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Child and Adult Care Food Program: Aligning Dietary Guidance for All
age group, and estimate calorie requirements by age group. These topics are addressed below.
Establishing Age Groups
Throughout the report, the committee uses the notation X–Y to mean X through Y months or years (e.g., 2–4 years means ages 2 through 4 years and 11 months). One of the first steps in the committee’s approach was to establish age groups to use to examine food and nutrient intakes. Current CACFP regulations specify requirements for infants, three groups of children (1–2, 3–5, and 6–12 years), and adults. However, the committee selected different age ranges to evaluate children’s and adults’ intakes relative to current dietary guidance. Descriptive data on food group and nutrient intakes were initially calculated for the following age groups:
Infants ages 6–11 months;
Preschool children age 1 year;
Preschool children ages 2–4 years;
Schoolchildren ages 5–10 years;
Schoolchildren ages 11–13 years;
Youth ages 14–18 years;
Adults ages 19–59 years;
Older adults ages 60 years and older; and
Older adults ages 70 years and older.
The age groups for children were chosen to conform with (1) the ages used by the Committee to Review the WIC Food Packages (IOM, 2006a) for preschool children and (2) those used by the Committee on Nutrition Standards for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program (IOM, 2010) for schoolchildren and adolescents.
For infants, analyses were not performed for those under 6 months of age because intakes from breast milk could not be quantified. However, because breast milk is a poor source of iron and zinc after 6 months of age, intakes of these two nutrients were examined by breastfeeding status for infants 6–11 months of age.
Separate analyses were performed for younger adults (ages 19–59 years) and adults 60 years of age and older because of differences in their calorie requirements. Initial analyses compared the intakes of adults ages 60 years and older with those of adults ages 70 years and older. The differences were not large, however, and only the broader age group (60 years and older) was used for further analyses.
The relatively few pregnant and lactating women were not excluded from the analyses, nor were their intakes examined separately. Because very