A Fantastic End to NCNC23: Thursday Recap
April 13, 2023
We started the day off with our Boardwalk 5K Fun Run/Walk, with over 100 attendees taking in the gorgeous views along the Embarcadero Walkway early in the morning. The last full day of the National Child Nutrition Conference featured more than a whopping 90 workshop sessions for attendees, which continued to receive rave reviews.
Advanced CACFP Meal Patterns
“The workshop was about knowing what to serve, how to serve, what’s creditable or not creditable, and what is appropriate for the child’s age range. What made it advanced was that anything you wanted to know that you didn’t know, Isabel (Ramos-Lebron) went above and beyond to explain that to you. There were a lot of questions, so it was a lot of knowledge and information about things that I wasn’t aware of. What stood out to me about Isabel was her jokes and her whole presentation and slideshow. But she had jokes and that made the workshop fun!” - Iyanna Weems, Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers
“We talked a lot about deconstructing how the food industry has been colonized, and what we all agreed upon is that certain foods are being pushed more than cultural foods. We discussed what we would do in our areas that would be relevant to where we’re from. We also talked about how food was brought to us as a child, and differences between home life and the institutionalized side of things. One takeaway I had was looking at nutrition schedules in different cultures. In America, we’re very scheduled by time in terms of breakfast, lunch and supper. So it is interesting to compare that to what is more in tune with the communities we serve instead.” - Tara Evans, Spokane Tribe of Indians
For Sponsors: Program Compliance and Audit Preparedness
“The basis of the workshop was how to be audit-ready and prepare for that review. They talked about some of the challenges and different things we could do, and also record keeping and the challenges associated with that. I’ve been working with my sponsoring agency for 18 years, and I’m still able to get new ideas by coming to conferences like this. What really stuck out to me was about the record keeping and doing it electronically. I do everything electronically, but our sites do everything with paper records. It gave some consideration to keeping everything in that audit state all the time instead of just when it’s time for the audit. I have a personal motto of being audit-ready at all times, so my takeaway was instead of having to get ready – to be ready.” – Stella Marshall, Children’s Hunger Alliance
Never Fear, Help with Crediting Grains is Here!
“It talked about the three different ways to credit grains in the CACFP using the Food Buying Guide, the Exhibit A handout from USDA, and weighing the grains and doing the calculations yourself. I’m with a State Agency, so we also provide the training for our centers. We use the Food Buying Guide, mostly, which is something that our centers find most difficult. In the workshop, we went through the app, which I’ve never personally used before. I found that really handy and much more convenient than using the computer version.” – Jessica Hansen, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Serving Summer Meals Where the Kids Are
“They talked more about ways different sites can serve kids, like doing social nights, barbecues and things like that to keep families engaged and the kids coming back. I would say my biggest takeaway is learning new ways to do more activities. We already do a lot of activities – we’ve got six schools and then our own facility that services 100 kids. A lot of people don’t know about our nonprofit organization, so hosting more socials is a great way to get families within the community involved.”- Valli McElroy, Better Family Life, Inc.
USDA Back in Action
How does the USDA promote and elevate nutrition security? Alberto A. González, Jr. gave an insight into this goal during our Lunch & Learn session. Highlights included an explanation of what nutrition security is, how it intersects with health equity and structural racism, and the USDA’s four-pillar approach to tackling food and nutrition insecurity. The USDA then closed out the day with its Town Hall, where it answered questions that both our onsite and virtual attendees submitted prior to the conference.