Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Assessing Drivers of Disparity in Child Care Center Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program in 4 States with High Poverty

The study will address a gap in knowledge, providing insight into facilitators and barriers to CACFP uptake by eligible centers and actionable recommendations to address challenges in high-need areas where child poverty is exceptionally high, but resources are limited. The project goals and objectives are to: (1) Assess the historical and structural facilitators and barriers More

Date: September 2020

Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Understanding the lost opportunity of the Child and Adult Care Food Program in improving child nutrition and reducing health inequities

The USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) plays a large role in supporting nutrition in child care settings, specifically targeting these benefits to low-income populations. Foods provided to children participating in CACFP programs must meet specific nutrition standards in order to be reimbursed with federal funds. This study seeks to understand how the More

Date: February 2020

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Early Childhood Nutrition Policy & Programs

Childhood Obesity: ECE Policy and Practice Special Journal Issue

Childhood Obesity published a special theme journal issue on early care and education programs (ECE) policy and practice. It unites a group of outstanding researchers focusing on the role of policies and practices within ECE programs to support healthy practices. Each article addresses one or more important influences, including public policies, such as the federally More

Date: September 2018

Resource Type: Special Journal Issue

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program Is Associated with Healthier Nutrition Environments at Family Child Care Homes in Mississippi

This study describes the foods and beverages offered, nutrition practices, and nutrition policies of family child care homes in Mississippi and differences by participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). A random sample of family child care homes that enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in Mississippi were examined through a self-report tool. Foods More

Date: May 2018

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Predictors of Nutrition Quality in Early Child Education Settings in Connecticut

This study assessed the dietary quality of lunches and feeding practices in Connecticut child care centers and made comparisons by center participation in the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Specifically, overall energy, macronutrient intake, and intake by CACFP meal component were compared with CACFP requirements and recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. More

Date: May 2018

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time. Research Review: 2010-2016

Over the last six years, efforts to strengthen policies, systems, and environments to promote health and prevent obesity have become more robust and widespread. These efforts include updates to federal policies and programs, state regulations, local policies, and evidence-based guidance. The goal of the current research review is to provide the most up-to-date information on More

Date: January 2018

Resource Type: Research Review

Focus Areas: Early Childhood Nutrition Policy & Programs

Updated Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) Tool

The Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) is a tool designed to evaluate practices, environmental attributes, and policies of early care and education settings that influence children’s nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary environments. The tool has been updated to assess all current best practices in Go NAP SACC. The EPAO has been expanded to More

Date: June 2017

Resource Type: Tools & Measures

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Mapping the Food Policy Environment in Minnesota Child Care

Child care providers are a vital part of healthy, thriving communities. Over half of children between the ages of zero and five spend significant time in non-parental child care. These early years are critical for healthy brain development and establishing the habits that last a lifetime. Laws and policies shape how we think of “quality” More

Date: June 2017

Resource Type: Tools & Measures

Focus Areas: Early Childhood Nutrition Policy & Programs

Feeding Infants and Young Toddlers: Using the Latest Evidence in Child-Care Settings

Early life diet and feeding behaviors play an important role in establishing healthy food preferences and behaviors and are crucial for preventing childhood overweight and obesity. Early Care and Education (ECE) providers are key players in the implementation of feeding and dietary guidelines targeting infants and toddlers. This issue brief provides guidance for ECE providers More

Date: May 2017

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Examining the Degree of Implementation of Healthy Beverage Policies in Child-Care Programs in Georgia to Inform Health Promotion

Increasing access to water and other healthy beverages and reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages are viable strategies to prevent childhood obesity. In 2014, Georgia (GA) added beverage provisions to child-care licensing regulation. This study will examine the extent to which beverage policies are implemented. The specific aims of this project are to: 1) assess the More

Date: February 2017

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Beverages Early Childhood