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Meal Pattern Minute: Crediting Bean/Pea Noodles as Meat/Meat Alternate

February 16, 2024

How can you credit pasta noodles that are made from beans or peas?

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Summer Meals: Meeting Families Where They Are 

February 13, 2024

Summer is a time of great uncertainty for many children who experience food insecurity. During the school year more than 30 million children receive breakfast and/or lunch at school, but during summer break children lose access to these daily meals. This is where the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Summer Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBT) come into play.

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Meal Pattern Minute: Lactose-Free Milk

February 9, 2024

Is lactose-free milk also dairy free?

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CACFP Sponsoring Organizations: Vital to Getting Nutritious Meals to Children

February 8, 2024

Family child care homes, who are vital to the child care system, especially in rural areas, could lose access to nutritious meals in some states due to the decline in sponsoring organizations.

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100 More Scholarships!

February 7, 2024

100 More Scholarships! February 7, 2024 While we have already awarded 15 scholarships to attend the National Child Nutrition Conference, April 22-26, we are thrilled to announce that we’re opening up applications for even more scholarships! We’ll be giving away up to 100 scholarships, which is over $50,000 dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for the…

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FY 2024 Reallocation of SAE Funds in Child Nutrition Programs

February 6, 2024

USDA released a memo providing information state agencies need to conduct the FY 2024 reallocation of State Administrative Expense (SAE) funds in the child nutrition programs (CNPs).

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100 More Scholarships!

February 7, 2024

100 More Scholarships! February 7, 2024 While we have already awarded 15 scholarships to attend the National Child Nutrition Conference, April 22-26, we are thrilled to announce that we’re opening up applications for even more scholarships! We’ll be giving away up to 100 scholarships, which is over $50,000 dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for the…

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Upcoming Virtual Events

February 1, 2024

Check out these virtual events coming up at NCA!

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Scholarship Recipients Announced for #NCNC24

January 30, 2024

Seven in-person and eight virtual scholarships have been awarded from the National CACFP Sponsors Association (NCA) for the 2024 National Child Nutrition Conference.

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Join the Community in Celebrating National CACFP Week

January 11, 2024

National CACFP Week is March 10-16, 2024. Here’s how you can participate and enter to win fabulous prizes.

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Scholarship Recipients Announced for SFSP Boot Camp

January 9, 2024

Eighty individuals were named a recipient of a scholarship to attend the Summer Food Service Boot Camp on January 17.

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Upcoming Virtual Events

December 11, 2023

Check out these virtual events coming up at NCA!

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CACFP Sponsoring Organizations: Vital to Getting Nutritious Meals to Children

February 8, 2024

Family child care homes, who are vital to the child care system, especially in rural areas, could lose access to nutritious meals in some states due to the decline in sponsoring organizations.

Read More

FY 2024 Reallocation of SAE Funds in Child Nutrition Programs

February 6, 2024

USDA released a memo providing information state agencies need to conduct the FY 2024 reallocation of State Administrative Expense (SAE) funds in the child nutrition programs (CNPs).

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Updated Instructions for the SAE Recovery Process and SAE Financial Status Report

January 24, 2024

USDA released CACFP guidance for state agencies on changes to SAE funds and how they are tracked and reported.

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SFSP 2024 Reimbursement Rates

January 19, 2024

The USDA has released the SFSP reimbursement rates for 2024.

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Rural Designations in the Summer Meal Programs

January 19, 2024

USDA released a guidance memo explaining the revised definition of rural created in the interim final rule on the SFSP non-congregate option.

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January Policy Update

January 16, 2024

Since our last policy updated, there has been new legislation introduced, waivers approved, guidance released, as well as an Interim Final Rule for SFSP rural, non-congregate feeding. There have also been multiple research papers published regarding the CACFP. Check out the recent policy updates below!

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Free Coloring Page: Snack Time!

March 1, 2021

Download this free Snack Time! coloring page to engage your CACFP participants in playful education about healthy snacking.

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Free Activity Page: Eclipse Sun Fun

March 1, 2021

Download this free Eclipse Sun Fun activity page to teach your CACFP participants about solar eclipses!

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Free Activity Page: Farm to Table

March 1, 2021

Download this free farm-to-table activity page to teach your CACFP participants about eating fresh, local food.

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Member Resource: Healthy Habits Puzzle

March 1, 2021

NCA Members can download these healthy habits puzzles! Members have access to information resources, activity pages and much more!

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Member Resource: Say Cheese Coloring Page

March 1, 2021

NCA Members can download this Say Cheese! CACFP coloring page! Members have access to information resources, activity pages and much more!

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Broccoli Five Ways

February 25, 2021

Download and print this free full color infographic on five great frozen broccoli recipes from the USDA.

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Meal Pattern Minute: Crediting Bean/Pea Noodles as Meat/Meat Alternate

February 16, 2024

How can you credit pasta noodles that are made from beans or peas?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Lactose-Free Milk

February 9, 2024

Is lactose-free milk also dairy free?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Sugar in Muffins and Sweet Crackers

February 2, 2024

The CACFP has sugar limits for breakfast cereals and yogurt – what about other foods that can be high in sugar, like muffins and sweet crackers?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Tomato Soup

January 26, 2024

Can store-bought tomato soup be credited as a vegetable in the CACFP?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Ounce Equivalency for Meat

January 19, 2024

When determining ounce equivalency of meat, is that done before or after it is cooked?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Substituting Cheese By Volume

January 12, 2024

If you had a recipe that called for one cup of shredded cheddar cheese, could you replace it with one cup of Parmesan cheese and have the same ounce equivalency?

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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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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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Afterschool Supper Participation Decreased from 2021 to 2022

November 27, 2023

A report by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) found that while participation in afterschool supper remained steady throughout the pandemic, there has been a 23% decrease in participation between October 2021 and October 2022.

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Christina Flythe

January 18, 2024

Christina Flythe is the Health and Nutrition Director at the Child Care Council of Suffolk which sponsors over 270 family and group child care homes. Learn why she thinks they are a successful sponsor and get tips that might be helpful to you.

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Hmong Reflections on the CACFP 

November 20, 2023

This article by the Hmong American Farmers Association presents highlights of Hmong in-home early care providers’ feedback on the benefits of enrollment, recommendations on how CACFP could work best for them and suggestions for improvement to the program.

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Congressman Landsman Visits Ohio Child Care

October 9, 2023

Last week Congressman Greg Landsman visited Loving Kindness Education and Learning Center in his home district to announce the introduction of the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act. The act would support child care providers who administer the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) across the nation by increasing their reimbursements for serving nutritious meals to those in their care.

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CACFP participant child hands making heart symbol

CACFP Inspire: Kidz Korner in Payson, Arizona

November 21, 2022

Eleven years ago, Lidia Madrid opened Kidz Korner in Payson, Arizona to see her children and other local children grow up and learn safely in a town where there were limited child care options.

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Headshot of Shedron Davis over a beige background

CACFP Inspire: Shedron Davis of Alpha & Omega Nutrition Program, Inc in Memphis

October 25, 2022

Shedron Davis is the Founder and Executive Director of Alpha & Omega, and her mission is to empower children to succeed through a healthy lifestyle.

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CACFP Inspire: Jessica Coleman of Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens in Virginia

October 20, 2022

Jessica Coleman is the children’s day care supervisor and CACFP manager at Generations, an intergenerational daycare in Virginia.

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