Interested in learning more about bringing fresh and nutritious food into your childcare program?
Whether you provide snacks and lunches, or families send them in, as a family child care provider you have a large part to play in developing healthy habits in the children in your care. Did you know that whether you participate in CACFP or not, you can access resources from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service? These materials can be used to support your practices, directly with the children and shared with families.
Check out these resources to learn more about procuring local food, the new CACFP meal patterns, and nutrition education.
- Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs
- CACFP Best Practices ~ This best practices tip sheet further helps increase consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and reduce the consumption of added sugars and saturated fats.
- Grow It, Try It, Like It! ~ This garden-themed nutrition education kit introduces children to: three fruits – peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables – spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash.
- Wellness Tips for Young Children ~ Available to public as free PDF download or if participating in CACFP you can order a free print copy. Tips such as:
- Build a Healthy Plate With Fruits
- Meat and Meat Alternates: Build a Healthy Plate with Protein
- Build a Healthy Plate With Less Salt and Sodium
- Practice the Basics of Food Safety to Prevent Foodborne Illness
- Promote Active Play Through Written Policies and Practices
- Supplement B: Care for Children With Food Allergies
- Supplement D: Create a Positive Meal Environment
- Supplement E: Support Family Style Meals
Another great opportunity is Farm to School, which now includes Farm to Early Childhood Programs. Check out this Step-by-Step guide for providers, from Michigan’s Farm to School, to find out how to get started with Farm to ECE.