Mom's WIC-Approved TikTok Recipes Go Viral

by Madison Vanderberg

Marissa “Sunni” Rudd’s WIC-approved TikTok meals have reached over 45,000 moms

When Marissa “Sunni” Rudd joined TikTok, she just wanted to document her life and her pregnancy. After making a drool-worthy breakfast scramble using only WIC-approved ingredients, she found herself creating a new TikTok niche: easy, healthy, accessible meals made using WIC-approved ingredients.

Almost all of the meals that Rudd shares on her TikTok can be made exclusively using WIC-approved ingredients.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, provides food to eligible lower-income people who are pregnant, postpartum, or have infants and children up to age 5. However, unlike the SNAP program (previously and sometimes still colloquially referred to as “food stamps”), which gives people money to buy a variety of foods as grocery stores, WIC benefits can only be used to purchase certain foods.

Knowing that it can be frustrating to put together an entire meal within the limits of what WIC allows, Rudd tells Mashable that a lot of the meals on her TikTok are inspired by the feeling of “Like, when you’re down to your last dollar and you only have your WIC card, what are you gonna make?”

For example, in New York, where Rudd lives, there are a lot of healthy foods WIC-approved foods (though Rudd says finding them all can be an issue in the city), but there are limits on so many common foods like cheese (no shredded cheese, no string cheese), eggs (regular only, no jumbo or organic), baby food (nothing that comes in a pouch). Also, the kinds of ingredients that you always find in cookbooks (like nuts, herbs, dried fruits) are all off-limits in the WIC program.

Her first video using only WIC Approved foods was this awesome-looking breakfast scramble with peppers, potatoes, and avocado.

After that, her followers asked her to keep making TikTok meals using only WIC-approved ingredients anda trend was born!

This quick chili lunch needs only canned beans, onions, peppers, jalapenos, and crushed tomatoes and looks extremely hearty and cozy and unlike regular chili doesn’t need an entire day to sit in a slow cooker.

Her meals are accessible, not just in price and ingredients, but the average home chef can actually recreate these meals — which I can’t say about half of FoodTok.

Blender pancakes made with oatmeal, banana, milk, and peanut butter? I’m sold.

She also has hacks like using crushed corn flakes for breading fried foods as flour isn’t on the WIC list. Plus, most of her recipes are vegetarian (“You don’t really get any protein on WIC. You get tuna and salmon, but only some people get that,” she tells Mashable), so she hopes her veggie-forward meals help people think outside the box when it comes to getting protein with meat-free meals. “You have to be creative in that way, and I find that’s not something everyone knows how to do,” she shared.

Mashable reports that her TikTok is so popular that she’s gearing up to launch a cookbook soon and she’s prepping to meet with the actual WIC program to hopefully address some of the issues that new mom’s find while shopping within the limits of the program. At the end of the day, Rudd says, “I hope that anyone who needs to see [my TikTok] comes across it…and they come across the WIC mama community. I hope they come across that name and feel empowered by what they find.”