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Dietary Risk Assessment in WIC

Job aid for WLOL course: Value Enhanced Nutrition Assessment (VENA)

What is VENA?

VENA is a participant-centered, health outcome-based approach to the WIC nutrition assessment, and puts the participant's needs and the goal of a healthy outcome at the core of WIC nutrition services.

VENA Guidance assists WIC State agencies in developing policies and procedures related to the WIC nutrition assessment. The USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) first issued VENA Guidance in 2006. Since then, State and local agencies have put new approaches into action and discovered more effective strategies to foster participants’ engagement in the WIC appointment and to encourage participants to adopt positive nutrition and physical activity behaviors.

Read more about VENA, and access the guidance right here on WIC Works.

The WIC nutrition assessment is the foundation for providing personalized WIC nutrition services to each participant.  An important part of the nutrition assessment is the dietary risk assessment.  The Food and Nutrition Service contracted with the Institute of Medicine (now called the Academy of Medicine) to propose a framework to assess dietary risk based on “failure to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans”.  This job aid summarizes the key findings and recommendations in the IOM report:  Dietary Risk Assessment in the WIC Program.

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