California WIC Approved Foods
Find out what foods you can buy with your California WIC benefits. In most states, WIC participants receive checks or vouchers that allows them to purchase WIC approved foods at their local grocery store each month. These foods are designed to supplement their diets with specific nutrients that benefit CA WIC participants.
In some states, they use a WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) card. This acts like a credit or debit card and replaces paper checks/vouchers. Contact the California WIC office for more information.
The California WIC program offers specific foods including infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish. Soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole-wheat bread and other whole-gran options that help better assist in providing nutritional needs for WIC participants.
WIC program and breastfeeding
California WIC recognizes and promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for infants. For women who choose not to fully breastfeed, Your California WIC benefits will provide iron-fortified infant formula as an alternative. Special infant formulas and medical foods may be provided as prescribed by a physician for specific medical needs.
Foods you can buy with California WIC
Each state provides their own list of foods you are allowed to purchase using WIC. To find out what foods you can purchase using your CA WIC benefits, view the list below. You can also download the food list directly to your computer so you can print it out and take it with you when shopping. If you do not see the food item you are looking for, we recommend to contact your local WIC office for assistance.
California WIC Food FAQ's
Does WIC help with diapers?
No, you cannot use your California WIC benefits to purchase diapers. Though this topic is not about food, it does get asked a lot.
Why can't you purchase any brand of food with your WIC vouchers?
Not all brands have the same nutritional value. WIC is a nutrition program that provides foods with specific nutrients like fiber, protein, calcium and iron. The WIC-allowed foods have a lot of these particular nutrients and are considered a healthier choice.
What if the store does not have all the foods listed on your WIC voucher?
You can go to another CA WIC authorized store to use your vouchers or you can keep your vouchers and go back to the store on another day. If you choose to go back to the store, be sure to find out from the store manager how soon the food items will be there.
Can a store give you a rain check if it's out of a WIC food item?
No, a store is not allowed to give out any rain checks for any WIC food items. If a store is often out of the foods listed on your voucher, please let your local WIC agency know or call the State WIC office.
What if the store doesn't have the brands you want?
Stores are required to carry a certain number of different brands of foods based on their size, but they are not required to carry all of the brands allowed by WIC. If they do not have the brand you want, you may need to go to another store. You can also check with a store manager to see if the store could order the food item.
Are lactose-reduced and lactose-free milk allowed?
These milks are allowed at state agency option. They do not require medical documentation.
Can you buy any kind of infant formula with your WIC vouchers?
No. Unlike other foods listed on your vouchers, you can only purchase the exact type of formula that is printed on your voucher.
What if the amount of produce you want to buy costs more than the voucher amount?
If the cost of the fruit/vegetables is more than the amount listed on the Fruit & Vegetables, voucher, you can pay the difference with cash, credit card or your California EBT card.
Can you use coupons with your WIC vouchers?
Yes. In fact, using coupons helps cut food costs allowing the WIC program to serve more people.
What if you need to exchange formula bought with your WIC vouchers?
Contact a WIC clinic in CA. The staff there should be able to exchange your unused formula for a different voucher.