In July 2018 the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics released a benchmark encouraging early care and education (ECE) programs, including child care centers and family child care homes, to incorporate cultural and religious food preferences of children into meals. We examined the extent to which states were already doing so through their ECE licensing and administrative regulations prior to the release of the benchmark. This review may serve as a baseline to assess future updates, if more states incorporate the benchmark into their regulations. For this cross-sectional study, we reviewed ECE regulations for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (hereafter states) through June 2018. We assessed consistency with the benchmark for centers and homes. We conducted Spearman correlations to estimate associations between the year the regulations were updated and consistency with the benchmark. Among centers, eight states fully met the benchmark, 11 partially met the benchmark, and 32 did not meet the benchmark. Similarly for homes, four states fully met the benchmark, 13 partially met the benchmark, and 34 did not meet the benchmark. Meeting the benchmark was not correlated with the year of last update for centers (P = 0.54) or homes (P = 0.31). Most states lacked regulations consistent with the benchmark. Health professionals can help encourage ECE programs to consider cultural and religious food preferences of children in meal planning. And, if feasible, states may consider additional regulations supporting cultural and religious preferences of children in future updates to regulations.
State Regulations to Support Children’s Cultural and Religious Food Preferences in Early Care and Education
Media and Young Minds: Comparing State Screen Media Use Regulations for Children Under 24 Months of Age in Early Care and Education to a National Standard
Excessive screen media use has been associated with a number of negative health outcomes in young children, including increased risk for obesity and comparatively lagging cognitive development. The purpose of this study was to assess state licensing regulations restricting screen media use for children under 24 months old in early … More
This cross-sectional study reviewed infant feeding regulations for all U.S. states for child care centers and family child care homes, then compared the regulations with ten national standards and also assessed the number of new regulations consistent with these standards since a previous review conducted in 2008. The 2008 review … More
This study updates a previous review, conducted in 2012, assessing the extent to which state child care regulations support a woman’s ability to continue to breastfeed her infant in child care. For this study, child care regulations were reviewed related to breastfeeding for centers and homes in all 50 states … More
Evaluating State Regulation of Early Care and Education Settings to Strengthen Licensing Laws Related to Healthy Feeding and Active Play
The aim of this study is to describe state child-care licensing laws relating to healthy eating and active play targeting children ages 0 to 2 in early care and education settings for all U.S. states and territories. Investigators will use legal research methods to search state websites, the commercial legal … More