Posts Tagged: child care
Nutrition Policy Institute submits comments to USDA in opposition of proposed rule to roll back nutrition standards for meals in child care and school
The Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) submitted on April 22, 2020 comments in strong opposition to the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) “Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs” proposed rule. The proposed rule would roll back nutrition standards in both the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. For nearly twenty years, researchers at the NPI and its predecessor organization have engaged in research and evaluation to improve nutrition policy in California and the nation, with special emphasis on the challenges for low-income children in accessing a healthy diet. "Today, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges have been greatly magnified," commented NPI Policy Director Ken Hecht. "The numbers of unemployed low-income families whose children need nutrition assistance has grown exponentially at the very time when schools, the operating site for most child nutrition programs, are closed. Fortunately, Congress and the USDA have acted quickly to expand and ease access to the essential food programs. Unfortunately, the proposed rules to which these comments are addressed seem largely counterproductive to children's health and well being and unresponsive to the pandemic."
New study from Nutrition Policy Institute shows beverages improve in child care after California's 2010 Healthy Beverages in Child Care Act
Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) researchers' latest study of 680 licensed child care providers across California evaluating adherence to California's 2010 Healthy Beverages in Child Care Act (CA AB2084) suggests that nearly half were adherent to the policy in 2016, an increase from about one quarter shortly after the policy was implemented in 2012. The study was published in Preventing Chronic Disease. California's AB2084 policy requires licensed child care sites to (1) serve only lowfat or nonfat milk to children two years of age or older, (2) limit juice to not more than one serving per day of 100-percent juice, (3) serve no beverages with added sweeteners, either natural or artificial, and (4) make clean and safe drinking water readily available and accessible for consumption throughout the day. These requirements align with the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) nutrition standards. Providers participating in CACFP and child care centers were found to be more compliant than those not participating in CACFP and family child care homes, respectively. In 2016, providers were most adherent to the sugar-sweetened beverages (97%) and 100% juice (91%) requirements, while fewer were adherent to the requirements on drinking water (77%) and milk (65%). To support increased adherence to the beverage policy, NPI collaborated with Abbey Alkon from the UC San Francisco School of Nursing and California Childcare Health Program to develop a free online training in English and Spanish for California child care providers, funded by the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The statewide child care study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Eating Research Program, and was conducted in collaboration with Elyse Homel Vitale of the Child Care Food Program Roundtable (previously with California Food Policy Advocates) and Sallie Yoshida of Social Policy Research Associates (previously with Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research & Evaluation).
The University of California is providing a free online course, Healthy Beverages in Early Care & Education, in English and Spanish for child care providers in California. This 30-minute online class is a fun and interactive way to learn about the latest recommendations for healthy beverages for children and help child care providers meet the requirements of the California Healthy Beverages in Child Care Act (AB 2084). Providers outside of California may have similar beverage requirements. All young children, regardless of licensing or Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) requirements, can benefit from consuming healthy beverages.
The class includes videos, short quizzes, activities, and covers topics such as milk, types of fruit juice, and reading nutrition labels. A professional development certificate will be provided upon completion. The course is available for child care providers outside of California for a $15 fee. A promotional toolkit is available in English and Spanish to help community-based organizations and stakeholders share the online training with child care providers in their communities. This toolkit contains messages, social media postings, and images to help organizations and individuals reach out to a variety of child care audiences. This class was developed by the UCSF School of Nursing, California Childcare Health Program in partnership with the UC Nutrition Policy Institute and Cooperative Extension, with support from a grant by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.