2021 Folic Acid Awareness Week

Health and Wellness Nutrition Education Pregnancy

Folic Acid is a Healthy Habit

The CDC recommends that all women of reproductive age consume 400 mcg of folic acid, and pregnant women consume 600 mcg, each day to prevent two types of neural tube defects. During Folic Acid Awareness Week, observed January 3-9, 2021 (as well as the entire month for National Birth Defects Prevention Month), WIC staff are encouraged to take the opportunity to enhance their efforts to educate moms about the role folic acid plays in preventing congenital disabilities, and how their WIC food packages include folic acid-rich foods.

The legumes, whole grains, fruits (particularly citrus), vegetables (especially asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and dark leafy greens), and breakfast cereals available to participants through the WIC program are good sources of folic acid, a nutrient that's especially important for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Staff Learning and Education Resources

WIC staff can brush up on folic acid basics and find educational resources via Eye on Nutrition: Folate and Folic Acid. Among the education materials available are facts sheets, an infographic, videos, podcasts, an interactive quiz and more! Many resources are available in Spanish.

Be sure to check out folic acid-rich recipes WIC staff have shared with us.

Promotional Resources

Due to the important role that folic acid plays in preventing birth defects, WIC staff can use these promotional resources to raise awareness of the importance of this topic. 

CDC offers infographics and web buttons you can post to your website, blogs, electronic newsletters and social media channels to help increase the awareness of birth defects.

In conjunction with CDC, AAP, state health departments, and other entities, the National Birth Defects Prevention Network created a toolkit for a number of communication platforms that offers:

  • videos (including one in Spanish)
  • themed resources related to each of the 5 Tips for Preventing Birth Defects (for folic acid-specific materials, see page 3)
  • a fact sheet for dads
  • graphics and social media ideas (including sample posts)
  • a proclamation that can be tailored to your state
  • a sample news release
  • resources to help evaluate your social media reach
  • materials adapted for local public health agencies

Family Support and Advocacy 

Pregnant woman eating a salad
Developed by: National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN)
HHS, CDC, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
HHS, Office on Women's Health