The Department of Defense (DoD) offers the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Overseas Program to eligible participants living overseas. The WIC Overseas Program provides you and your family with several important benefits:
- Nutritious food
- Tips on how to prepare balanced meals
- Nutrition and health screenings
- Access to other resources that help you and your family lead healthier lives
The WIC Overseas Program is available to eligible participants living overseas, including:
- Civilian employees
- DoD contractors
- Family members
- Members of the uniformed services
WIC Overseas counselors determine eligibility for the program by evaluating income, family size, and certain other criteria.
Once you or a family member is certified by a WIC Overseas counselor, you or the family member can enroll in the program. Your WIC Overseas counselor will determine how long you can participate in the program. Those who may be eligible for the WIC Overseas Program include:
- Expectant mothers during pregnancy and throughout the first six weeks after giving birth*
- Mothers until the infant is six months old if bottle-feeding or one year old if breast-feeding
- Infants and children until the end of the month in which they turn age five
*After six weeks, mothers must contact a WIC Overseas counselor and reapply under either the bottle-feeding or breast-feeding category.
Contact your local WIC Overseas office to see if you and your children are eligible for WIC Overseas nutritional benefits. A WIC Overseas counselor will help you determine if you qualify and, if so, will help you get started.
How WIC Overseas Works
The WIC Overseas Program is designed to supplement the food you regularly buy with additional nutritional food items. WIC Overseas Program staff will provide ideas for meal planning, food preparation, and recipes that are nutritious, delicious, and easy to prepare. Your counselor will give you an approved food list and redeemable food checks called "drafts," which you exchange for specific foods and quantities in overseas commissaries and NEXMARTs (drafts are accepted only at these overseas stores).
Food items generally available through the WIC Overseas Program include:
- Canned tuna, salmon, and mackerel
- Dried beans or peas
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Infant fruits and vegetables
- Iron-fortified infant formula and infant cereal
- Iron-fortified adult cereal
- Peanut butter
- Vitamin C-rich fruit and/or vegetable juice
- Whole-grain bread and/or brown rice
Substitutions are not allowed. If the commissary or NEXMART does not have the item listed on your draft, keep the draft until the item is in stock. However, be aware of the draft's expiration date.
In addition to providing nutritious food and healthy meal planning, the WIC Overseas Program offers a nutritional screening for you and your children. This screening may help identify medical conditions early so that you can seek proper medical advice.