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Special Diets in the CACFP

August 30-31, 2022 on Zoom

Do you plan the menus at your site? Are you in charge of making sure participants medical statements are in order and on file? Do you struggle with how to make meal pattern modifications to accommodate parent preferences or disabilities? 

 If you serve children or adults meals following the CACFP meal patterns and requirements, join us for this two-day event as we tackle the most common topics surrounding special diets in the CACFP. 

Learn how to apply CACFP meal pattern substitutions or modifications with real, practical solutions to accommodate the diverse needs of children and adults participating in the CACFP. Gain the knowledge you need to help navigate through the intricacies of policy regulations and proper documentation. Get recipes and resources to provide not only safe meals, but delicious ones as well! 

Topics Include:

  • Accommodating Participants with Disabilities in Community Meals
  • Intro to Meal Modifications & Special Diets
  • Common Allergens & Reading the Food Label
  • Wheat & Gluten-Free Meal Modifications
  • Dairy Meal Modifications
  • Beginners' Guide to Serving Foods to Participants with Swallowing Difficulties
  • Vegetarian Meals
  • Meal Modification Cooking Demonstration
  • FAQ: Reinforcing Training & Managing Situations

Earn up to 7 Hours of CEUs *Registration includes on-demand viewing through September 15, 2022.*

 Tuesday, August 30: 11:00 am - 3:30 pm Eastern


11:00am - 11:10 am | Boot Camp Welcome 

Don’t miss this quick welcome and overview of our Zoom Boot Camp for Special Diets. 


11:15 am - 12:15 pm | Accommodating Participants with Disabilities in Community Meals  

Get requirement updates related to accommodating participants with disabilities participating in CACFP, as required by Federal law, USDA regulations and the Policy Memorandum, Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program to ensure equal access and opportunity. 

  • Understand the requirements under Civil Rights in providing meal modifications. 
  • Learn the necessary actions CACFP providers need to take to be in compliance. 
  • Review what you need to have on a medical statement in order to serve foods in a safe manner. 


12:30 pm – 1:30 pm | Introduction to Meal Modifications and Special Diets
Learn the differences between various types of special diets and how to prepare these foods to meet CACFP guidelines. 

  • Know what a meal modification is. 
  • Learn how to serve modified meals. 
  • Navigate through meal modification scenarios.


1:45 pm - 2:45 pm | Common Allergens and Reading the Food Label  

Discover the top nine food allergens and learn to recognize what food products contain these. Get a better understanding of how to read the food label to identify and avoid food allergens. 

  • Become familiar with the top nine food allergens. 
  • Learn how to read the Nutrition Facts Label. 
  • Identify food allergens from the ingredient list. 


3:00 pm - 3:30 pm | Wheat & Gluten-Free Meal Modifications  

Develop an understanding about the differences between wheat and gluten meal modifications. Learn how to identify food products containing wheat or gluten. Receive recipe ideas that will help you adapt and modify your menus. 

  • Define wheat and gluten allergens. 
  • Learn about wheat-free and gluten-free products. 
  • Discover wheat-free or gluten-free meal options.  

Wednesday, August 31: 11:00 am - 4:30 pm Eastern


11:00 am - 11:10 am | Day Two Check-In

Join us to share your feedback and any questions you have so far.


11:15 am – 11:45 am | Dairy Meal Modifications 

Learn how to adjust your menu when a participant has a dairy allergy. Receive training on how to identify foods containing dairy, how to modify recipes, and what dairy products can be replaced to meet the fluid milk component. 

  • Review dairy allergens when applied to fluid milk and dairy products. 
  • Identify alternative food products to meet CACFP meal components.  
  • Explore various dairy-free recipe ideas. 


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm | Beginners' Guide to Serving Foods to Participants with Swallowing Difficulties 

Obtain a broad overview about dietary needs of individuals with swallowing impairment. Receive information on the various types of texture-modified diets to safely feed individuals. 

  • Understand the universal standards when serving foods to participants with dysphagia. 
  • Differentiate food preparations between dysphagia levels. 
  • Learn how to modify meals based on dysphagia level. 


1:15pm – 1:45 pm | Vegetarian Meals  

Discover new ways to incorporate plant-based meals into the CACFP meal pattern. Learn how using plant-based recipes can be beneficial to your budget and your health. 

  • Explain the differences between vegetarian and other plant-based diets. 
  • State the benefits of serving vegetarian meals in a CACFP cycle menu. 
  • Learn how to incorporate vegetarian meals into the CACFP meal pattern. 


2:00 pm - 2:30 pm | Meal Modification Cooking Demonstration  

You’ve learned about how to modify meals based on special dietary requests; now see how it’s done! Join us in this half hour cooking session where you will get recipes using these meal modifications.


2:45 pm - 3:45 pm | FAQ: Reinforcing Training & Managing Situations 

You’ve got questions, we've got answers. We’ll review the special diets bootcamp training and answer questions you’ve asked along the way.  


4:00 pm – 4:30 pm | CACFP Professionals Certification Overview 

It’s time to get your CACFP Management Professional or CACFP Child Nutrition Professional designation! Join us for an overview of the certification program to learn what the qualifications are and to hear how it has impacted CACFP professionals who value these credentials. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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