(Dover, DE.) The Delaware Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), within the state’s Department of Education, has announced changes to its nutrition policies that affects every licensed child care center and after-school provider as well as more than 900 family child care homes in the state. The policies, which apply to more than 53,000 children in child care and after-school settings, went into effect on July 1, 2008. The policies represent some of the most progressive nutrition mandates in the nation for child care programs. Among the new policies are the following:
- No fruit juice for children under the age of 12 months and no more than four ounces of 100% juice per day for children over the age of one year. No fruit drink that is not 100% juice may be offered.
- Whole milk for children 1-2 years of age and 1% or fat-free milk for children older than age 2.
- Only real cheese may be served rather than cheese “food” or cheese “product.”
- Each day, one whole grain product (where a whole grain is listed as the first ingredient) must be offered. All grain products must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar. Sweet grain products, such as cookies and donuts, may be served only once in a two-week cycle, though they are not recommended.
- Baked or pre-fried foods (tater tots, chicken nuggets) are not recommended and may be offered only if they contain less than 35% total fat.
- Processed meat products, such as hot dogs and baloney, may be served only once in a two-week cycle, although they are not recommended.
More than 1,000 child care centers and family day care providers are affected by the policy changes July 1. An additional 500 home-based providers must comply when new family child care regulations take effect later this year.
Beth Wetherbee, Education Specialist for CACFP said, “The new food policies are the result of a year-long collaboration with sponsors of child care centers and family child care homes, local food vendors and Nemours Health and Prevention Services. Through the hard work of our food program partners, Delaware is a leader in the nation for providing healthy meals to children.”
Elizabeth Walker, Program and Policy Analyst for Nemours added, “About 65 % of Delaware’s licensed child care providers receive support from CACFP to pay for meals and snacks. These new policies have the potential to both ensure adequate nutrition and instill healthy habits in young children. It’s a major step forward, and one that few states have taken. I’m proud to say that Delaware is on the leading edge with its standards for nutrition in child care.”
Child or adult day care centers, child care home providers, parents of children enrolled in day care or caregivers for adult participants enrolled in day care who want more information concerning CACFP or sites that currently participate should call (302) 735-4060.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). TDD users can contact USDA through local relay or the Federal Relay at (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (relay voice users). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Delaware’s Department of Education is committed to promoting the highest quality education for every Delaware student by providing visionary leadership and superior service.Nemours Health and Prevention Services (NHPS), based in Newark, Delaware, works with families and communities to help children grow up healthy.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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