The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed updated nutrition standards for foods and beverages served in Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) participating child-care centers and homes. This study will contribute to the tracking of successes and challenges following implementation of the new nutrition standards, and will build off of two prior HER-funded studies that evaluated the nutrition of foods and beverages served in California child-care settings. The aims of the current study are to: 1) assess what is served to children ages 0 to 5 in licensed child-care before implementation of new CACFP standards to establish a baseline for comparison with a post-implementation assessment; 2) expand data collection to a new age group, infants and toddlers ages 0 to 24 months; 3) measure improvement in child-care nutrition since the 2008 and 2012 surveys from past HER-funded studies; 4) verify the superiority of nutrition in CACFP sites to those not participating in CACFP; and 5) identify and develop policy options to address barriers to full implementation of new nutrition standards. A survey that includes the types of foods and beverages currently being served, as well as perceived barriers to providing healthier items proposed by the USDA, will be administered to a randomly selected sample of licensed child-care providers in California. Stakeholder interviews will also be conducted to help identify and explain implementation barriers and solutions to those barriers, and a policy convening will be held with child-care providers and administrators, CACFP sponsors, advocates, and policymakers to review and discuss study findings and contribute to the development of policy options.
Gathering Baseline Data to Understand Implementation Changes and the Impact of the New Child and Adult Care Food Program Standards
This research brief summarizes findings from an exploratory study of a diverse sample of juvenile justice residential facilities in North Carolina conducted by RTI International. The study examined food service operations, agency and facility level policies and practices pertaining to nutrition, participation in federal school nutrition programs, and additional food … More
Farm-to-School Education Grants Reach Low-Income Children and Encourage Them to Learn About Fruits and Vegetables
For children from low-income families, school meals are a significant portion of daily caloric intake and hence an opportunity to address food insecurity. Many states have pursued legislation to institutionalize programs such as farm to school that aim to improve the quality of school meals and acceptance of healthy foods … More
Technical Scientific Report. Healthy Beverage Consumption in Early Childhood: Recommendations from Key National Health and Nutrition Organizations
Research shows that what children drink – from birth through age 5 – can have a big impact on their health, as beverages make a significant contribution to dietary intake during this period. However, with so many choices available in the marketplace, it can be confusing for parents and caregivers … More