If the U.S. Department of Agriculture has its way, first lady Michelle Obama’s vision for what Americans should be eating will affect more federal programs.
The department is seeking to overhaul rules related to the Child and Adult Care Food Program, a program similar to the National School Lunch Program, except for day-care providers.
Day care centers are eligible for reimbursements from the federal government, provided there is compliance with their rules.
The USDA wants more vegetables and less sugar served to children and adults in day care centers.
“Grain-based desserts, such as cookies and cakes, would no longer be reimbursable, and children younger than 1 would no longer be offered juice,” the Lansing State Journal reports.
Facilities that deep fry food on-site could no longer participate in the program. “Prepackaged fried foods,” like chicken nuggets, would be allowable, so long as they are served “infrequently.”
The effect could be sweeping.
According to Mlive, at least 30 states “require day cares to use the program’s nutrition guidelines to receive licenses.” The program also feeds about 120,000 elderly or disabled adults each day.
The proposed federal program overhaul is just another thing overseers will have to keep an eye on. And if the National School Lunch Program is any indication, more programs may be created than solved.
The Daily Caller reported last month:
Federally-mandated changes to school lunches backed by first lady Michelle Obama helped cause an unprecedented drop in the number of students eating lunch, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The GAO cited two factors stemming from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which caused a decrease in the number of children eating school lunch each day: school childrens’ issues with “palatability” and “federally-mandated” increases in the price of school lunches.
“Several factors likely influenced the recent decreases in lunch participation, and while the extent to which each factor affected participation is unclear, state and local officials reported that the decreases were influenced by changes made to comply with the new lunch content and nutrition standards,” the report reads.
At least some of those send their kids to day care will breathe a little easier, knowing Mother Government is watching after them.
“It put my mind at ease,” Christy Birt, whose daughter goes to a Y day care, says. “So, if we are running around at night having to feed her something not as nutritious, then I know she received something nutritious while she was at day care. It was one of the things that made us want to go to the Y.”