Sentry Page Protection




Each contractor must include in its program a nutrition component that ensures that the children have nutritious meals & snacks.

Meals & snacks must be culturally & developmentally appropriate for the children being served. 

Must meet the nutritional requirements specified by the child care food program.

U.S. Department of Agriculture CACFP regulations mandate that each agency participating in the program make sure that at least one person with CACFP administrative responsibilities complete this California Department of Education (CDE) training each year.

Online Training Link (Available Now through June 22nd)



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 least 1 week in advance):

1) Food safety

  • Hand-washing

  • Clean refrigerator

  • 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


Licensing Food Service Requirement Video

2) Types & amounts of foods on hand

  • Adequate amount of food to serve children at anytime

  • All snack, meal & beverage items meet the food program standards

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.


USDA Food & Nutrition Service

California Department of Education CACFP

Rates, Eligibility Scales & Funding Information

Child Eating Fruit.png

Infant Meal Patterns

The infant meal pattern supports breastfeeding, developmentally appropriate meals & nutritious meals.


CACFP Infant Meal Pattern Poster

Feeding Infants Resource Guide

Child Best Practices

Serving Milk

Choosing Yogurts

Choosing Breakfast Cereals

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.


CACFP Child Meal Pattern Poster

Child Best Practices

Serving Milk

Choosing Yogurts

Choosing Breakfast Cereals

Preschool Nutrition & Active Play Training Course

pancacke with fruit.png

Food Allergies

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.


Sample Allergy Alert Posting

Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations



Teachable Moment

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.


Meal Talk Handout


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.


Claims for Reimbursement Instruction Booklet

CNIPS Login Link

CNIPS Information Webpage

Claims Submission Deadlines

Late Claims

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.


Link to Training Materials: Institute of Child Nutrition



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 

Member Login
Welcome, (First Name)!

Forgot? Show
Log In
Enter Member Area
My Profile Log Out