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The Power of Food

by Jamie Bonczyk and Kathryn Costello
November/December 2017
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-power-of-food/5023876/

In December of 2010, President Obama signed into law The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. This law expanded the availability of nutritious meals served in Early Childhood settings that received USDA funding. One of the provisions of the HHFKA was to update the Child and Adult Care Food Program meal pattern requirements to better align them with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new meal pattern requirements were implemented on October 1, 2017. These updates to the science-based standards will elevate the nutritional quality of meals and snacks provided in centers and family child care homes as well as increase access to healthy beverages, including low-fat and fat-free milk and water, and encourage breastfeeding. This law was influential not only in increasing the amount of nutritious meals getting to low-income children, but in highlighting an area of early childhood that had been getting little to no attention, yet is so vital to the healthy development of the children in our care settings.

According to current child development research, 90 percent of neural connections are formed by the time a child is five. These early years provide the foundation for children’s future health, academic success, and social and emotional well-being. This is the ...

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