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VNA of Care New England

Nutrition Compliance Up for Head Start Providers

Greater compliance with Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics feeding practices than other providers
FRIDAY, Jan. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Head Start child-care providers have greater compliance with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommended feeding practices than Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and non-CACFP providers, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Dipti A. Dev, and Brent A. McBride, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, assessed whether child-care providers met the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics benchmarks and whether attainment of benchmarks varied across child-care contexts (Head Start, CACFP, and non-CACFP). One hundred eighteen child-care providers completed self-administered surveys regarding their feeding practices for 2- to 5-year-old children in 2011 and 2012.
The researchers found that, compared with CACFP and non-CACFP providers, Head Start providers more frequently sat with children during meals, ate the same food, and served meals family style. More nutrition-education opportunities were received by Head Start providers, parents, and children than CACFP and non-CACFP. Compared with CACFP and non-CACFP providers, Head Start providers encouraged more balance and a variety of foods, offered healthier foods, modeled healthy eating, and taught children about nutrition. Across all three contexts, providers used significantly more non-internal than internal mealtime verbal comments.
"Head Start providers had greater compliance with the Academy's benchmarks compared with CACFP and non-CACFP providers," the authors write. "Possible reasons for this compliance might be attributed to Head Start nutrition performance standards and increased nutrition-training opportunities for Head Start staff."
Abstract (http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(13)00649-7/abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(13)00649-7/fulltext )
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