The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has just published a review and assessment of the nutritional needs of the populations served by the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), with recommendations for revising the program's meal requirements.
CACFP supports the nutrition and health of the nation's most vulnerable individuals—more than three million infants and children and more than 114,000 impaired or older adults, primarily from low-income households. CACFP meals must meet regulations designed to ensure that participants receive high-quality, nutritious foods.
The IOM says that USDA should:
• Fix the meal requirements to promote eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and foods that are lower in fat, sugar, and salt.
• Offer training and technical assistance to providers.
• Review and update the Meal Requirements to maintain consistency with current dietary guidance.
• Only 6 percent of individuals achieve their recommended target for vegetables; 8 percent achieve their recommended target for fruit in an average day.