Comment Today on USDA's Proposed Rule to Streamline Eligibility and Reduce Paperwork for For-Profit Centers
USDA seeks comments on the proposed rule and input to help determine further changes. This is your chance to improve and expand the reach of the new rule.
The rule can be improved by
Here are the easy steps you can take to submit comments:
For additional information, contact Geri Henchy, email@example.com or the National CACFP Forum President, Susana Reza, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Its back to school for many children and they are very hungry at the end of the school day. So before children begin their homework, make sure they have a healthy snack. This will help their bodies re-charge and fuel their brains for homework. Most children do not eat enough servings of fruits and vegetables each day. After- school snack time is a great time to sneak in some fruits and veggies! In season fruits and vegetables during back to school, find out here
Recipe Courtesy of Simple Recipes
USDA CACFP Granola Recipe
CACFP Crediting Information: 1/8 cup 2 tsp (No. 24 scoop) provides .5 serving grains/bread.
Granola: Only 5 Ingredients!
Recipe Courtesy of Super Healthy Kids
Stay tuned for Fun Fall Snacks...
Post written by:
Special Blessings Child Care
Happy Birthday, CACFP!! This is my 25th year in Family Child Care. I have been with First Choice Support Services Inc.25 years. First Choice is a Child and Adult Care Food program. (CACFP) The CACFP is funded by the USDA and administered by the Kansas State Dept. of Education.
Megan Mahoney asked her daughter “Did you have yummy food for lunch?” Bridget responded “Yes, I did” Mom asked “So what did you eat” the daughter responded “We had fruit and carrots and sandwiches.” Mom asked “What kind of sandwiches?” the daughter responded I don’t know……Not salami though. Miss Corinne doesn’t buy salami.”
One day I fixed black beans with brown rice, sitting at the table with the children (Family Style Dining). Everyone was served, enjoying conversation. Bridget said “We don’t eat stuff like that at home.” So, her mother and I had conversation at the end of the day. Mom stated "Bridget had told her, that she eats black beans when Ms. Corinne fixes them.” Bridget will eat my black beans it took some convincing. When mom fixes them in their sweet potato enchiladas, Bridget will pick them out! Megan’s husband Tom stated “We need Ms. Corinne to write a cookbook, because the children will eat her lunch but don’t always eat our dinner.”
I feel as a family child care provider the trainings and guidelines that we follow help me be more health conscious of what I serve. I fix two Ethnic meals or snacks during each week. I wished I kept a journal over the years. “Ms. Corinne you’re the best cooker lady” I remember one day I walked out of the room to help a child and back in and four little boys were having an “English Pea” fight across the table. Oh dear!
We also take what is in the garden and add to our meals. We were involved with the USDA when they were working on a multicultural recipes project as a plan to provide technical assistance materials for the CACFP. We tried various ethnic meals in our program. Some of the meals the children like we continue to use the recipes.
I always have a saying, if the child tries their food on their plate and decides they do not like it…. “You might not like it today. But, you might like it tomorrow.” And “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds.”
Join Melissa as she takes the attendees on a journed to learn tips and tools for menu planning with the new CACFP regulations. Everyone will gain valuable techniques for running a program with integrity.
Melissa has a deep-rooted passion for child nutrition. She is owner and founder of My School RD, a consulting company with the vision of schools creating healthier lunch menus. Melissa has 20 years of experience as a child nutrition specialist and nutritional analyst, and wakes up every morning with cheerful enthusiasm for the new day and the challenges it brings. As a former School Meals Initiative Audit Specialist, Melissa approaches the task of nutritional analysis, school district audit preparation, and record keeping with an eye for detail and meticulous organization. She sincerely values the relationships she carries with her clients, who are lifelong customers. Melissa has two delightful children, has mentored CSU Long Beach dietetics students for 15 years, and is on the CSULB Dietetic Internship Advisory Board. In her “spare time,” she is founder of a nonprofit organization called Legacy Kids Project, fosters kittens for the animal shelter, dabbles in horse whispering, cooking, and gardening, and is a life coach, encouraging and empowering individuals to reach their highest potential.
This post originally appeared in the Healthy Kids, Healthy Future website as a part of the CACFP 50th Birthday celebration. It was a collaboration between Nemours Children's Health Systems and the National CACFP Forum.
May is a month for celebration. First and foremost – each year it’s the time we celebrate the hard work and dedication child care providers put into growing the next generation. This year, the community has an additional reason to celebrate as May marks the 50th birthday of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP is a federal child nutrition program that supports family child care providers, faith-based and community-based child care centers, and after school programs as they serve millions of children healthy meals and snacks across the United States. In 2017, 4.4 million children and 2.05 billion meals and snacks were served through the CACFP.
Nemours Children’s Health System and the National CACFP Forum have partnered to celebrate this important milestone. Beginning with a call for pictures from the CACFP community to create a large mosaic birthday card to take to Capitol Hill and joining with Kaplan to provide a few gifts to some lucky winners who submitted a healthy celebration photo.
Now, to continue the celebration we are sharing with you some success stories and resources from Healthy Kids, Healthy Future, a collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Nemours Children’s Health System. Healthy Kids, Healthy Future continues the work of Let’s Move! Child Care, supporting early education providers in helping children get a healthy start to life. Healthy Kids, Healthy Future is a nationwide call-to-action that empowers child care and early education providers to make positive health changes in children that could last a lifetime, including supporting the healthy growth and development of children in your programs through the CACFP.
We enjoyed hearing from providers and sponsors about how CACFP helps them take a variety of approaches to healthy eating. One of the best practices that participants in the CACFP are encouraged to do is serve family style meals. Serving meals family style has many benefits for children including the creation of a healthy eating environment that is responsive to children’s hunger and fullness cues while allowing children to practice social and motor skills. CACFP-sponsoring organizations provide technical assistance for this and Nemours Children’s Health System has created a guide to help providers implement family style meals, the Family Style Dining Toolkit.
One of the submissions from the CACFP photo contest shows children practicing family style dining. Children take turns portioning their own food and participating in child-focused conversation to build peer-to-peer interaction.
Be sure to check out the Healthy Kids Healthy Future website to find state resources for early care and education programs on new meal pattern guidelines for CACFP – all in one place. Take the New CACFP Meal Pattern Self-Assessment and see how your program is measuring up to the new standards. Find additional resources on topics such as:
Post written by:
Anne Valik – Manager, Business Sector Strategies at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Samantha Marshall – Executive Director, the National CACFP Forum
Did you know that the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) turns 50 this year? That’s right – May 8th, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the CACFP’s launch. This critical program positively impacts millions of children and families across our nation each year, and together, the National CACFP Forum and Alliance for a Healthier Generation are planning a big “Happy Birthday CACFP” bash!
Curious as to why we’re partying? The reasons we’re putting on our dancing shoes are too numerous to count – but a few of the highlights include:
At this point, you must be wondering – how can I join in the festivities? The answer is simple! Check out these three easy ways that you too can celebrate the CACFP this month:
1. Host a “CACFP Birthday Party” for your youth-serving organization! This will enable providers to share more information about the CACFP with parents and community members, as well as create a happy environment in which to celebrate good nutrition. Share photos of the event on social media and tag #CACFP50 so we can all join in the fun!
2. Try out a new CACFP resource! The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has created several tools to support the CACFP and its new meal pattern, including:
a. The Healthier Generation Store with Amazon Business – this first of its kind online marketplace features products vetted by Healthier Generation to align with national nutrition guidelines – and is expanding this spring to include products compliant with the CACFP Meal Pattern!
b. The Smart Foods Planner – this one-stop food and beverage hub features a product database (where CACFP- compliant yogurt and cereals are identified), sample menus, recipes and more.
c. The CACFP Product Calculator - This very useful tool for programs will help you identify CACFP-compliant yogurt, cereal and milk. Simply plug in information from a product’s nutrition facts panel and get your results 
3. Learn more about nutrition and the CACFP! Join the National CACFP Forum and Healthier Generation on May 23rd at 2pm ET for a live webinar. During the session, we’ll celebrate the CACFP by sharing tips, tools, and resources – including the Healthier Generation Store with Amazon Business, the Smart Foods Planner and CACFP Product Calculator – that will help make navigating the CACFP Meal Pattern simpler and more enjoyable!
We hope to see you at the party! Looking for even more ideas on how to get involved? Check out the Happy Birthday CACFP homepage, follow @HealthierGen and @CACFPForum on Twitter, or spread the news via social media! You can click here to download a social graphic & use this optional messaging to get started today:
 These products were determined to meet nutrition standards by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation based upon products’ ingredient statement and Nutrition Facts panel. All purchasing must be made in accordance with federal, state, and local procurement regulations.
 The results from this calculator have been determined by the USDA to be accurate in assessing product compliance with the Federal requirements for the CACFP meal pattern.
Please join us and welcome Gina Maniscalco of Clarendon Early Education Services, Inc. to the National CACFP Forum Leadership Council.
Gina started her journey in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in the early child care community then on July 22, 2009 she started a new role as a home monitor with Clarendon Early Education Services, Inc. She has worn many hats including the opportunity to work as the Field Supervisor to home monitors. "I find my job very rewarding and I am able to mentor and play a supportive role to our CACFP monitors and providers. I am committed to learning even more and advocating for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, CACFP."
Gina tells us she loves attending the different CACFP conferences and finds them very informative and always come back with enthusiasm. She feels that together we can continue to teach our providers how to serve healthy and nutritional meals while continuing education on CACFP policies, procedures and best practices.
Gina has several passions; but right now it is Farm to Table. She is currently taking the lead and working with local farmers to get her program's providers involved with purchasing local produce and fruits. "This is a way to teach our children the value of eating fresh produce and fruits and how we all can support each other."
Gina is very excited to be a part of the CACFP Leadership Council and developing even more leadership and advocacy skills to use in her position at Clarendon and the CACFP and Child Care Community.
This past week in Washington D. C. many CACFP leaders came together to learn, exchange ideas, get inspired and be motivated. That they did, with too many moments to do the conference justice, leading us to mostly focuses on the CACFP Leaderrship Conference moments.
Top 10 CACFP Forum Moments at the CACFP Leadership Conference during the #hungerpc18 Anti-Hunger Policy Conference.
10. National CACFP Forum Board welcomes new board member Margaret McDonald, Clarendon to her first National CACFP Forum Board meeting during the CACFP Leadership Conference held in conjunction with the Anti Hunger Leadershp Conference.
9. National Sponsor Association President Senta Hester, Our Daily Bread shares the National CACFP Week news. Successful Strategies in CACFP with Susana Reza, Donna Pomerson and Sonja Carvalho drew raves as they shared what is working to get the job done in CACFP.
8. Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Partnership for a Healthier America, American Heart Association, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Food Marketing Institute, Georgia Food Bank Association, The Food Trust, University of Chicago, Food Nutrition & Policy Consultants, National CACFP Forum presented information on Selecting, Purchasing, and Accessing Affordable Healthy Foods for CACFP Child Care and Afterschool Programs. Smart Food Planner Calculators Food Buying Guide App and so many more resources and ideas coming your way.
7. Julie Schuell, Nemours Foundation talked Project Hope,
6. Launch of the Child and the Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Birthday Celebration on May 8, 2018.
5. CACFP Policy and Advocacy conversation closing with a CACFP march to the hill to visit representatives.
4. USDA FNS presence brought updates and conversation on Resources, Policy, Training, Procurement, Food Crediting, CN Labels, Food Buying Guide, After School.
3. Lunch Plenary Speakers: Matt Knott, President, Feeding America w Jim Weill, President, FRAC Plenary Address: Charles Blow, New York Times Columnist w Moderator: Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) w Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden w Denise Forte, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, former Staff Director, House Education and the Workforce Committee (Minority) w Eric Rodriguez, Vice President, Unidos US (formerly National Council of La Raza) w Jim Weill, President, FRAC (Moderator) Eileen Hyde Director, Hunger and Healthy Eating, Walmart Foundation, w Kris Charles, Senior Vice President, w Global Corporate Affairs, Kellogg Company blew everyone away.
2. National CACFP Friend of the Forum award presentation to Chris Clark, Tom Clark, T&L Foundation for Child Care Information.
1. Meeting with new and old CACFP and Nutrition Program friends and colleagues
What were your favorite moments of the Anti Hunger Policy Conference?
See you next year at the Anti Hunger Policy Conference.
Margaret Oberg and Food for Kids Team Up for the New CACFP Meal Standards and Share Light Bulbs and Lessons Learned
Light bulbs and lessons learned in CACFP and Child Care
A colleague of mine sent over a news video and asked if this was good to put on our CACFP Forum Facebook page. I reviewed it and got extremely excited. This video should be on all CACFP Facebook pages I told my colleague, it certainly tells the family child care and CACFP story in a very short amount of time. We need to find out how Food for Kids got this type of news coverage for CACFP, her program and the family child care provider.
So, I called Alix Melillio and asked her how she got the news to come out and do this piece on CACFP and family child care. What she told me was a surprise; on January 9, 2018, Alix, the Food for Kids Director, received a phone call from KTVN reporter Ryan Canady asking about the Child and Adult Care Food Program being renewed. This gave Alix an opportunity to talk about the CACFP and she took it. The next thing she knew she had gotten this reporter interested in the CACFP New Meal Pattern Standards in family child care. He asked if they could do a visit with a family child care provider on CACFP. Now there was only a bit of time to find a child care provider that would let them come visit a meal which is not a problem in CACFP but this time with a reporter.
Enters Margaret Oberg, family child care provider, who said sure come on over. Between the three of them they agreed on a visit at lunch time which was to be served early at the request of the reporter as he had to move fast to get the story on KTVN's evenings news show today. TODAY, Alix thought with excitement.
As you can see by the video here, they did the interview, and the rest is history. Or is it? During my conversation with Alix she said something that really hit home with me. "This experience got me to thinking, must have been a slow day the news; we all just assume the news is not interested in CACFP and Family Child Care maybe because they turned us down once or we never see anything about us. After this experience I know better,” Alix said.
Of course, this also got ME thinking. I asked if Alix if she would ask Margaret Oberg if I could give her a call. Margaret agreed. I had a few questions but I also wanted to congratulate Margaret on the interview. After a few moments into our conversation I found out why she was so wonderful in the interview. She has been licensed as a home child care provider for over 40 years and has belonged to the Northern Nevada Child Care Association since it was formed in 1978, serving on the Board as Secretary, Vice President and President. She has been:
Margaret is also a member of the Nevada Registry and serves on both the Washoe Co. Child Care and TEACH Advisory boards. As you heard in the interview Margaret is a strong advocate of the Child and Adult Care Food Program and thinks of it as a major contributor to her successful family child care business.
Before our chat was over, this busy professional family child care provider turned the conversation over to a topic near and dear to her heart; the UNR Family Child Care Network and its value to the business of taking care of children. Margaret told me that she credited the University of Nevada Reno's Family Child Care Network and Michelle Gehlert; Program Coordinator for the amount of child care quality and professionalism in the area. She was concerned about losing the UNR Family Child Care Network because of the QRIS getting support from the state instead of the UNR Network. She referred me to Michelle Gehlert of the UNR Campus Child Care Connections which led us to a new blog indeed. Stay tuned for part 2 about how QRIS is affecting the overall child care industry and CACFP.
This brings us to the light bulbs and lessons learned of this event. What were they?
1. Not too assume that the media is not interested in reporting on the business of child care and CACFP
2. That the press has slow news days and sometimes will call you, but don't wait keep them informed
3. That different news departments (Health Watch) might be interested in different things about CACFP and ChildCare
4. That Margaret Oberg and Food for Kids are teaming up to have success in implementing the New CACFP Meal Patterns
5. That while you are listening to one story, keep your mind open for the next story. Its there, let’s learn from them.
Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time. Research Review: 2010-2016
"Childhood overweight and obesity affect 22.8 percent of U.S. preschoolers and 8.1 percent of infants and toddlers.2 Early childhood has been identified as a critical period for the prevention of obesity and the development of protective behaviors such as healthy dietary and physical activity patterns."
This review from the Robert Woods Johnson Woods Foundation gives a "comprehensive overview of changes to obesity-prevention policies and evidence-based guidance that have occurred over the past five years and a review of the impact that these policy, systems, and environmental interventions have had in the ECE setting on promoting a healthy diet, adequate physical activity, and reduced screen time." Included in the review are: the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Head Start, Child Care and Development Block Grant, State Child Care Licensing Standards, Quality Rating and Improvement Standards, Key Changes to Policies & Evidence-Based Guidance Designed to Impact the ECE Setting and Evidenced-Based Guidance.
Worth the read, take a look. For even more research go to HER
Healthy Eating Research Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity