Assessing Nutrition Quality in CACFP Participating Child-Care Centers Prior to Implementation of Revised Meal Patterns
In January 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a proposed rule detailing potential changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) regulations, which are expected to improve the nutritional quality of foods served in CACFP-participating child-care centers. This study will collect baseline data for Connecticut CACFP-participating child-care centers to document the impact of this major policy change. The study objectives are to: 1) assess the nutrition environment of CACFP-participating centers prior to implementation of USDA’s revised CACFP meal patterns, to establish a baseline to assessment of the policy impact; 2) compare CACFP-participating to non-participating centers currently being assessed by a USDA-funded study; and 3) conduct a longitudinal analysis using data from a previous HER-funded study to identify changes in CACFP-participating centers over time. The research team will collect observational and survey data from a sample of CACFP child-care centers in Connecticut, and findings will be analyzed using regression models. Findings will be critical to the evaluation of the USDA’s proposed rule, and help inform future discussions around implementation of nutrition standards in child care.
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