Experiences of distress and gaps in government safety net supports among parents of young children during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted rapid federal, state, and local government policymaking to buffer families from the health and economic harms of the pandemic. However, there has been little attention to families’ perceptions of whether the pandemic safety net policy response was adequate, and what is needed to alleviate lasting effects on family well-being. This study More

Toddler milk: a scoping review of research on consumption, perceptions, and marketing practices

Toddler milk is an ultra-processed beverage consisting primarily of powdered milk, caloric sweeteners, and vegetable oil. Pediatric health authorities do not support the use of toddler milk, and emerging evidence suggests that toddler-milk marketing practices may mislead consumers. However, studies have not synthesized the extent of toddler-milk marketing practices or how these practices affect parents’ More

Comparison of Beverage Recommendations for Young Children: Opportunities for Alignment in U.S. Policy Guidance

In 2019, Healthy Eating Research (HER) developed recommendations on what children ages 0 to 5 should drink as part of a healthy diet, in partnership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Heart Association. Having one set of uniform recommendations provided More

“It has a lot to do with the cumbersome paperwork”: Barriers and facilitators of center-based early care and education (ECE) program participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally-regulated feeding program that reimburses early care and education (ECE) programs for providing nutritious meals to low-income children. Participation in CACFP is voluntary and varies widely across states. This study assessed barriers and facilitators of center-based ECE program participation in CACFP and identified potential strategies More

The Child and Adult Care Food Program and young children’s health: a systematic review

The objective of this review was to summarize the evidence for the impact of CACFP on children’s diet quality, weight status, food insecurity, and cognitive development. Nineteen articles were reviewed, most of which had been published since 2012. Seventeen used cross-sectional designs. Twelve evaluated foods and beverages served; 4 evaluated dietary intake; 4 evaluated the More

Healthy Snacks and Drinks for Toddlers: A Qualitative Study of Caregivers’ Understanding of Expert Recommendations and Perceived Barriers to Adherence

Despite expert recommendations, most toddlers consume sugary drinks and more sweet and salty snack foods than fruits and vegetables as snacks. Studies have examined toddler caregivers’ reasons for providing sugary drinks, but few have examined the reasons for providing nutritionally poor snack foods. Researchers conducted focus groups in one low-income community to assess caregivers’ familiarity, More

A Summary of Evidence Related to Key Food Groups Targeted in the Proposed WIC Revisions

On November 17, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced major food package revisions to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Among other changes, the proposed rule suggests removing juice from the food package, reducing the maximum allowance for milk, and requiring whole grain criteria in breakfast cereal. Therefore, More

Policy, system, and environmental interventions addressing obesity and diet-related outcomes in early childhood education settings: A systematic review

Early childhood education (ECE) settings play an important role in child dietary intake and excess weight gain. Policy, systems, and environment (PSE) approaches have potential to reduce disparities in children at higher risk for obesity. The purpose of this review was to (1) characterize the inclusion of populations at higher risk for obesity in ECE More

Water is K’é: A Community-Based Intervention to Increase Healthy Beverage Consumption by Navajo Preschool Children

This research brief gives an overview of the Water is K’é intervention, conducted among Navajo Nation families. The intervention was delivered by early care and education teachers to households with children ages 2-5, and covered the cultural importance of water, health benefits of water, and alternatives to sugary drinks. At baseline, more than 70% of children already More