The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, has proposed updates to food packages for families at nutritional risk served through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). As proposed, the updated WIC food packages fail to provide the necessary support for the early introduction of peanut-containing foods to prevent peanut allergies.
Sample Response and Key Points
Here is a sample response you might find helpful as you prepare your comment.
I encourage USDA to help safeguard the health of infants and families it serves by aligning with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and endorsing and supporting the early introduction of peanut-containing foods. Not only has early introduction been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy, it contributes to the increased consumption of affordable and accessible nutrient dense foods, reduces diet-related chronic illnesses and fosters nutrition security.
[If relevant, cite any specific expertise or experience you have with food allergies, early introduction and/or peanuts.]
Because the window for preventing peanut allergies is short and closes early, families cannot wait for the next review of food packages for action. Change the future for countless children starting now.
Add peanut butter to the package for infants 6 months and older and ensure it is available to all caregivers;
Provide education and training for staff and parents on current early introduction guidelines and best practices.
Address misconceptions and other barriers ― including concerns about choking, allergic reactions and the impact of introducing complementary foods on breastfeeding ― to make adoption of feeding infants peanut-containing foods easy and safe.
[If desired, add a personal closing.]
Tips and Resources
Guidance Encouraging Early Introduction