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Study of Nutrition and Activity in Child Care Settings: Summary of findings


The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). CACFP plays a critical role in supporting the health and wellness of children by providing reimbursements to child care programs for nutritious meals and snacks served to eligible children. This report summarizes the purpose, approach, and findings of the Study of Nutrition and Activity in Child Care Settings (SNACS), which was, in part, congressionally mandated and is the first nationally representative comprehensive assessment of the wellness policies and practices of CACFP-participating programs, the nutritional quality of CACFP-reimbursed meals and snacks, the cost and revenues of those meals and snacks, and the 24-hour dietary intake of CACFP-participating children on a day spent in care and on a day not in care. SNACS is the first national study of nutrition and wellness practices in CACFP in more than 20 years. CACFP operates in several types of child care settings. SNACS included a nationally representative sample of child care programs participating in CACFP: child care centers, Head Start programs, family day care homes, at-risk afterschool programs, and outside-of-school hours programs. In this report, child care centers, Head Start programs, and family day care homes are referred to collectively as “early child care programs,” and at-risk afterschool and outside-of-school hours programs are collectively referred to as “before and after school programs.” (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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