Early childhood is a critical period of growth, nutrition, and development, and parents have a key role to play in caring for their young children. No Kid Hungry partnered with APCO Insight to conduct a national survey among low-income families who have children five years old and younger.
The National Early Childhood Survey Summary Brief highlights the survey’s key findings on parents' and caregivers' experiences with hunger, participation in programs, food preparation practices and child care arrangements and preferences. There are additional briefs from the national survey that dive deeply into particular topics:
- Food Vulnerability in Early Childhood Brief summarizes the survey's findings on the serious challenges parents face in accessing food for their young children.
- SNAP Micro-Report and WIC Brief describes the role of these important programs in addressing early childhood nutrition.
- Role of Doctors in Early Child Nutrition Brief describes survey's findings on what physicians can do to improve early childhood nutrition.
- Food Skills of Young Parents Brief describes the survey's findings on meal preparation and food shopping practices of parents and barriers to healthy meal preparation.
The Why Low Income Moms of Young Children Matter two-page document further summarizes research on why mothers of children under five have a critical role to play in shaping their young children’s eating habits.
- CACFP Nutrition Benefits for Preschoolers: This national study of Child and Adult Food Care (CACFP) and nutrition outcomes found that preschoolers participating in CACFP increase their consumption of milk and vegetables.
- Child Nutrition Benefits in California: This statewide survey of California child care survey providers, conducted by UC Berkeley, compared the dietary quality of meals served at CACFP child care sites and compared it to non-CACFP child care sites. The study found that CACFP child care sites serve healthier foods (such as more fruits and vegetables and less foods with added sugars) than non-CACFP sites.
A large body of research exists that demonstrate the positive effects of WIC on mothers, infants and children. WIC participation is overall associated with improved diets among infants and children, including consuming less added sugar and a greater variety of food. Participation is also associated with a lower risk of low birth weight and a greater utilization of health services, which has important implications on child development and well-being.
- Effects of WIC Research Summary: This two-page summary highlights the effectiveness of WIC based on recently published research.
- Effects of WIC Full Report: This full report provides a comprehensive review and description of recently published research on the effectiveness of WIC.