The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), provides reimbursement for nutritious meals and snacks served to eligible children enrolled in participating child care programs. Reimbursable meals and snacks must meet CACFP's meal pattern requirements.
SNACS-II is the second comprehensive, nationally representative assessment of CACFP providers and the infants, children, and teens they serve. It will update the picture of the CACFP after updated meal pattern requirements went into effect in October 2017. Under the updated requirements, CACFP meals and snacks must include a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat. The updated requirements are also designed to encourage breastfeeding.
SNACS-II will collect data in program year 2022-2023 to address eight broad objectives:
- CACFP provider characteristics,
- nutritional quality of foods offered,
- children's dietary intakes,
- children's physical activity and household characteristics,
- CACFP plate waste,
- teens' physical activity and household characteristics,
- infants' dietary intakes and physical activity while in care, and
- the cost to produce CACFP meals and snacks.
SNACS-II will largely replicate the methods used in the first Study of Nutrition and Activity in Child Care Settings because comparing key outcomes at the two points in time is an important focus of the study. SNACS-II will collect data from nationally representative samples of CACFP providers, including family day care homes, child care centers, Head Start centers, at-risk afterschool centers, and outside-school-hours care centers; infants, children, and teens; and parents/guardians. To address the array of research questions under the eight study objectives, the data collection activities to be undertaken subject to this notice include the following:
- The Provider Survey and Environmental Observation Form will be used to describe the characteristics of CACFP providers.
- The Menu Survey will be used to assess the nutritional quality of foods offered.
- The Meal Observation Booklet and the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour dietary recall interview (ASA24) will be used to describe children's dietary intakes.
- The Parent Interview and Height and Weight Form collect data on children's physical activity and household characteristics.
- The Food and Physical Activity Experiences Survey and Teen Parent Interview collect data on teens' physical activity and household characteristics.
- The Infant Menu Survey will be used to assess the nutrition quality of foods offered to infants. The Infant Intake Form collect information on infants' dietary intakes while in care.
- The Pre-Visit Cost Interview, Pre-Visit Cost Form, Sponsor/Center Cost Interview, Center Director Cost Interview, Center Food Service Cost Interview, and Self-Administered Cost Questionnaire collect information on the cost to produce CACFP meals and snacks.