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This recommendation is particularly relevant to Criterion 4, which addresses the capabilities and resources of program providers, and also to Criterion 5, which addresses cost. As discussed in Chapter 9, providers will need an easily followed revised reporting method to demonstrate that the meals they serve are eligible for reimbursement through CACFP. Furthermore, an efficient revised system for both monitoring and reimbursement will help control administrative costs.

SUMMARY

It is clear that the recommended Meal Requirements will result in menus that are more closely aligned with the Dietary Guidelines and the DRIs than are menus planned using the current meal requirements. In particular, the recommended Meal Requirements will provide more fruits and vegetables, a wider variety of vegetables, and a higher proportion of whole grain-rich foods while decreasing the offering of foods that are high in solid fats, added sugars, and sodium. However, these improvements in nutritional quality can be achieved only at somewhat higher cost and only if measures are taken to gain the support of providers, to develop some new skills, and to develop a streamlined system for monitoring and reimbursing CACFP meals and snacks. The committee anticipates that the recommended Meal Requirements are attainable with appropriate support for their implementation.

REFERENCES

Britten, P., K. Marcoe, S. Yamini, and C. Davis. 2006. Development of food intake patterns for the MyPyramid Food Guidance System. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 38(6 Suppl):S92.

Dillon, M. S., and H. W. Lane. 1989. Evaluation of the offer vs. serve option within self-serve, choice menu lunch program at the elementary school level. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 89(12):1780–1785.

HHS/USDA (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/U.S. Department of Agriculture). 2005. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 6th ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. http://www.health.gov/DietaryGuidelines/dga2005/document/ (accessed July 23, 2008).

IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2010. School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

USDA/FNS (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food and Nutrition Service). 2008. Diet Quality of American School-Age Children by School Lunch Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004. Alexandria, VA: USDA/FNS. http://www.fns.usda.gov/OANE/menu/published/CNP/FILES/NHANES-NSLP.pdf (accessed August 20, 2008).



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