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Karen Showalter's picture

Indeed the world is heavy with challenges right now. But there's some good news too: in the contest for our kids' health, we're winning. Thanks to you in recent years: schools now offer healthier meals and snacks; many restaurants offer kids healthier drink options; and chain restaurants now display information about calories and nutrition. Win-win-win for parents and families!

Next up: healthier foods for our littlest learners! This year updates to meals and snacks offered in child and adult care centers will go into effect. Most exciting: these updates will support breastfeeding, fruits and vegetables, and limit added sugars.

Can you help us hit this one out of the park? We're mobilizing parents to champion the new updates by sending messages of encouragement, which we'll get to providers later this summer. Our voices and enthusiasm will go a *long* way in helping the new guidelines succeed.

Click here to be a champion for healthy kids! Your voice is needed.

We're also eager to hear what YOU think will make these updates a success. Are you a childcare provider eager for more healthy meal tips? A parent curious about safe and accessible water? When you send your message you can also let us know what resources we should line up to help you make the new guidelines a big success!

Parents know: a little encouragement can go a long way. It really helps to hear a supportive voice from the sidelines, and know that others have your back. In recent years MomsRising members have delivered thousands of packets full of supportive messages like these to local schools. Help us keep the momentum going!

The benefits of supporting healthy kids last a lifetime. Research shows that nutrition has a huge impact on a child’s early learning and development, in particular, during the first three years of a child’s life. [2] Food insecurity can determine a child’s health and brain development years (you heard that right - YEARS!) before they start school. According to the Children’s Health Watch, by the time a food-insecure child reaches kindergarten, they are often “cognitively, emotionally and physically behind their food-secure peers.” [3] This means that when our littlest learners aren’t getting the quality nutrition they need to grow, their ability to succeed in school, and even later in the workforce, is put severely at risk.

Not only is prioritizing child nutrition a good investment for kids - it’s a solid investment for our economy. Food insecurity currently costs the United States about $90 billion dollars a year in treating nutrition-related illnesses, in decreased productivity, and more. [5]

We have a great opportunity to invest in our youngest children. Be a champion for our littlest learners! Send a message of support for the new guidelines, and we'll get it right into the hands of those working hard to make them a big success.

We know that enthusiasm and support for the new guidelines goes a long, long way towards ensuring they succeed.

Here's additional background on the new updates:

  • The updates are happening through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, which is a federal program administered by states.
  • The updates are based on guidance from the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and following a stakeholder comment period (thousands of us submitted comments last year - thank you!).
  • Over 4 million children and 130,000 adults participate in child care, day care, at-risk after school, adult day care and emergency shelter programs supported by CACFP. The program provides reimbursements to participating providers meeting meal and snack guidelines. [6]

YES you can definitely send a note even if you don't have young children. This is all about lifting up healthy kids and communities, and your voice is important whether you're a grandparent, an auntie, a neighbor, or a business owner.

Let's hit this one out of the park! Because we can't afford to lose when it comes to healthy kids and communities. Thank you! Together we're a voice for healthy kids and families!


[1] Feeding America: Hunger and Poverty Fact Sheet

[2] Feeding America: Child Hunger Facts.

[3] Children’s Health Watch Issue Brief: Too Hungry to Learn: Food Insecurity and School Readiness.

[4] USDA, Child and Adult Care Food Program,

[5] Zero to Three, Reauthorization of WIC and CACFP,

[6] USDA: Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

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