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Child care sites participating in the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program provide more nutritious foods and beverages

Objective: To compare food/beverage provisions between child care sites participating and not participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Design: Cross-sectional survey administered in 2016. Setting: Licensed child care centers and homes. Participants: Child care providers (n = 2,400) randomly selected from California databases (30% responded). Respondents (n = 680) were primarily site directors (89%) at child care centers (83%) participating in CACFP (70%). Main Outcome Measures: Meals/snacks served, and food/beverage provisions provided to children of age 1?5 years on the day before the survey. Analysis: Odds ratios unadjusted and adjusted for the number of meals/snacks using logistic regression. Results: Compared with CACFP sites, non-CACFP sites provided fewer meals/snacks; had lower odds of providing vegetables, meats/poultry/fish, eggs, whole grains, and milk; and had higher odds of providing candy, salty snacks, and sugary drinks. After adjusting for the number of meals/snacks, differences were attenuated but remained significant for meats/poultry/fish, milk, candy, salty snacks (centers only), and sugary drinks. Differences emerged in favor of CACFP for flavored/sugar-added yogurt, sweet cereals, frozen treats, and white grains. Conclusions and Implications: Child care sites participating in CACFP are more likely to provide nutritious foods/beverages compared with non-CACFP sites. Child care sites are encouraged to participate in or follow CACFP program guidelines. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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