Child and Adult Care Food Program: Aligning Dietary Guidance for All

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National Academies Press, May 6, 2011 - Medical - 310 pages
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The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally-funded program designed to provide healthy meals and snacks to children and adults while receiving day care at participating family day care homes, traditional child care centers, afterschool facilities, adult care facilities, and emergency shelters. CACFP has the broadest scope of any of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food program, serving more than 3 million children and 114,000 adults across the nation. To receive reimbursement for the foods served, participating programs must abide by requirements set by the USDA.

Child and Adult Care Food Program assesses the nutritional needs of the CACFP population based on Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and makes recommendations for revisions to the CACFP meal requirements. The book outlines meal requirements that include food specifications that could be used for specific meals and across a full day, covering all age groups from infants to older adults and meal patterns designed for use in a variety of settings, including in-home care and in large centers. By implementing these meal requirements, consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain rich foods will increase while consumption of solid fats, added sugars, and sodium will decrease. Not only will this address the high prevalence of childhood obesity, it will also help to achieve consistency with the standards and regulations of other USDA nutrition assistance programs, particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.

Child and Adult Care Food Program makes practical recommendations that would bring CACFP meals and snacks into alignment with current dietary guidance. The book will serve as a vital resource for federal and state public health officials, care providers working in child and adult day care facilities, WIC agencies, officials working with the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, and other organizations serving at-risk populations.

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