Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S14-S15, July 2013

Missouri Eat Smart Guidelines for Child Care Promote Positive Changes in Menus, Feeding Environments and Food Policies


      Missouri Eat Smart Guidelines for Child Care program is designed to encourage child care facilities to adopt the 2010 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) recommendations. The goal is to instill healthful lifestyle behaviors in preschoolers and help prevent childhood obesity.

      Target audience

      The target audience was center-based child care facilities.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      Eating habits developed during preschool years influence lifestyle choices and weight throughout life. Missouri Eat Smart Guidelines for Child Care is based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and the Institute of Medicine’s CACFP recommendations.


      The program is modeled on North Carolina’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAPSACC) which includes: 1) Self-Assessment; 2) Action Planning; 3) Workshop Delivery; 4) Technical Assistance; and 5) Evaluate, Revise and Repeat. The program involved individualized coaching and training with center directors and staff to bring practices in line with Missouri’s Eat Smart Guidelines for Child Care. Centers that met the guidelines applied for recognition as an “Eat Smart Child Care.”


      Since 2010, 71 individual child care centers and 4 Head Start agencies serving 36 sites participated in the program. As a result, child care centers made healthful changes in menus, feeding environments and food policies. Anecdotal reports indicate the program helped motivate and encourage center directors to complete the program and apply for recognition. Results of focus groups with program participants and other evaluation underway will be reported in the poster.

      Conclusions and Implications

      This program is successful in promoting positive changes in child care center feeding programs. This model may be replicated by others.


      USDA Team Nutrition.