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Meal Pattern Minute: Vegan Cheese

February 9, 2023

Plant-based diets are growing in prevalence, and there are tons of great vegan options to serve in the CACFP, like tofu, tempeh, nuts and legumes. Does vegan cheese fit into the CACFP meal pattern?

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Proposed Rule: Revisions to Meal Patterns to be Consistent with the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

February 7, 2023

The USDA released a document with proposed revisions to Child Nutrition Programs’ meal patterns in order to be consistent with the 2020 dietary guidelines for Americans. Key proposed changes that affect CACFP include:

1. New “added sugar” standards for breakfast cereals and yogurts
2. Flavored milk restrictions, dependent on age-group
3. Vegetables can be substituted for grains in programs that primarily serve American Indian or Alaska Native children
4. Nuts and seeds may credit for the full meat/meat alternate component
5. Terminology Changes

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Meal Pattern: Crediting Yogurt as Fluid Milk

February 2, 2023

Yogurt – does it credit as a meat/meat alternate or a fluid milk?

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Female child care provider leaning over a table helping children with craft.

Experiences of Early Child Care and Education Operators During the Pandemic

February 1, 2023

In December 2022, the Indiana University CACFP Project Team released a report describing the child nutrition and care provision experiences among early care and education (ECE) stakeholders, sponsors, and center directors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was conducted in four states and a variety of ECE stakeholders participated. The study identifies six common experiences among ECE stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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National CACFP Week is Coming Up – Are You Ready?

January 31, 2023

National CACFP Week is March 12-18,2023. What can you do to celebrate?

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CACFP Required Annual Training FY2023

January 31, 2023

The CACFP plays a vital role in nutrition equity for children and adults in centers and day care homes by providing access to healthful meals. Sponsors and providers are critical for the continued success of this program. The required annual training in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a critical component in…

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Upcoming Virtual Events in June

May 30, 2024

Check out these virtual events coming up this month at NCA!

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Upcoming Virtual Events in May

May 2, 2024

Check out these virtual events coming up this month at NCA!

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Earn CPEUs at the National Child Nutrition Conference

April 25, 2024

We’re thrilled to inform you that the 2024 National Child Nutrition Conference offers an excellent opportunity for you to earn Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) while immersing yourself in a world of learning and networking.

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Additional Scholarship Recipients Announced for #NCNC24

March 22, 2024

The National CACFP Sponsors Association is excited to introduce the newest group of scholarship winners for the 2024 National Child Nutrition Conference!

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Celebrate Child Care Providers Serving Nutritious Meals in Your Community

March 7, 2024

Next week is National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week! Over 138,000 child and adult care providers serve nutritious meals to over 4.5 million children and adults every day with the help of 24,000 supporting institutions. Join us in celebrating throughout the week.

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Upcoming Virtual Events

February 29, 2024

Check out these virtual events coming up at NCA!

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Geographic Preference Expansion Related to the Final Rule

May 22, 2024

This memorandum provides a detailed explanation of the expanded geographic preference option. CNP operators, State agencies purchasing for CNPs, and the USDA Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (USDA DoD Fresh) may use local as a specification and continue to set a geographic preference when soliciting or buying unprocessed agricultural products.

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NCA Response – Proposed Rule for the Serious Deficiency Process

May 17, 2024

In February 2024, USDA released the proposed rule Serious Deficiency Process in the CACFP and SFSP. After meeting with members and extensive research NCA has submitted our response to USDA stating our position on the proposed changes.

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Addressing Child Hunger When School is Out 

May 14, 2024

While summer is a time for relaxation and vacation for some, it is a time of great uncertainty for many children who experience food insecurity. Afterschool and on the weekend, children are also unsure of where their meals will come from. That’s where Child Nutrition Programs step in.

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NCA Commends USDA Improvements to Child Nutrition Programs

May 13, 2024

Last month, USDA released a final rule to better align Child Nutrition Programs with the 2020-2025 DGAs. NCA is glad to see such positive changes made to Child Nutrition Programs and commends USDA for their leadership in improving program vital to child food security.

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Comment Requested – Serious Deficiency Process in the CACFP & SFSP

May 9, 2024

USDA has requested comments on their proposed rule for the Serious Deficiency process for CACFP and SFSP. They need your feedback to help them determine what changes to make!

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Updates to Nutrition Requirements in CACFP & SFSP

April 24, 2024

The USDA recently released a Final Rule that better aligns meal patterns in the CACFP, SFSP, and School Meals with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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More Native Foods Added to the Food Buying Guide

September 6, 2023

The Child and Adult Care Food Program has new creditable foods listed on the USDA Food Buying Guide! If you are new to the FBG, this interactive tool allows for easy display, search, and navigation of food yield information. In addition, users can compare yield information, create a favorite foods list, and access tools, such as the Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW) and the Product Formulation Statement Workbook.

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We’re Expanding Our Spanish-Language Resources!

August 2, 2023

The Child and Adult Care Food Program community asked for more Spanish resources to be available on the National CACFP Sponsors Association website and we heard you! Available now in Spanish are more resources to help sponsors and providers with meal pattern requirements, best practices, and so much more!

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Program Comparison Chart: CACFP At-Risk Afterschool and SFSP

June 21, 2023

Serving meals to young people year-round benefits children, families, and care providers. To do this, many providers transition from operating the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool (ARAS) during the school year to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) while school is out. For an overview of the main differences between SFSP and CACFP ARAS, see the comparison chart below.

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NCA Support as Covid-19 Flexibilities Come to an End

June 16, 2023

NCA understands that the end of flexibilities will cause challenges for many CACFP sponsors and providers and we commend your continued commitment to providing nutritious meals and snacks to the children or adults in your care. In preparation for the end of the additional reimbursement, we have collected the following resources to help you successfully provide meals even if your available budget decreases.

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New Feature Available on the Exhibit A Grains Tool

March 22, 2023

The Exhibit A Grains Tool has a new feature that allows users to select their Program and Meal to filter the search results to only creditable grain items for their specific Program.

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New Factsheet for ECE Providers from the CDC

March 16, 2023

CDC created three new fact sheets for Early Care and Education (ECE) providers about Early Child Nutrition and Feeding. The fact sheets offer tips and best practices for supporting breastfeeding families, information about safe storage and handling of breastmilk, and strategies for introducing solid foods.

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Meal Pattern Minute: May Contain Statement on Nut-Free Products

May 24, 2024

Is a manufacturer required to report if a nut-free product was made in a facility that processes nuts?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Identifying Allergens on Food Packaging

May 17, 2024

Where can you find allergens listed on a food’s packaging?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Top 9 Food Allergens

May 10, 2024

What are the top nine most common food allergens?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Meal Counts During Family Style Dining

May 3, 2024

When serving a meal family style in the CACFP, when are meal counts taken?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Reimbursement for Family Style Dining

April 26, 2024

Can a family style meal be reimbursed if a child does not serve themself all of the food components offered?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Preparing Children for Family Style Dining

April 19, 2024

What can you do outside of meal service to prepare children for family style dining?

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More Native Foods Added to the Food Buying Guide

September 6, 2023

The Child and Adult Care Food Program has new creditable foods listed on the USDA Food Buying Guide! If you are new to the FBG, this interactive tool allows for easy display, search, and navigation of food yield information. In addition, users can compare yield information, create a favorite foods list, and access tools, such as the Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW) and the Product Formulation Statement Workbook.

Read More

We’re Expanding Our Spanish-Language Resources!

August 2, 2023

The Child and Adult Care Food Program community asked for more Spanish resources to be available on the National CACFP Sponsors Association website and we heard you! Available now in Spanish are more resources to help sponsors and providers with meal pattern requirements, best practices, and so much more!

Read More

Program Comparison Chart: CACFP At-Risk Afterschool and SFSP

June 21, 2023

Serving meals to young people year-round benefits children, families, and care providers. To do this, many providers transition from operating the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool (ARAS) during the school year to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) while school is out. For an overview of the main differences between SFSP and CACFP ARAS, see the comparison chart below.

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NCA Support as Covid-19 Flexibilities Come to an End

June 16, 2023

NCA understands that the end of flexibilities will cause challenges for many CACFP sponsors and providers and we commend your continued commitment to providing nutritious meals and snacks to the children or adults in your care. In preparation for the end of the additional reimbursement, we have collected the following resources to help you successfully provide meals even if your available budget decreases.

Read More

New Feature Available on the Exhibit A Grains Tool

March 22, 2023

The Exhibit A Grains Tool has a new feature that allows users to select their Program and Meal to filter the search results to only creditable grain items for their specific Program.

Read More

New Factsheet for ECE Providers from the CDC

March 16, 2023

CDC created three new fact sheets for Early Care and Education (ECE) providers about Early Child Nutrition and Feeding. The fact sheets offer tips and best practices for supporting breastfeeding families, information about safe storage and handling of breastmilk, and strategies for introducing solid foods.

Read More

Healthy Tots Helps Address Food Insecurity in D.C.

April 18, 2024

Across the nation, racial inequities have impacted access to federal nutrition programs for people of color. The report by D.C. Hunger Solutions aims to address how racial inequities contribute to hunger and poverty among residents of color in the District of Columbia and to lack of access to federal nutrition programs.

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Leveraging CACFP for Farm to ECE

February 5, 2024

When combined, the CACFP and Farm to Early Care Education (Farm to ECE) activities can have an extraordinary impact on children, child care providers, and local communities. FRAC’s report aims to support child care providers to access CACFP and utilize it for eligible Farm to ECE activities by highlighting the mutually beneficial synergy between these initiatives.

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CACFP Indicator for State-Level Obesity Prevention

December 19, 2023

The CACFP is an indicator for state-level obesity prevention. The inclusion of the CACFP as an indicator for obesity-prevention shows that the CACFP is an important, recognized factor for proper development in the earliest stages of life.

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CACFP Important Factor for Obesity Prevention

December 6, 2023

The University of Colorado College of Nursing published their 2022 Annual Report on Achieving a State of Healthy Weight. The report determines how state regulations support obesity prevention in licensed ECE programs. It also highlights state successes and identifies opportunities for ECE regulations to improve support of obesity prevention in young children.

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State Agency Perspectives on Administering the CACFP

December 4, 2023

A study was published in October 2023 by the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health to explore federal and state policies and practices that support or discourage CACFP participation among child care centers. The report approaches: program outreach and administration, barriers that make CACFP participation challenging, and recommendations to expand access to CACFP for eligible providers.

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Untapped Potential: License-Exempt Home-Based Child care Providers

November 29, 2023

A study was published in October 2023 by the Urban Institute to identify major gaps in the CACFP’s coverage and ability to reach children. The study specifically focused on CACFP eligibility for small home-based child care providers who are legally exempt from their state’s child care licensing requirements.

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On a Mission to Feed Children and Adults in Care

May 29, 2024

Hear from three outstanding CACFP sponsoring organizations about the work that they do with CACFP providers to ensure the children and adults in their care receive nutritious meals.

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Sponsor Spotlight: Kate Abernathy of Providers Choice

April 15, 2024

Kate Abernathy is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Providers Choice which is a state-wide sponsoring organization of 3,000 family child care homes and 90 centers in Minnesota. Hear from Kate!

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Sponsor Spotlight: Rache Cross of Caring People Alliance

March 26, 2024

Rache Cross is the Senior Director of CACFP at Caring People Alliance which sponsors family child care homes, child care centers, and At-Risk Afterschool sites in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Celebrate Child Care Providers Serving Nutritious Meals in Your Community

March 7, 2024

Next week is National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week! Over 138,000 child and adult care providers serve nutritious meals to over 4.5 million children and adults every day with the help of 24,000 supporting institutions. Join us in celebrating throughout the week.

Read More

Sponsor Spotlight: Alix Pasillas of Food For Kids, Inc.

March 5, 2024

Alix Pasillas is the Executive Director of Food For Kids, Inc. which sponsors 137 child care centers, family child care homes, and adult care centers across Nevada. Learn why Alix thinks Food For Kids is a successful sponsor.

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Sponsor Spotlight: Blake Stanford of Southwest Human Development Services

February 26, 2024

Blake Stanford is the President of Southwest Human Development Services which serves over 850 family child care homes across Texas. Learn why Blake thinks Southwest Human Development Services is a successful sponsor.

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