Through this program, day care centers offering meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) play a critical role in supporting the wellness, health, and development of children, through the provision of nutritious foods. Child care providers, like us, have a powerful opportunity to instill healthy habits in young children that serve as a foundation for healthy choices in life.
Through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, USDA made the first major changes in the CACFP meals and snacks since the Program’s inception in 1968, which will help ensure children and adults have access to healthy, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. The updated CACFP nutrition standards will help safeguard the health of children early in their lives and improve the wellness of adults.
Under the updated CACFP nutrition standards, meals and snacks served will include a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat. In addition, the standards also encourage breastfeeding, and align the CACFP with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and with other Child Nutrition Programs.
The updated standards for meals and snacks served in the CACFP are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, science-based recommendations made by the National Academy of Medicine. These improvements are expected to enhance the quality of meals served in CACFP to help young children learn healthy eating habits early on in their lives and improve the wellness of adult participants.
This information was copied from the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service web site.
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