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Nutrition provided to infants in licensed childcare centers and homes: A descriptive study

Infant nutrition can influence development, eating behaviors and obesity risk. Nearly half of infants in the U.S. are in non-parental care where they consume much of their daily nutrition. Because little is known about the quality of infant nutrition in childcare, the study objective was to characterize the foods and beverages provided to infants in childcare in California. Methods From a randomly selected sample of 2,400 licensed childcare in California, 736 responded to a 2016 survey; a subset of 297 cared for infants. Differences in 26 foods and 7 beverages provided between centers and homes, and by CACFP participation, were assessed using logistic regression models adjusted for CACFP participation and whether the site was a center or home, respectively. Results Several differences between centers and homes were identified. One the day prior to the survey, more centers than homes ever provided cow's milk (25.1% vs 13.0%, p = 0.02) and whole grains (76.7% vs 62.9%, p = 0.03), and fewer centers than homes provided frozen treats (1.4% vs 10.3%, p = 0.003). When comparing difference by CACFP participation, fewer CACFP than non-CACFP sites usually provided breastmilk (32.6% vs 54.2%, p = 0.0004) and ever provided cow's milk (14.2% vs 37.1%, p
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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