California WIC is Switching Formulas Brands
California WIC is switching from Enfamil brand formula to Similac brand, as of August 1, 2022. This change is due to CDPH/WIC starting a new infant formula contract. This is because WIC is required to provide the infant formula with the best contract price. The more WIC saves on formula costs, the more families WIC can serve. The amount of formula WIC provides per age will not change.
The new contract formulas available through WIC are:
- Similac Advance (12.4 oz. powder or 13 fl. Oz. liquid concentrate)
- Similac Sensitive (12.5 oz. powder only)
- Enfamil ProSobee Soy-Based (12.9 oz. powder or 13 fl. oz. liquid concentrate)
Similac Total Comfort and Similac for Spit-Up are also included in the new contract. However, these are expected to be available on the market for purchase at a later date due to supply delays.
Families who receive Enfamil Gentlease, Reguline, or AR should talk to WIC staff. Staff can help families choose a Similac formula that best meets the needs of their baby.
Use your WIC app to see your food benefits and check the brand when you shop. Look for Similac brands in your store when they are listed in your WIC Food Balance. Buy the brand, type, size, and number of cans included in your WIC Food Balance.
Formula Transition Safety
Keep your baby healthy, nourished, and growing well. Follow the mixing directions printed on each container of formula. Never water down the formula to save money or change the taste of the formula. Adding too much water, even for a short adjustment period, will lower the number of calories and nutrients your baby consumes.
All standard formulas for healthy babies must meet the same strict guidelines established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Formulas must meet high standards for both quality and nutrition. Similac and Enfamil brand formulas have similar products with similar ingredients. Most babies easily change from one brand to another.
Check the MyFamily.WIC.ca.gov for more information, feeding tips, and answers to your formula questions. Talk to your health care provider if you think your baby is having a hard time changing formula.
Q: How do I know I am purchasing the right Similac formula?
A: The California WIC App will list the benefits available to you. You should buy the brand, type, size, and number of cans listed in your WIC Food Balance. You can use the WIC App’s scan feature to check the UPC barcodes on the formula containers to be sure you are getting the right formula. If you currently have benefits for Enfamil formula, continue to use your current Enfamil formula benefits until they expire. Your next benefits will include Similac products.
Q: My baby gets special formula with a prescription from a doctor. Will that change too?
A: If your baby has a doctor’s prescription for a special formula, continue to work with the staff at your WIC office. They can help with requests for medically necessary formulas.
Q: Can I trust the quality of Similac products?
A: Yes, you can rely on the quality of Similac infant formulas. Similac’s manufacturer, Abbott, instituted a voluntary recall. After shutting down their Sturgis plant temporarily, and after a thorough investigation by the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Abbott Laboratories, there has been no conclusive evidence to link Abbott's formulas to infant illnesses.
Abbott is now doing even more quality checks on each batch of formula prior to release. This includes using new technology and improved methods to ensure the highest standards in making its infant formulas.
Read more about the Similac infant formulas at the Similac website.
Q: What if my baby struggles with the new formula?
A: Changing between formula brands is not usually a problem. The biggest difference between brands is usually taste. Most formula-fed babies make the change easily. It may take a few feedings before your baby gets used to the taste of the new formula. Stay with the new brand for at least a week or two. If you think your baby is having a hard time changing formula, talk to your health care provider or our WIC staff.