Describe foods and beverages offered, nutrition practices, and nutrition policies of family child care homes in Mississippi and differences by participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).Design:
Cross-sectional study conducted between fall, 2015 and spring, 2016.Setting:
Random, stratified sample of 134 family child care homes that enroll 3- to 5-year-olds. Providers completed a modified version of the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation–self-report tool.Variables Measured:
Foods and beverages offered at lunch, provider practices regarding nutrition, and presence or absence of written nutrition policies.Analysis:
Descriptive statistics, likelihood ratio chi-square, and t tests.Results:
Most homes (>75%) provided components from the fruit, vegetable, grain/bread, meat/meat alternative, and milk food groups at lunch. At some homes, the food and beverage selections offered were high in fat, sugar, and refined grains. Providers at CACFP-participating homes (P < .05) reported healthier beverage selections, more healthful nutrition practices, and more written nutrition policies compared with providers at non-CACFP homes.Conclusion and Implications:
Interventions and regulatory standards are needed, particularly in non-CACFP homes, to ensure that food and beverage offerings, provider practices, and policies regarding nutrition support the development of healthful dietary behaviors in early childhood.