BUILDing Strong Foundations Farm to Early Care and Education: Working to Equalize Health and Education Outcomes

Source: BUILD Initiative

By Lacy Stephens, Farm to Early Care and Education Associate, National Farm to School Network

Good nutrition and good educational outcomes for young children are inextricably linked. Yet, there is little consistency in terms of the quality of the food that is offered in early care settings. Given that approximately 60 percent of US children under the age of six spend time in some sort of childcare (or non-parental care) setting on a weekly basis, and typically eat breakfast and lunch (and possibly an afternoon snack) at these sites, ensuring the quality of the food is essential.

The Good Food, Great Kids policy overview and case studies, developed in partnership with the National Farm to School Network and the BUILD Initiative, is intended both to share a broad spectrum of existing information about various experiences in building farm-to-ECE supportive policies and to point out how forging greater connections between current policies and the work of farm to ECE can benefit early childcare centers, children, and families.

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FDA announced its intention to extend the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts Label final rules

FDA announced its intention to extend the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts Label final rules

Source: Labeling & Nutrition > Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label

Original vs. New Format – Infographics to Help Understand the Changes (New Food Label Side by Side Comparacion Paralela)

Compliance Date

On June 13, 2017, the FDA announced its intention to extend the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts Label final rules. The FDA will provide details of the extension through a Federal Register Notice at a later time.

In May 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts Label and Serving Size final rules and set the compliance date for July 26, 2018, with an additional year to comply for manufacturers with annual food sales of less than $10 million. After those rules were finalized, industry and consumer groups provided the FDA with feedback regarding the compliance dates.

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Good Food Great Kids-Making Practice and Policy Work for Farm to Early Childcare & Education

Source: PFC social impact advisors

Good Food Great Kids-Making Practice and Policy Work for Farm to Early Childcare & Education

According to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, “The science of child development now helps us to see healthy development as a causal chain— policies and programs across the public and private sectors affect the capacities of caregivers and communities to strengthen three foundations of healthy development: stable, responsive relationships; safe, supportive environments; and appropriate nutrition.” These foundations impact physiological mechanisms that have lifelong impacts on cognitive development, physical growth, and behavioral outcomes.3

Report Purpose

It is with this spirit in mind that we will explore opportunities for learning from and leveraging policy development and implementation to continue to create a base of knowledge that can help practitioners from across sectors build bridges to support better health and educational opportunities for vulnerable children and their families. The following policy overview, developed in partnership with the National Farm to School Network and the BUILD Initiative, is intended both to share a broad spectrum of existing information about various experiences in building farm to ECE-supportive policies and begin to point out how forging greater connections between current policies and the work of farm to ECE can benefit early childcare centers, children, and families.

The Good Food, Great Kids* case studies are part of a series developed by pfc Social Impact Advisors for public use and dissemination via the book Good, Evil, Wicked: The Art, Science, and Business of Giving (Stanford University Press 2017), among other publicly accessible media. Information presented was gathered through desk research and 53 interviews with practitioners, policy and issue-area experts, funders, and other local and national stakeholders in the farm to early childcare and education and farm to school sectors. *This report borrows the phrase good food from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which defines good food as food that is “healthy, sustainable, fair, and affordable.”

Obesity: Meal and Fruit and Vegetable Snack Interventions to Increase Healthier Foods and Beverages Provided by Schools

Source: Obesity: Meal and Fruit and Vegetable Snack Interventions to Increase Healthier Foods and Beverages Provided by Schools

Summary of Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends meal interventions and fruit and vegetable snack interventions to increase the availability of healthier foods and beverages provided by schools. This finding is based on evidence that they increase fruit and vegetable consumption and reduce or maintain the rate of obesity or overweight.

The Task Force has related findings for interventions to increase healthier foods and beverages in schools:

Intervention

Meal interventions and fruit and vegetable snack interventions aim to provide healthier foods and beverages that are appealing to students, limit access to less healthy foods and beverages, or both.

Interventions must include one of the following components:

  • School meal policies that ensure school breakfasts or lunches meet specific nutrition requirements (e.g., School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program)
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable programs that provide fresh fruits and vegetables to students during lunch or snack
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Obesity: Meals and Snacks Provided by Schools | The Community Guide

Source: Obesity: Meals and Snacks Provided by Schools | The Community Guide

Summary of Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends meal interventions and fruit and vegetable snack interventions to increase the availability of healthier foods and beverages provided by schools. This finding is based on evidence that they increase fruit and vegetable consumption and reduce or maintain the rate of obesity or overweight.

The Task Force has related findings for interventions to increase healthier foods and beverages in schools:

Read more

Intervention

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2016 Community Rankings for Healthy Eating – Gallup-Sharecare

Source: Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index

This report, part of the Gallup-Sharecare State of American Well-Being series, examines healthy eating across the nation, ranking 189 communities based on the question ‘Did you eat healthy all day yesterday?’ The rankings show a wide range of results – with the highest communities having more than three quarters of their citizens report eating healthy all day the previous day compared to just over half among the lowest healthy eating communities.

Gallup-Sharecare 2016 Community Rankings for Healthy Eating

In 2016, many of the top healthy eating communities are located in California, with ten California-based communities in the top 25. Florida has four communities in the top 25, and Texas and Arizona each claim two top spots. The highest healthy eating community in the country is Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, a community that also had the highest well-being in the country for the last two years. Barnstable Town, MA was number two in healthy eating, followed by Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA, Salinas, CA, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX, and Santa Rosa, CA – all of which had more than 72% of their citizens report healthy eating.

The lowest rates of healthy eating come from states such as Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Louisiana – with each of these states having two communities in the lowest 25. Lubbock, TX, Memphis, TN, Cincinnati, OH, Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC, Clarksville, KY, Lexington-Fayette, KY, and Wichita, KS each have less than 57% of their citizens eating healthy. Seven of the ten lowest healthy eating communities are also among the lowest communities for overall well-being.

Download the latest Well-Being Index reports

 

A theory-informed qualitative exploration of social and environmental determinants of physical activity and dietary choices in adolescents with intellectual disabilities in their final year of school – Stevens –

Source: A theory-informed qualitative exploration of social and environmental determinants of physical activity and dietary choices in adolescents with intellectual disabilities in their final year of school – Stevens – 2017 – Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities – Wiley Online Library

Abstract

Background

The prevalence of obesity is higher in those with intellectual disabilities than the general population. The aim of the study was to understand the determinants of physical activity and dietary patterns in this population during their final year of school.

Method

Qualitative data were generated from 10 interviews with adolescents with mild–moderate intellectual disabilities. Data were analysed using deductive thematic analysis, employing Self-Determination Theory as a theoretical framework.

Results

Adolescents’ environment and social interactions play a pivotal role in influencing physical activity and dietary patterns. Three themes emerged from the analysis: situatedness, motivation and wider environmental influences.

Conclusions

School structure, high self-efficacy and social connectedness facilitate increased physical activity and healthier diet in adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Home life, low self-efficacy and a lack of social connectedness can serve as a barrier to PA and a healthy diet.