The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has strongly encouraged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ensure the mental and physical well-being of children affected by immigration policy.
Ensuring that food and nutrition requirements are met, and access to medical care is provided to families who are placed in temporary detention facilities or care provider facilities, remain areas of serious concern for the Academy.
In the letter to DHS, the Academy said:
- Children and adolescents must have access to an adequate supply of healthful and safe foods and clean drinking water to promote optimal physical, cognitive and social growth and development.
- Meals provided to children should meet nutrition standards established by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.
- Breastfeeding infants must have access to milk from their mothers in all situations.
- Children with special health care needs should be identified upon entry into temporary care or detention facilities. Appropriate treatment and care, including nutrition services, should be provided according to evidence-based guidelines.
- Management of facilities and the care of children and adolescents should be transparent to the public. The Academy asks DHS to share with the public how food and nutrition requirements are met, and access to care is provided, for families who are placed in the facilities.
The Academy will continue to work with DHS to ensure appropriate food and nutrition conditions for families – children and adults alike – who are placed in temporary detention facilities or care provider facilities.