can be added at the end to top of this delicious recipe. This is a perfect recipe to change up each time to find your favorite combo.
AVOCADO TOAST 3 WAYS
Avocado toast is a very popular way to eat avocados. Spread it all over your whole-wheat toast for an amazing snack, breakfast or lunch. But if you want to change it up a bit are a few variations you might want to try:
Add a cooked egg (anyway you like it – boiled, over easy or scrambled) Eggs and Avocado toast are a great combo.
Fresh, sliced tomatoes is another great addition. Add a few slices and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning (salt, pepper or even a dried Italian mix .
Add a salad on top. Mixed greens, sliced cucumbers, which add crunch and texture. This combination is great on a hot summer day. It’s an easy, healthy meal.
There’s no better reason to throw a dinner party for your family than Cinco De Mayo. To make your party perfect, we have rounded up a list of ideas for a festive family meal at home. We even found a few recipes using WIC ingredients to help make your meal as healthy as it is delicious.
You don’t have to leave the house to feel you have escaped to the perfect party venue. You can turn your dining table into the perfect escape. Here are 3 tips to make your party perfect:
1. Make a fun tablescape and decor for your home. Add lots of color. You can even get the kids to help. Search online for instructions and inspiration to make everything from plastic egg maracas to tiny pinatas made out of toilet paper rolls and decorated with tissue paper. Here is a link for instructions for an example of the pinatas. These homemade table centerpieces are also very festive. The ideas are as endless as your imagination.
2. Keep your menu simple. The party is always more perfect when there isn’t a ton of work. Simple recipes that can be made in advance (like the fruit salsa recipe below) are the perfect way to celebrate Cinco De Mayo (which falls in the middle of the week). The pinto bean salsa recipe below is also super simple and quick to make.
3. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. The best part about a party (even if it’s for immediate family) is to remember to have fun. Don’t stress about the details On that note, let’s get the party started with this fun Fruit Salsa Recipe:
FRESH FRUIT SALSA
1 cup mango (peeled and chopped)
1 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (0ptional)
Put all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Here is a great recipe from the USDA’s My Plate for Salsa Beans:
Salsa Pinto Beans
1 tablespoon olive oil (or canola oil)
1 onion (medium, chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced, or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder)
2 cans pinto beans (15 ounces each, drained and rinsed)
1 cup salsa
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender. Stir in the beans and salsa. Cook for 10 minutes.
Looking for new, healthy lunches with WIC foods? We have 4 new recipes to help make your lunch a little more exciting.
These easy and quick, less-fuss recipes are easy to make and perfect for prepping early in the week to make your lunches easy and fast to grab. Afterall, nobody wants to waste precious time during the week fussing over cooking. If you are meal prepping, consider our notes at the end of each recipe to help make it even easier.
The best part about all these recipes is they are easily adjustable to add or subtract some of your favorite ingredients to make it perfectly yours. Here are 4 lunches with WIC foods:
VEGGIE RICE BOWL
1 Cup Brown Rice, cooked
1/2 Cup Sliced Cucumbers
1 Sliced Tomato
1/2 cup Cooked Green Peas
2 teaspoon Olive Oil
Juice from a Lemon or Lime
2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook rice according to package directions. Put cooked rice in a large bowl. Slice all vegetables and add to the bowl with the rice. Make a dressing in a separate bowl by combining olive oil, lemon or lime juice and dijon mustard. Mix dressing into the rice and vegetable bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 bowls. Enjoy!
MEAL PREP TIP: To make this recipe faster, prep the dressing in advance and store in the refrigerator. You can also pre-cook the rice and store in the fridge. Slice and dice cucumbers, tomato and onion (along with cooked peas) when prepping and store in the refrigerator. Add avocado right before eating.
BEAN & VEGGIE STUFFED PEPPERS
4 Bell Peppers
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1/2 cup Onion, Diced
½ cup of Corn, optional
1 15 oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 8 oz can of Tomato Sauce
1 cup cooked Brown Rice
1 cup of Cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove tops from peppers. Scoop out and clean the inside of the peppers. Saute onions in olive oil until they are tender. Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Stir in mashed black beans, cooked corn, cumin and chili powder. Add tomato sauce and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in cooked rice. Fill peppers with the mixture and place inside a baking dish. Top each pepper with shredded cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
MEAL PREP TIP: This meal can be cooked a day in advance and stored in the fridge. Reheat before serving.
LETTUCE TUNA SALAD WRAPS
¼ cup diced Bell Pepper
¼ cup diced Cucumber
¼ cup diced Onion
1 can of Tuna, drained
¼ cup of Mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 large torn Lettuce Leafs
Mix all ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Chill before serving. Scoop desired amount of tuna salad into a large lettuce leaf and roll up. Enjoy!
MEAL PREP TIP: Tuna can be made and stored in the fridge for a few days.
AVOCADO, BOILED EGG ON WHOLE WHEAT TOAST
1 slice of Whole Wheat Toast
1 Egg, boiled
½ Avocado, mashed
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil egg in water for 10 minutes, until cooked. Drain, rinse and cool before removing shell and slice. Mash the inside of avocado and spread onto toast. Place sliced boiled egg on top of avocado toast. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
MEAL PREP TIP: Boil egg in advance and store in fridge.
Interested in joining Texas WIC? Apply online at TexasWIC.org. Shop Lone Star Family Market to easily pick up WIC groceries. Learn more about the products Lone Star Family Market offers. Also, learn more about Lone Star Family Market online.
Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. Hormones are in overdrive. You are using extra energy to grow a tiny human. It’s understandable if you have a few cravings.
While you might be tempted to feed all your cravings, you might have to keep some of them in check. If you are craving a huge green salad by all means go for it. If you want to take down an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting – every day – you might want to consider moderation.
Some women might think that you get “permission” to gain a lot of weight once you are pregnant. But you might be surprised it’s normal to gain about 25 to 35 pounds, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight. Sticking to a healthy routine will also make your delivery and post delivery easier.
For a healthy pregnancy, Texas WIC advises that women carrying multiple babies might gain more. If you are overweight you may need to gain less. Also, weight gain will happen slowly. During the first 3 months, women usually gain 1 to 5 pounds. In the last 6 months, it may be more like 1 pound per week. Texas WIC experts also recommend that most women only need an additional 350 to 450 calories a day during the last 6 months.