Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program is associated with fewer barriers to serving healthier foods in early care and education

Background: Early care and education (ECE) is an important setting for influencing young children's dietary intake. There are several factors associated with barriers to healthy eating in ECE, and recent evidence suggests that participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the primary national food assistance program in ECE, may be associated with fewer barriers to serving healthier foods. However, no prior studies have examined differences between CACFP participants and non-participants across a large, multi-state sample. This is the first study to examine the association between CACFP participation and barriers to serving healthier foods in ECE using a random sample of directors from two regions across the country. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among a random sample of child care center directors from four states (Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina). We conducted logistic and Poisson regression to calculate the odds and incidence rate ratios of reporting 1) no barriers, 2) specific barriers (e.g., cost), and 3) the total number of barriers, by CACFP status, adjusting for covariates of interest. Results: We received 713 surveys (36% response rate). About half (55%) of centers participated in CACFP. The most prevalent reported barriers to serving healthier foods were cost (42%) and children's food preferences (19%). Directors from CACFP centers were twice as likely to report no barriers, compared to directors from non-CACFP centers (OR 2.03; 95% CI [1.36, 3.04]; p
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
Massachusetts; North Carolina; Rhode Island; South Carolina

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection. They are found by comparing the topic, author, and resource type of the currently selected resource to the rest of the library’s publications.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program: Barriers to participation and financial implications of underuse

Reports & Papersview

Food program participation influences nutrition practices in early care and education settings

Reports & Papersview

Achieving a state of healthy weight: 2019 report

Reports & Papersview
Release: 'v1.13.0' | Built: 2022-08-08 12:44:31 EDT