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J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Oct;113(10):1346-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.05.023. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics benchmarks for nutrition in child care 2011: are child-care providers across contexts meeting recommendations?

Abstract

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) recommends feeding practices for child-care providers to establish nutrition habits in early childhood to prevent obesity. With >12 million US children in child care, little is known about child-care providers' feeding practices. The purpose of this study was to examine child-care providers' feeding practices to assess whether providers met the Academy's benchmarks and whether attainment of benchmarks varied across child-care contexts (Head Start, Child and Adult Care Food Program [CACFP], and non-CACFP). Cross-sectional data was collected in 2011 and 2012 from 118 child-care providers who completed self-administered surveys regarding their feeding practices for 2- to 5-year-old children. χ(2) tests and analysis of variance were used to determine variation across contexts. Head Start providers sat more frequently with children during meals (P=0.01), ate the same foods as children (P=0.001), and served meals family style (P<0.0001) more often compared with CACFP and non-CACFP providers. Head Start providers (P=0.002), parents (P=0.001), and children (P=0.01) received more nutrition-education opportunities compared with CACFP and non-CACFP. Head Start providers encouraged more balance and variety of foods (P<0.05), offered healthier foods (P<0.05), modeled healthy eating (P<0.001), and taught children about nutrition (P<0.001) compared with CACFP and non-CACFP providers. Providers across all three contexts used significantly more non-internal than internal mealtime verbal comments (P<0.0001). Head Start providers had greater compliance with the Academy's benchmarks compared with CACFP and non-CACFP providers. Possible reasons for this compliance might be attributed to Head Start nutrition performance standards and increased nutrition-training opportunities for Head Start staff. Head Start programs can serve as a model in implementing the Academy's benchmarks.

Copyright © 2013 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Child and Adult Care Food Program; Child-care nutrition policies; Child-care providers; Feeding practices; Head Start Program

PMID:
23916973
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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