PITTSBURGH, Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Canned Food Alliance (CFA) commends the Nevada Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program for adding canned beans to its food package beginning this month. The addition means that more than 76,000 people served by Nevada's WIC program will have access to canned beans, which not only are an excellent source of fiber, folate and manganese, but also provide a good source of protein, iron, potassium, magnesium and copper. Nevada already allows canned fruits and vegetables to be purchased with WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers.
"The state of Nevada is committed to providing nutritious foods to participants in our state WIC Program, and I was pleased to work with the National Lieutenant Governors Association and the Canned Food Alliance to make this a reality," said Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki. "The addition of canned beans to our state WIC program provides one more nutritional staple for those committed to a healthy diet that saves both time and money."
A national survey of WIC participants found nearly 10% did not regularly purchase dry beans and peas; a top reason given was because they were "too much trouble to prepare." Canned beans, as approved by USDA as part of the WIC program, include any type of mature beans, peas or lentils, up to 64 ounces, and are quick and easy to prepare.
"We encourage other state WIC programs to follow Nevada's lead and include canned fruits, vegetables and beans in their programs so families can enjoy the nutrition, affordability and convenience canned foods provide," said Rich Tavoletti, executive director for the CFA. "Unfortunately, some state WIC programs still do not allow canned foods. A healthy diet, particularly for those interested in saving time and money, should include all forms – canned, fresh, frozen and dried – of fruits, vegetables, beans and seafood."
A recent study highlights the convenience and time-savings that often comes with using canned foods. For example: It takes just six minutes to prepare a can of pinto beans (which provide fiber and protein), while it takes almost 2½ hours (soaking and cooking) for dried beans to be meal-ready.  When the cost of preparation time is considered, canned pinto beans cost $1 less per serving as a source of protein and fiber than dried beans.
A serving of canned beans provides 20% or more of daily fiber needs. Beans also are a great source of antioxidants; the darker the bean's color, the more antioxidants it has.
For more canned food studies, recipes and resources, visit www.mealtime.org.
About the Canned Food Alliance
The Canned Food Alliance, a National Strategic Partner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, is a consortium of steelmakers, can manufacturers, food processors and affiliate members that have joined together to drive increased consumption of canned foods by enhancing the perception of their numerous benefits, including nutrition, convenience, affordability and accessibility. For more information about canned food research, facts, resources, the canning process, family mealtime solutions, recipes that use canned foods and more, visit Mealtime.org.
 WIC survey, USDA/FNS, April 2012
 J Nutr and Food Sci, 2012
SOURCE Canned Food Alliance