Objective: Examine whether differences were present by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation in dietary patterns, achievement of dietary recommendations, and food security for children (aged 7–18 years) receiving free/reduced-price school meals. Methods: Cross-sectional study. Caregiver–child dyads at a pediatric clinic completed validated surveys. Food security, dietary patterns, and achievement of dietary recommendations were compared between child SNAP participants/nonparticipants. Results: Among 205 caregivers, 128 (62.4%) reported SNAP participation. Percentages of child SNAP participants/nonparticipants meeting recommendations were largely nonsignificantly different and overwhelmingly low. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants reported higher mean daily servings of vegetables (P = 0.01) and fruits (P = 0.01) than nonparticipants. Caregiver-reported household food security was not significantly different between SNAP participants and nonparticipants (P = 0.44). Conclusions and Implications: In this study, child-reported fruit/vegetable intakes were significantly higher among SNAP participants than nonparticipants, suggesting child SNAP participants may experience small but noteworthy benefits related to fruit/vegetable consumption. Additional supports are needed to achieve dietary recommendations.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- dietary habits
- food security