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J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 May;105(5):790-3.

Dietary intakes at child-care centers in central Texas fail to meet Food Guide Pyramid recommendations.

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  • 1Nutritional Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.


The purpose of this study was to compare the dietary intakes of children who attend child-care centers with the recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children. Three-day dietary records were obtained for 50 children ages 3 to 5 years old who attended nine child-care centers in central Texas. Dietary intakes during child care were measured by a researcher, and dietary intakes at home were recorded by a parent. During child care, the 3-year-old children consumed sufficient fruits and meat/alternates, but not sufficient grains, vegetables, or dairy to meet two thirds of Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children recommendations. The 4- and 5-year-old children only consumed sufficient dairy. Ninety-one percent (20 of 22) of the 3-year-old children met two thirds of their estimated energy requirements during child care, compared with 5% (1 of 20) of 4-year-old children and 25% (2 of 8) of 5-year-old children. Intakes at home did not compensate for lack of grain and vegetable consumption during child care.

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