News article

USDA to update the child care meal guidelines shortly!

Posted:  Monday, June 15, 2015

This recent news may bring a smile to the faces of health professionals in the United States of America who are batting for child health. The U.S Department of Agriculture will shortly update the child care meal guidelines to ensure that they align with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This move is highly welcomed as it spells success for child nutrition as well as child care business owners.

The following changes are proposed:

- Incorporating fruits and vegetables as snacks

- Including more whole grains in the diet

- Reducing the amount of fat and sugar in the meals served

- No longer offering fruit juice to infants below 1 year of age

- Increased support for breastfeeding in child care settings

"The current rule these providers follow means serving meals that are less nutritious by regulation than what you may want your child to be served," said Sandy Proctor, Assistant professor of Human Nutrition in Kansas State University.

Sandy Proctor adds that although breastfeeding is the recommended mode of feeding for the first 6 months, it was counterproductive for child care centres. The new guidance aims to reimburse these centres for providing nutritious meals to breastfed babies thus making it profitable for these establishments too.

More than 3 million children in the US receive meals through the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program each day. If these guidelines are accepted it will have a positive effect on not just the health of children but also on the economic feasibility of caretakers to provide nutritious food.

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