Rhode Island childcare centers using federal nutrition subsidy served healthier food

July 14, 2016

News from Brown, July 14, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A new Brown University study suggests that in Rhode Island, the nutritional requirements imposed by a federal food subsidy program for daycare centers that serve low-income children have resulted in kids at those centers eating healthier food than kids at centers that do not participate in the program.

The analysis, based on the survey responses of more than 100 directors of centers around the state serving children aged 18 months to 5 years, suggest that if all daycare centers followed nutritional guidelines — such as the ones enforced by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) — more kids might receive better nutrition.

"I encourage all childcare facilities to follow the CACFP guidelines voluntarily as a check on the nutritional quality of what is being served," said Patricia Risica, lead author of the study in BMC Nutrition and research assistant professor in the Brown University School of Public Health. "Alternatively, I would encourage the state regulations to include CACFP guidelines for all licensed childcare facilities."

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