New USDA Rules for Meals and Snacks in the Child and Adult Care Food Program Go into Effect, Promote Healthy Eating Habits
As of October 1, all child and adult care centers and child care homes receiving federal funds from the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) must implement new nutrition standards that include a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat. The new standards also encourage breastfeeding and better align with WIC and other child nutrition programs, such as school breakfast and lunch.
Over 115,000 family child care providers working with 800 sponsors use CACFP to provide children with high-quality nutrition and learning experiences. Check out these 17 CACFP best practices from across the country.
In 2016, CACFP provided 2 billion meals and snacks to:
- 4.3 million children daily in child care centers, family care homes, and afterschool programs.
- 130,000 persons in Adult Day Care.
- 64,000 child care centers.
CACFP pays for nutritious meals and snacks for eligible children who are enrolled at participating:
- Child Care Centers and Family Child Care HomesYoung children attending participating family child homes, child care centers, or Head Start programs can receive up to two meals and a snack that meet USDA nutritional standards. The majority of CACFP participants are preschool-aged children. Eligibility is based either on the poverty status of the area or on the income of the enrolled children.
- Afterschool ProgramsSchool-based afterschool programs providing enrichment activities for children and teenagers after school can also provide free snacks through CACFP in areas where at least 50 percent of children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. CACFP funds also can pay for suppers for children attending afterschool programs.
- Homeless SheltersCACFP provides up to three meals a day for children age 18 and younger living in homeless shelters.
- Senior Day Care CentersCACFP provides meals and snacks to senior citizens attending nonresidential day care centers.