"Research indicates that America's obesity problem starts young, with obesity rates in preschoolers more than doubling over the last three decades and one in eight preschoolers classified as obese" said USDA Under Secretary, Kevin Concannon.
"Since taste preference and eating habits develop early in life, CACFP could play a crucial role in the solution. This final rule marks another important step toward ensuring young children have access to the nutrition they need and develop healthy habits that will contribute to their well-being over the long term."
The new meal patterns will improve access to healthy beverages, including low-fat and fat-free milk and water, and encourage breastfeeding for the youngest program participants. These standards reflect the nutritional improvements seen in children across the country since the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Things you can start now
Encourage mothers to breastfeed on site and continue to be reimbursed for an infant’s meal.
Serve only unflavored whole milk to 1 year olds.
Limit 100% juice to no more than once per day.
Eliminate juice service for infants under 1.
Eliminate grain based desserts.
Serve whole grain or whole grain rich foods.
Serve cereals that contain less than 6 g of sugar per dry ounce.
Serve a fruit AND a vegetable for lunch and/or dinner.
Find a sponsor that administers the Food Program in your county.