Changes to the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program Can Improve Children’s Health says this Research and Analysis
Taken from Pew Charitable Trust Fact Sheet, May 2, 2016
Overview: The federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides funding for meals and snacks in a variety of child care, after-school, and adult day care institutions that contribute to the health and wellness of young children, older adults, and chronically impaired disabled people. More than 3 million children are served each day through this program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a final rule that includes several updates to the program that are intended to better meet children’s nutritional needs without increasing costs.
As part of an ongoing health impact assessment, the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project conducted a systematic literature review to assess the potential impact of the USDA’s proposed changes to the CACFP meal and snack nutrition standards for young children, which the agency first outlined in early 2015.1 The researchers examined peer-reviewed and gray literature on the nutritional quality of foods served in CACFP, consumption rates, health disparities among participating children, nutrition-related health outcomes, and policy interventions that states and child care providers have implemented to improve consumption of healthy foods. Overall, the literature indicates that the updates to the CACFP nutrition standards present opportunities for positive health effects on the children the program serves. Read the rest of this article