In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began requiring that child-care sites participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) make drinking water available throughout the day and serve only low-fat or non-fat milk to children ages 2 years and older. In 2012, the California Healthy Beverages in Child Care law additionally required that all child-care sites in that state eliminate all beverages with added sweetener and limit the offering of 100 percent juice to once daily. This paper evaluates changes in beverages served to children ages 2 to 5 by comparing cross-sectional statewide samples of California child-care sites before (in 2008) and after (in 2012) the California and federal child-care beverage policies were implemented. Researchers found significant improvements in the beverages being served in child-care sites in 2012 compared with 2008. Significantly more sites served water with meals/snacks (47% vs. 28%) and made water available indoors for children to self-serve (77% vs. 69%), and fewer sites served whole milk usually (9% vs. 22%). While 60.2 percent of survey respondents reported being aware of the new beverages polices in 2012, only 23.2 percent of sites were judged fully compliant with the California law.
Policy Improves What Beverages are Served to Young Children in Child Care
Drinking water is promoted to improve beverage nutrition and reduce the prevalence of obesity. The aims of this study were to identify how water was provided to children in child-care settings and to determine the extent to which water access changed after a federal and state child-care care beverage policy … More
Evaluating the Impact of a California Statute Regulating Beverages Served in Licensed Child-Care Settings
Because lifelong diet habits are shaped in early childhood, California Food Policy Advocates worked with the California Legislature to successfully pass legislation creating healthy beverage standards for all licensed child-care settings. California is among the first states to establish such standards for licensed child care. This project seeks to evaluate … More
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More