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.