A. Well-balanced meals and snacks. Meals and snacks provided by the Child Care Facility must be nutritious and well-balanced. Each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and snack provided by the Child Care Facility must include items such as proteins, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, water and whole grains.

  1. Drinking water must be available to the Children at all times.
  2. A variety of snacks that are nourishing and include items such as dairy products, fruit, water, vegetables, and whole grains will be served.
  3. Milk, water, or a milk substitute must be offered to Children at all meals and snacks.
  4. Portions of food served must be suited to the Child’s age and appetite.
  5. The staff may encourage Children to try new foods, but no Child shall be forced to eat anything they do not want.
  6. Unhealthy foods such as convenience food, fast food, and highly processed foods with high salt or sugar content must be limited to special occasions such as holiday celebrations and birthday parties. Soda must not be served at any time.
  7. Only 4 to 6 ounces of 100% juice without added sugars may be served to Children over 12 months of age, not more than once daily.
  8. Children must be allowed time to eat their food, not be rushed during the meal or snack time, and must be seated. Children must not be allowed to play, watch television or use electronic devices during meal or snack time.

B. Handwashing. All adults and all Children must wash their hands immediately prior to preparing or consuming snacks and meals.

C. Allergies. Documentation regarding Children’s food allergies/food intolerance as verified by a physician must be readily accessible and reviewed by all staff responsible for food preparation and distribution. Food must be prepared according to a written plan for each Child with a food allergy or food intolerance. The plan must be reviewed and updated as the Child’s needs change or a minimum of once a year.

D. Child Care Staff Member Responsibilities

  1. Child Care Staff Members who are ill must not work in the food preparation area. Child Care Staff Members with open sores that cannot be covered must not handle or prepare food.
  2. Children may be permitted in meal preparation areas only when under the direct supervision of a Child Care Staff Member and there is no danger of injury from kitchen equipment.
  3. Children must be within sight and sound of Child Care Staff Members must be able to see and hear all children during meal and snack times.
  4. Any food served to one Child must not be re-served to another Child.

E. Food Storage

  1. All contaminated, spoiled, and expired foods must be disposed of promptly. Swelled, rusted, dented, or leaky canned food or drink must not be consumed and must be disposed of promptly.
  2. All perishable food must be kept at the appropriate temperature
  3. Refrigerators must be kept at a temperature not to exceed 40° Fahrenheit. A thermometer must be kept in the refrigerator at all times.
  4. Freezers must be kept at a temperature not to exceed 0° Fahrenheit. A thermometer must be kept in the freezer at all times.
  5. Food stored in the refrigerator must be stored in a manner that permits free circulation of cool air. All foods must be covered. Containers of food in the refrigerator in Child Care Facilities Children must be labeled and dated. Containers of leftover foods must be served within three days of preparation.
  6. Box/bag lunches or other food supplied from outside the program must be kept refrigerated if required.

F. Food Preparation

  1. Frozen foods must be thawed in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Frozen foods defrosted in the microwave oven must be immediately served or prepared for service.
  2. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be thoroughly washed before use.
  3. Food, if heated, must be served to Children only after contents have been mixed, stirred, and temperature checked to prevent scalding.

G. Equipment and Utensils

  1. All food preparation and eating surfaces must be Cleaned before and after use.
  2. Dishes and utensils must be washed in an automatic dishwasher or thoroughly washed in warm soapy water and rinsed in hot water.
  3. Paper products must have a single use and must be disposed of immediately after use.
  4. Single-service utensils must be used only once.

H. Kitchen facilities

  1. Kitchen areas must be well-lighted, clean, sanitary, and orderly.
  2. The food preparation area must not be used for other activities when food or drink is being prepared or served.
  3. All hot foods and liquids must be out of Children’s reach. A staff person who is cooking or drinking a hot beverage must not hold Children.
  4. In Child Care Facilities, pets must not be kept or allowed in areas where food or drink is being prepared.
  5. Proper sinks with approved plumbing and hot and cold water under pressure must be available in all rooms where food or drink is prepared, or utensils are washed. Bathrooms are not to be used for preparing foods, cleaning bottles for infants, or washing dishes.
  6. Surfaces coming into contact with food or drink must be easily cleanable, uncluttered, and in good repair.
  7. Kitchen facilities must be maintained in a sanitary condition free of insects, rodents, and other contaminants. All utensils, equipment, and food must be stored in a clean, dry place free from insects, rodents, and other contamination and must be handled in such a manner as to prevent contamination.
  8. Wastewater pipes in Child Care Programs serving 13 or more Children must not be located over food preparation, storage or serving areas.
  9. The refrigerator must be maintained in a clean and sanitary fashion, free from mold and spills.