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CACFP University

The National CACFP Sponsors Association makes it a priority to help keep our providers up-to-date with the latest policy, guidelines and best practices. We're happy to offer many of our virtual events on demand, so you can follow a training program that works around your schedule. CEUs marked with a $ are paid resources and pricing can be found on the respective item's expanded information.

Looking for the Child Nutrition Virtual Summit? Click here!

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CACFP University

Learn about meal pattern guidelines and practices.

 

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Heartful Choices: Keeping Children Healthy ($)

January 25, 2024

February is American Heart Month! As love fills the air and hearts take center stage, it’s the ideal time to get tips to make recipes heart healthy and to learn fun ideas on how to keep children active.

Watch On Demand

Holiday Menu Planning ($)

December 9, 2021

Holiday Menu Planning in the CACFP? Yes! Healthy and festive. Looking for ideas to replace traditional holiday sweets and treats with healthy and nutritious foods? Want to learn more about what #CACFPCreditable Holiday meals look like among different cultures?

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How to Credit Recipes in the CACFP ($)

December 15, 2022

Maybe you love to develop delicious recipes, or a parent has shared one of their family favorites, but you are not sure how to make it creditable in the CACFP. Learn key tips and methods on how to evaluate recipes to ensure they are #CACFPCreditable as we guide you through our recipe crediting worksheet.

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Identifying Whole Grain-Rich in the CACFP

June 24, 2020

Serving whole grain-rich (WGR) grains is an important element of the meal pattern. Learn how to identify which product meet the whole grain-rich regulations. Trainers can use this workshops to support CACFP participants.

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Marketing Your Business: Outreach 101

March 15, 2023

Looking to promote the CACFP to new providers and centers who aren’t on the food program? Trying to figure out how to let parents know why childcare programs who participate in the CACFP means their children are getting a healthy start in life? Learn why it’s important to add regular outreach activities to your to-do list. We’ll talk about hosting virtual open house events, going live on Facebook, adding giveaways to your social media, developing regular communications, and why supporting community events matters.

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Power of the Food Program

Learn how the CACFP contributes to nutrition security and why you should participate. Get practical training on serving healthy meals. Discover ideas and resources you can use in your program immediately.

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Beginners’ Guide to the Five Meal Pattern Components ($)

January 27, 2023

Centers, family child care homes, and afterschool care play a critical role in serving nutritious foods to those they serve. The CACFP guides you on how to provide healthy meals using five food components which make up the meal service requirements: grains, fruits, vegetables, meats/meat alternates and milk. Learn when these are required and how they fit into the CACFP meal pattern.

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Joining Made Easy – Five Steps to Food Program Success ($)

December 7, 2022

Are you convinced and ready to join the CACFP, but not sure where to get started? Learn how to successfully launch the program at your center, home or afterschool site. Find out how to work with a sponsor who will provide you training, technical assistance, monitoring, and administrative support or how to work with a state agency directly. Start getting financial reimbursement for meals you are already serving.

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Keeping Kids Healthy: All About Food Allergens & How to Read Food Labels ($)

December 7, 2022

Serving those in our care safely is our top priority! Learn about the nine major food allergens and how to recognize what food products contain these. Get a better understanding of how to read the food label to identify and avoid food allergens.

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Making Cents! How to Get Financial Reimbursement for the Meals You Serve ($)

December 7, 2022

Reimbursement rates for CACFP participants are dependent upon a variety of factors, such as whether you operate a family home child care, center, or afterschool program. Learn how to determine what the amount of reimbursement would be based on your enrollment, meal service, and rates of reimbursement. Discover how to qualify and how to receive financial reimbursement once you join the CACFP.

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Playing Around: Making Physical Activity Part of Your Program ($)

December 7, 2022

Being healthy is not only based on the foods we serve but also how we stay moving throughout the day. Learn why keeping children active should be an important part in everyday activities and how essential physical activity is to child development. Get ideas on how to incorporate new, fun, physical activity games into your program.

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2023 National Child Nutrition Conference

Originally held April 10-14, 2023 - watch the virtual sessions from the 2023 National Child Nutrition Conference in San Diego.

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Advocating for a Third Meal ($)

April 13, 2023

Ready to advocate for a reimbursement of a third meal but unsure of where to start? Explore the importance of advocating at the state and local levels in early childhood nutrition and how to secure legislation and funding.

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Body Positivity and Cultivating Good Relationships with Food

April 13, 2023

Our relationship with food develops at an early age. Labeling certain foods as “bad” or calling someone a “good eater” or “picky eater” can create unintended harmful effects that can follow kids through life. Learn how to help kids cultivate a good relationship with food from the start.

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CACFP 101 ($)

April 11, 2023

You’re new-ish to the CACFP, working in it daily, and you’ve got the big picture. It’s been one or two years since you’ve started working in CACFP, so concepts aren’t new or foreign to you, but you’d love to really explore the important areas with your peers. Attend this structured learning institute to review the meal patterns, discuss basic program administration and get a requirements refresher while also sharing in some table talk.

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Gardening Activities for Every Classroom ($)

April 13, 2023

Ready to grow? Explore the many benefits of gardening with the children in your care. Learn about indoor and outdoor gardening activities to try in your classrooms. A love of gardening and dirt are not required.

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Healthy Habits Count ($)

April 11, 2023

Establishing healthy habits and routines during early childhood can set the stage for lifelong wellbeing. The 5-2-1-0 framework encourages children to develop positive habits through nutrition and physical activity. Learn how 5-2-1-0 reinforces CACFP meal patterns and best practices to help kids thrive.

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Meal Innovations: Maximize Labor & Mitigate Supply Chain Issues ($)

April 12, 2023

Learn creative ways to maximize your labor and food resources to ensure great participation in your Summer Food Program. Get great ideas on how to package individual items, an entire meal or create a weekly meal box. Take home creative menu ideas requiring minimal labor and suggestions to resolve supply chain issues.

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SFSP 100 ($)

April 11, 2023

Don’t know what SFSP even means? Are you brand new to child nutrition food programs? Do you run one program and are thinking about sponsoring another? Learn how this food program provides healthy food access for children in child care, afterschool, out-of-school time and during summer.

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Small Tweaks, Giant Peaks: Reframing Your Mindset ($)

April 13, 2023

Are you feeling burnt out or unmotivated? Learn skills to reframe your mindset to create your best self and get strategies to help you find success. Whatever your roles and responsibilities entail, these best practices will help you level up and prepare for the future.

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Tailoring Menus to Accommodate Special Diets ($)

April 12, 2023

Unsure of how to plan menus for children with special dietary needs? Explore the key considerations to remember when planning and sourcing CACFP creditable substitutions for special diets such as food allergies, gluten-free, and preparing texture-modified diets.

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2022 National Child Nutrition Conference

Originally held April 19-21, 2022 - watch the virtual sessions from the 2022 National Child Nutrition Conference in New Orleans.

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CACFP Administrative Budgets

April 20, 2022

Learn tips and best practices on the preparation of an acceptable administrative budget. Topics will include the importance of strategic planning, using historical financial information to develop the budget, determining what expenses are allowable/ unallowable, identifying staffing requirements, how excess administrative funds affect the budget and updating the budget throughout the year.

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Crediting Basics and Beyond: An In-Depth Look at the Crediting Handbook for the CACFP

April 19, 2022

Join the USDA for this interactive session on the new Crediting Handbook for CACFP. We will review the ins and outs of each of the five required meal components, discuss both creditable and non-creditable food items, and engage the audience in hands-on crediting exercises. You won’t want to miss it!

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Digestible Bites: Modifying Food for Special Diets ($)

April 21, 2022

Learn the differences between various types of mechanical diets and how to prepare these foods to meet CACFP guidelines.

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Eat. Create. Cultivate. Fun with Food Through Positive Mealtime Experiences ($)

April 21, 2022

Come learn ideas and tools providers can use to implement positive mealtimes. Topics include Smarter Mealtimes, examining picky eater’s behaviors while identifying tips for creating adventurous eaters and engaging child participation in the kitchen. Leave with strategies, recipes and activities that engage children of any age!

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Run Your Race: Becoming the Best Version of Yourself ($)

April 21, 2022

Ready to reignite your passion? Become motivated around the fact that you matter, and what you do is important. Learn who you are at your best, and what helps you to operate at optimal potency. Leave understanding what your best ability is, and why it is important to stay encouraged even in the tough times.

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2021 Virtual National Child Nutrition Conference

Originally held April 19-22, 2021 - watch the 2021 Virtual National Child Nutrition Conference on demand.

 

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Accommodating Participants with Disabilities in Community Meals

April 22, 2021

Get requirement updates related to accommodating participants with disabilities participating in CACFP/SFSP, 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.

Watch On Demand

Baby Steps: Ounce Equivalents for Grains and Infants

April 22, 2021

Get ready to use ounce equivalents to determine the amount of grains to serve to infants in the CACFP! Learn about the requirement going into effect on October 1, 2021 and tools that make implementation easier. Participants will leave this session knowing how much cereal, crackers, and bread are needed to meet meal pattern requirements for infants.

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Continuing Quality Improvement Plans (CQI) ($)

April 21, 2021

Should nutrition be a CQI plan within your Head Start program? Yes! Learn what a CQI plan is and why having a CQI plan goal of decreasing your students BMI is important for your program. Get steps on how to create the right nutrition assessment and how Farm to Early Care implementation can play a vital role in decreasing your students’ BMI.

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Cost-Saving Strategies for Sponsors ($)

April 22, 2021

Learn about proven strategies that have resulted in significant cost savings for CACFP and SFSP Sponsors including electronic meal counting, leftover policies, frozen meals, shelf-stable back-up meals, different meal packaging, and partnering with food banks for donated foods. These valuable tools and tips can produce savings that translate into better quality food and financial security for programming.

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COVID Challenges & Opportunities in the CACFP ($)

April 22, 2021

Learn about the impact of COVID on CACFP providers, sponsors, and state agencies as told through the results of a nationwide survey. Hear about the challenges and training needs for operators, get insights from state directors about challenges of administering CACFP during COVID, and learn about strategies that states and the federal government can take to better support families with young children to avoid food insecurity, including CACFP-specific infrastructure and support.

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Saturday Summit

Watch sessions from past Child Nutrition Saturday Summits on demand.

 

Saturday Summit

Baking Whole Grain-Rich Foods ($)

October 16, 2021

Whole grain-rich baking can be a signature part of your program that benefits menus, snacks, and acceptance while also helping your bottom-line. Learn how to choose a few signature favorite foods and align them with baking activities to involve children and parents in the science, literacy, art, food safety and math to boost benefits beyond the plate. Take home whole grain-rich baking resources.

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CN Labels & Product Formulation Statements: Hands-On Practice

October 3, 2020

When should you request a CN Label or PFS? Is the crediting documentation for your product acceptable? Get clarity on common issues related to inaccurate or misleading product documentation. USDA will provide guidance on accepting documentation for meal pattern requirements and share sample Product Formulation Statements and CN Labels. Learn how to assess crediting documentation using sample CN Labels and Product Formulation Statements.

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Cultivating Cultural Awareness Through Food ($)

October 3, 2020

Americans of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds are disproportionately affected by many chronic diseases, highlighting the need for more inclusive dietary messaging. Explore cultural models of healthy eating from around the world, with practical tips, insight, and recipes for diverse populations, with a special focus on Gen Z, and a cooking demonstration.

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Garden to Early Childhood Education ($)

October 3, 2020

Learn how to implement a Garden to Early Childhood program model in your curriculum. Hear about suggested best practices, fundamentals of teaching gardening to young children, planning year-round gardening activities, and incorporating a garden-to-table element for a healthy and fresh food program.

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Little Chefs, Big Appetites ($)

October 14, 2023

We know that children are more likely to try a new food when they are involved in creating a meal or snack. But how do you set up a safe environment at your family child care home that allows children to do this? Learn different strategies on how your kitchen helpers can assist you in making food with age-appropriate tasks, whether it is in the kitchen or eating area. Receive easy recipes to hone their fine motor skills while handling food.

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Boot Camp

Take a deep dive into specialized topics. Past boot camps include Special Diets in the CACFP and CACFP Head Start.

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A Change of Taste: Reducing Sodium in the CACFP ($)

September 28, 2023

Sodium plays an essential role in our body but consuming too much can cause us harm over time. In the CACFP, it is recommended to serve foods low in sodium. Learn about the the impacts of sodium and how to reduce sodium while still retaining flavor in the meals you serve.

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Beginners’ Guide to Serving Foods to Participants with Swallowing Difficulties ($)

August 31, 2022

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.

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CACFP Infant to Toddler Meal Patterns Quizapalooza ($)

December 6, 2023

Maybe you are new or have been working in the CACFP for quite some time. But are you a CACFP Infant Meal Pattern Superstar? This fun, interactive session will test your knowledge in the CACFP meal patterns specific to infants and fill in the details of what you may not know!

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CACFP Regulations for Head Start ($)

September 26, 2023

Operating CACFP in Head Start is a requirement, but do you know the differences between what’s a CACFP regulation and what is mandated by Head Start? Learn what the Head Start performance standards that govern child nutrition are and how they align with the CACFP to provide good nutrition to children. Gain an understanding of the requirements and hear about the latest updates in Head Start performance standards for child nutrition.

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Civil Rights Complaint Procedures ($)

September 27, 2023

It’s a requirement for operators of CACFP to ensure non-discrimination in the administration of the program and knowing how to establish a written procedure for handling civil rights complaints related to discrimination is important. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the Civil Rights Complaint Procedures and learn how to develop a Self-Assessment Checklist, essential components for compliance. Enhance your knowledge, strengthen your agency’s commitment to civil rights in the CACFP, and be inspired by a real-life example showcasing the successful execution of these procedures.

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