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Maternal Employment and Children’s Nutrition

by Nancy Burstein and Linda M. Ghelfi

Electronic Publications from the Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program No. (EFAN-04006) June 2004

A majority of U.S. women with children are now employed outside the home. This ERS-funded study by Abt Associates Inc. used mid-1990s data to explore the effects of mothers’ work on their children’s nutrition. Findings include the following: Children of full-time working mothers have lower overall HEI (Healthy Eating Index) scores, lower intake of iron and fiber, and higher intake of soda and fried potatoes than children of nonworking mothers (volume I); and the higher income of households with working mothers is related to their children’s lower participation in most of USDA’s food assistance programs, the exception being the National School Lunch Program (volume II).

Keywords: Food assistance, Child and Adult Care Food Program, CACFP, child nutrition, diet quality, nutrition, program outcomes, National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, FANRP

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Maternal Employment and Children's Nutrition: Volume I, Diet Quality and the Role of the CACFP

Maternal Employment and Children's Nutrition: Volume II, Other Nutrition-Related Outcomes

Last updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013

For more information contact: Nancy Burstein and Linda M. Ghelfi