Online Program

Formative Research on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Electronic Media Use in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Andrea Farmer, MS, RD, LD, Child Nutrition Programs, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Alexandria, VA
Introduction: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required sweeping changes to the USDA Child Nutrition Programs, including the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Act expanded the purpose of CACFP to promote health and wellness, and encouraged CACFP centers and homes to follow the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) to serve foods recommended for increased consumption, reduce sedentary behaviors, and provide opportunities for regular physical activity. In 2014, the USDA conducted formative research among CACFP audiences to determine perceived challenges in implementing DGA recommendations, technical assistance needs, and preferred delivery formats of training and resources.

Methods: The research was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 consisted of an electronic or telephone survey administered nationwide to randomly selected child care centers, day care homes, sponsoring organizations, and State agencies. Phase 2 of the research consisted of seven followup telephone focus groups, which elaborated on the findings of the Phase 1 survey and explored unanswered questions.

Results: All audiences were at least somewhat familiar with the DGAs and interest in meeting the DGA recommendations was high. Participants were most interested in receiving training and technical assistance on nutrition-related topics. Preferences varied around the delivery of information, so multiple formats for delivering the same content are needed. 

Discussion:  There is a need to increase awareness among CACFP audiences about the roles each can play in encouraging nutrition, physical activity, and electronic media use best practices, and how that ties in to the expanded purpose of CACFP.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify five or more top challenges to implementing nutrition and physical activity recommendations in child care settings. Describe three or more resources to help child care providers overcome these challenges.

Keyword(s): Child Health Promotion, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over five years experience with the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Currently I lead the USDA national effort to create resources and guidance materials to help child care centers and home providers meet the nutrition, physical activity, and screen time recommendations in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. I was also the project manager for USDA formative research conducted in 2014 among CACFP audiences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.