P002: Public Health Division

P002: Number of WIC clients participating in food tastings in WIC clinics with kitchens

986#FY 2018

Story Behind the Curve
  • This measure includes raising awareness among Women, Infants and Children (WIC) recipients about buying and preparing WIC eligible foods in an effort to shape healthy eating behaviors for children and families. 
  • Among New Mexico’s adults, 64.8% are overweight or obese (American Indian adults have the highest rates at over 74%). Similarly, over one in four adults in New Mexico ages 45 years and older has been diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases. Adults with lower socioeconomic status are at greater risk for adopting unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, becoming overweight or obese, and developing chronic disease. Almost 9 in 10 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients are children, elderly, disabled, or living with children.
  • April through June 2018, direct education in Dona Ana county was canceled due to lack of availability of New Mexico State University Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition Educators. However, attendance in ongoing clinics has increased in some locations such as Socorro where class attendance grew from 3 to as many as 25.
  • Advertising, cards, flyers and reminders, as well as regularly scheduled classes created recognition and interest in the tasting/cooking sessions.
  • MOSAIC, WIC’s new EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) platform, is being implemented statewide beginning in July. WIC has canceled classes for part of July, all of August and perhaps the first half of September to minimize conflict or distraction during the implementation. Plans to resume classes as well as reschedule classes in Dona Ana county are scheduled for September/October.
  • During FY18, 986 WIC clients participated in food tastings at WIC clinics. 
  • NMDOH WIC Program
  • County-level WIC staff providing services in public health offices
  • New Mexico State University (NMSU) Cooperative Extension Service nutrition educators
  • Healthy Kid Healthy Community (HKHC) coordinators and/or health promotion staff in Curry, Roosevelt, Socorro, Otero, Sandoval, and Valencia counties
What Works

With the addition of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) funding in FY16, ONAPA expanded its reach to the low-income adult population for the first time, specifically those participating in food assistance programs within tribal communities and high-poverty counties. The SNAP-Ed program has the greatest potential impact on nutrition and physical activity behaviors when interventions and strategies are geared towards low-income women and children. Targeting women and children captures a majority of SNAP-eligible recipients, many of whom also receive WIC benefits, and provides an opportunity to reinforce and build upon nutrition and physical activity education strategies across multiple programs.


ONAPA, WIC, and New Mexico State University are coordinating efforts to provide nutrition education through the implementation of food tastings and cooking demos for WIC recipients using WIC eligible foods, primarily fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

Action Plan
  • Q1: Work with NMDOH and SNAP-Ed partners to successfully launch and pilot food tastings for WIC recipients in WIC clinics with kitchens. Completed.
  • Q2: Implement food tastings and/or cooking demonstrations in six WIC clinics with kitchens. Completed.
  • Q3: Partner with regional WIC managers to market and promote implementation efforts to increase participation. Completed.
  • Q4: Recruit six additional WIC clinics to implement food tastings and/or cooking demonstrations. Incomplete - classes discontinued due to software transition at WIC until September/October when scheduling will be resumed.
FY18 Annual Progress Summary
  • Nutrition education cooking lessons and tastings provided by Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition Educators were successfully established in six WIC clinics in six counties. WIC participants regularly visit WIC clinics to receive their benefits and WIC nutrition education classes. The additional cooking lessons and tastings provided low-income mothers exposure to new, healthy foods and recipes through free classes. Classes occurred once a month, twice a month, or weekly, depending on Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition Educators’ availability.
  • Successful recruitment for classes included phone call reminders to participants the day before, half page flyers and wallet cards for participants to take home, and flyers posted in each WIC clinic.
  • Milestones were met due to strong partnership and consistent communication with WIC clinic managers and Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition Educators. An unforeseen transition in the software that WIC uses impacted quarter four plans to expand into additional WIC clinics.
Scorecard Result Program Indicator Performance Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy