THE HOW & WHAT
Interpreting regulations & putting them into practice can be challenging. Below are strategies to ensure this component is met:
Food Service Requirements for Child Care Centers
Serving safe & nutritious foods to children in care is one of your most important responsibilities. During a facility inspection, Community Care Licensing will review your posted menu (Posted at lease 1 week in advance):
1) Food safety
Clean food storage space. All edible items must be stored separately from cleaning materials & poisons
Food & infant milk brought from home must be labeled with child’s name, contents & date provided
Child & Adult Food Program (CACFP)
CACFP provides aid to child care facilities & homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, & development of young children.
Child Meal Patterns
The child meal patterns ensure children have access to healthy, balanced meals throughout the day with the focus on providing a greater variety of vegetables & fruit, whole grains & less added sugar & saturated fat.
There must be a confidential alert system in place to ensure anyone serving food is aware of any child that may have a food allergy.
Meal & snack times provide great opportunities for teachable moments such as learning about nutrition, trying something new, table manners & sharing. They are also a perfect time to develop & practice conversation skills.
Teachers may use the Meal Talk Handout developed by Head Start Center for Inclusion as a tool to spur & support conversation between children during mealtimes.
The California Department of Education administrators CACFP. Once approved to participate, each sponsor must submit a monthly Claim for Reimbursement via the Child Nutrition Information & Payment System (CNIPS) in order to receive payment for meals served.
Institute of Child Nutrition
We encourage staff preparing meals being served to take the online courses available through the Institute of Child Nutrition. Both the infant & child courses are approximately 4 hours each.
THE BOTTOM LINE
During a monitoring review the following evidence will be reviewed:
Review of the menu & observation that children are being served nutritious meals & snacks
List of any children with food allergies
Policies & procedures for meals & snacks
Education Code: 8203(l), 8204, 8240(f), 8245(b)(5), 8246(g)
Title 5: 18111, 18278