examine methodologies used in similar large national studies. Mary Kay Fox identified two series of studies, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which might be especially helpful: (1) the SNDA studies and (2) the FITS studies. USDA has been conducting the SNDA studies since the early 1990s to assess the food and nutrient content of meals offered and served to students in schools as well as the contribution of these meals to students’ total diets. The 2002 and 2008 FITS studies assessed the usual dietary intakes of infants and toddlers and included special procedures for collecting and processing dietary intake data for these age groups. In addition, the SNDA and FITS studies included national samples and provided data that informed previous Institute of Medicine (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board committee work. While components of the SNDA and FITS studies data collection methodologies may be useful in designing the approach for a study of child care, including the CACFP, Fox emphasized that the methodologies would need to be tailored to the CACFP child care setting(s). She indicated that she would also discuss data collection approaches used in two previous studies of the CACFP, which were modeled on the approaches used in the SNDA studies.
Relevance of the SNDA Studies
USDA has relied on the SNDA studies since the early 1990s to monitor the quality of school meals and contributions of school meals to children’s overall dietary intakes. Ideally, a national study of child care would provide “SNDA-like” data for the CACFP. The two most recent rounds of the SNDA studies, SNDA-III and SNDA-IV,3 were conducted in school years 2004–2005 (Gordon and Fox, 2007) and 2009–2010, respectively. Both studies included large national samples of school districts and schools—SNDA-III included 129 school districts and 398 schools in 36 states, and SNDA-IV included 578 school districts and 884 schools in 48 states—and collected data on meals offered and served in schools. SNDA-III also collected detailed information on students’ dietary intakes both in school and outside of school (2,314 students in 287 schools).
Relevance of the FITS Studies
The FITS studies, which were sponsored by the Nestlé Nutrition Institute in 2008 and Gerber Products Company in 2002, included a comprehensive assessment of food and nutrient intakes of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. FITS 2002 included 3,022 infants and toddlers 4 to 24 months of age. FITS 2008 had a slightly larger sample (3,273) and included
3Data will be published in 2012.