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2023 NCNC Single Line 37th Left White with Drop Shadow

April 10-14, 2023

San Diego, California

CACFP · Afterschool Meals · Summer Food


Workshops do not require pre-registration, and you are welcome to attend any workshop you desire.

Browse our workshops by looking at the conference's education tracks:

If you'll be joining us in San Diego, your registration fee includes all workshop sessions, doubling your investment with on-demand viewing.

We'll mark which sessions will be hybrid onsite/virtual sessions. These sessions can still be attended onsite, but will also be recorded and available for on-demand viewing through May 15, 2023. So, if you're having trouble deciding between a hybrid session and another workshop during that time slot, you can choose both!

If you're unable to be onsite, your registration fee will cover live Zoom access to all hybrid sessions plus on-demand viewing through May 15.

Workshops are subject to change.

New this year!

We've identified three learning objectives for workshops. You'll see them listed under the session descriptions.




Nutrition Track

Best Practices in Garden to Early Childhood
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. ~CEU Specialty 1

  1. Get strategies to increase access to healthy, local, and fresh food.
  2. Identify resources for assessing your site.
  3. Set implementation goals for Garden to ECE.

Presented by Aarie J. Wade, MSW, Baxter Community Center


Beyond Beans: A Guide to Plant-Based Menus
No meat? No problem! Explore how plant-based eating has evolved and is tastier than ever for kids. Discover the versatility it provides and how to incorporate more into your menus. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Understand CACFP meal requirements and the versatility of plant-based foods in a nutrition program.
  2. Discover the versatility of plant-based items and how to develop a menu that incorporates them.
  3. Learn the benefits of plant-based eating.

Presented by:
Caitlin Boland, RD, LDN, Novick Childcare Solutions
Tracie Mercado, CCHA, CCHC, Novick Childcare Solutions
Marcia Wileczek, CMP, CCNP, Novick Childcare Solutions


Body Positivity and Cultivating Good Relationships with Food
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.  ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1.  Identify the potential triggers of childhood obesity.
  2. Explore the tenets of Division of Responsibility regarding serving and eating food.
  3. Learn to adjust your approach about foods and mealtimes with your children.

Presented by:
Elana Natker, RD, Grain Foods Foundation
Dyan Hes, MD, Gramercy Pediatrics


Breastfeeding at CACFP Sites
Learn easy and practical ways to meaningfully assist families and ECE program staff with breastfeeding. Gain confidence by discovering how-tos for honoring families’ feeding choices and receive free toolkit materials. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn to implement breastfeeding support.
  2. Identify job aides that make best practices simple to execute.
  3. Understand how ECE fits into the breastfeeding care continuum.

Presented by:
Jessica Bridgman, MPH, RDN, LDN, Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)
Daina Huntley, MPH, CHES, Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)


The CICN Presents an Exploration of Flavor
Join the Culinary Institute of Child Nutrition’s Chefs as they take you through a series of activities and exercises to understand the five basic tastes and how to make your menu items more flavorful. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Identify how the five basic taste profiles complement and contrast each other.
  2. Discover a variety of herbs, spices, aromatics, and culinary acids.
  3. Learn to build flavor without the use of sodium-laden ingredients.

Presented by:
Chef Patrick Garmong, The Institute of Child Nutrition
Chef Garrett Berdan, RDN, The Institute of Child Nutrition


Creating a Food Culture in Young Children
Learn about the importance of introducing different foods at early ages and how that helps create a food culture in young children. Discuss the responsibilities and best practices for establishing these habits early to teach your children to be open to tasting new yummy foods. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Gain best practices to get children interested in tasting new foods.
  2. Learn how to get children to try new foods.
  3. Understand what role parents and caregivers play in establishing a food culture.

Presented by Leticia Marin, CDM, Neighborhood House Association


Decolonizing Nutrition
Food is storytelling -- where we’ve been, and where we are going. It tells us about the fabric woven between cultures and communities, between the land and embodied knowledge. If food represents a story, do the nutrition services offered in your community communicate their respective stories authentically? ~ CEU Specialty1

  1. Learn ways food and nutrition have been colonized.
  2. Understand how food is storytelling.
  3. Gain strategies to decolonize nutrition and its services.

Presented by Rosalinda Mancillas, We Rise, LLC


Delicious & Nutritious Plant-Forward Meals
Ethnic foods from Asia, India, the Mediterranean, Mexico and the Middle East offer many easy-to-create flavorful, exciting vegetarian and vegan dishes. Learn about ‘back-to-basics’ approach to flavoring plant-forward foods from scratch using ethnic spices. Learn to create lip-smacking delicious and nutritious meals that have a well-balanced combination of proteins, carbohydrates and fiber. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Get ideas for vegan and vegetarian dishes.
  2. Learn to flavor your menus with ethnic spices.
  3. Explore plant-forward menu options with leading school districts.

Presented by Sara Parthasarathy, Flavor Temptations


Delicious Ways to Maximize Snack Time Nutrition
Snacks are a great opportunity for young children to fill nutrient gaps and establish healthy eating habits. Learn how to maximize snack-time nutrition by pairing minimally processed dairy foods, like milk, cheese and yogurt, with other wholesome foods to easily create tasty mini-meals! ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Gain an awareness of the benefits of consuming milk, yogurt and cheese.
  2. Get nutrition education resources that highlight the benefits of milk and dairy.
  3. Take home simple snack recipes that align with CACFP regulations.

Presented by:
Renee Farias, Let’s Eat Healthy
Trina Robertson, MS, RDN, Let’s Eat Healthy


Developing Menus with Cultural Foods
Do you look at your menu and think, I wish I had more culturally diverse foods for children to try? Does your menu offer nutrition featuring diverse recipes and do you build cultural foods into your rotating, weekly, or monthly menu? Let’s practice developing a menu with foods from different countries that are healthy! ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn to include diverse foods in your menu.
  2. Explore recipes from different sources.
  3. Practice building a diverse menu.

Presented by Suzanne Hoyt, MA, The Children’s Cabinet


Diversity and Inclusion in Early Education
Diversity and inclusion for young children can begin with exploring foods from around the world. Introducing children to foods from other cultures when you have choosy eaters can feel like a daunting task. Helping children respect differences comes from exposing them to how food looks in the homes of their classmates and by holding an open dialogue that takes the fight out of trying new foods. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Gain resources to help children try new foods.
  2. Learn how to speak about diversity with children.
  3. Get tips to create inclusion with menus.

Presented by Temesha Ragan, MEd, Perfect Start Learning Consulting


Encouraging a Growth Mindset Around Child Nutrition
Discover what’s really important when it comes to nutrition education in the classroom: it’s not about bribing or forcing a child to try new foods, but about helping children develop a healthy relationship with food. Learn how providers can help cultivate a positive attitude and willingness of children to try new foods. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn how a positive relationship with food is part of a child’s growth mindset.
  2. Understand what language to use when speaking about food and bodies.
  3. Get practical strategies that will help children try new foods.

Presented by Rachel Rothman, MS, RD, Nutrition in Bloom


Fuel Your Mind & Body: Menu Planning, Nutrition, & Activities
Food is vital fuel for growing children—but how does it all work? How do you get kids to try new foods? Get a crash course in nutrition, exercise, and why what you eat matters. Level up your creditable meals with nutrient-dense food and how to make meal times interactive to encourage kids to try new foods. Be ready to get up, move around, and create meals with us! ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn about how nutritious food fuels the body.
  2. Explore creative ideas to encourage kids to eat healthier.
  3. Get an exercise curriculum that inspires kids to be more physically active.

Presented by Danielle Jones, KidKare by Minute Menu


Hydration Station: Choosing Water
Beverage choices that are adopted during childhood affect health across a lifespan. Learn about the consumption of sugar in our everyday drinks and new ways to introduce water as a healthy alternative to children participating in CACFP. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn healthy drink alternatives.
  2. Identify the amounts of sugar in everyday drinks.
  3. Get activities to promote healthy drinking options.

Presented by:
Shelby Beverly, CCNP, CMP, MS, GA Nutritional Services
Deborah Wilson, CCNP, CMP, GA Nutritional Services,
Mandi Dyes, CCNP, CMP, GA Nutritional Services


Identifying Whole Grain-Rich
Serving whole grain-rich (WGR) grains is an important element of the meal pattern. Learn how to identify which products meet the whole grain-rich regulations. Trainers can use this workshop to support CACFP participants. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Review what whole grain-rich means.
  2. Learn the six methods used to identify if a product is whole grain-rich.
  3. Understand the rule-of-three and whether a grain is creditable or not.

Presented by Lisa Mack, National CACFP Sponsors Association


Little Books for Little Cooks
Cooking can help develop life skills such as reading, math concepts, literacy and even develop self confidence as it relates to healthy eating habits. Learn how to explore literature with your children during cooking sessions to help them feel ownership and pride in dishes they created. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Discover how to connect cooking and literature.
  2. Learn to enhance school readiness through cooking.
  3. Get book ideas to introduce cooking.

Presented by Theresa Patterson, MS, Alabama State Department of Education


Mastering Milk Requirements in the CACFP
Looking for fun and interactive ways to teach-- or learn about-- milk requirements in the CACFP? Join USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative as we demonstrate how to use free games, quizzes, videos, visuals and more to provide training on this topic! ~ CEU Specialty 1

USDA Food and Nutrition Service


More Fruits & Veggies, Less Waste
Are you fresh out of ideas on how to get your children to eat their broccoli or apples? Discover new ways to have your children explore fruits and veggies and how to set up an exploration station. Learn best practices on how to store your fruits and veggies to last longer and how to save money by reducing waste. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn how to get children to eat more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Get tips to store fruits and vegetables to last longer.
  3. Learn to reduce food waste and save money.

Presented by Lisa Zwiener, CCNP, Positive Bright Start


Never Fear, Help with Crediting Grains is Here!
Learn to credit grains as ounce equivalents instead of servings and slices. We’ll use a hands-on approach to determine how much to serve of various grain products to meet the grain ounce equivalent requirement. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Understand what it means to credit grains as ounce equivalents.
  2. Learn tips to credit the variety of grain products served in centers and homes.
  3.  Identify resources available to assist with determining how much of a grain product to serve.

Presented by Courtney Hardoin, MS, RD, California Department of Social Services, CACFP Branch


Nourishing the Next Generation
Learn why it matters how we raise the next generation of healthy eaters. Hear about interactive tools, education ideas, and platforms to use in your program. Walk away feeling inspired and empowered to nourish and teach the next generation. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Understand the why behind healthy eating.
  2. Gain tips and tricks to enhance nutrition education.
  3. Take home child nutrition resources.

Presented by Shannon FitzGerald, MS, RDN, LDN, Institute of Child Nutrition


On-Trend CACFP Recipes
Cycle menus require planning and forecasting as well as recipe and menu development. Fight menu fatigue by seeing how popular foods can be versatile and support your program. See what other programs are doing and take home their recipes and ideas. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Get ideas for affordable recipes and concepts.
  2. Learn best practices for introducing new foods.
  3. Discover how to incorporate new cuisines, foods and fun into meals.

Presented by Malissa Marsden, SNS, Child Nutrition Support Service


Purposeful Playtime: Children in the Garden
Have you ever noticed how peaceful and calm children are when playing in dirt? Make dirt playing purposeful by letting them plant a garden. Imagine the feeling children get when they see the tiny seed grow. The benefits of gardening with children are worth their weight in gold. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Identify the benefits for children from gardening.
  2. Learn about the developmental benefits from gardening with children.
  3. Get resources to garden with your children.

Presented by Cheryl Moss, A Mother’s Touch Center for Child Development


A Rainbow A Week: Embracing Our Meal Patterns
An analogy on how we changed society in one generation by reaching our youngest leads this uplifting and positive message meant for everyone. While it’s impractical to expect child care to serve ‘A Rainbow A Day,’ we can absolutely serve ‘A Rainbow A Week.’ Learn simple concepts to increase our rainbow of choices and take home recipes which feature fruits and vegetables. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn how to serve a rainbow of food choices at your site.
  2. Get tips to embrace changing meal patterns and regulations.
  3. Get recipes featuring fruits and veggies.

Presented by Malissa Marsden, SNS, Child Nutrition Support Services


Reconstructing Traditional Hispanic Meals for a Healthy Menu
Traditional Hispanic meals can be challenging to incorporate into a healthy meal plan. Learn best practices to foster a healthy relationship with favorite Latino dishes while encouraging a culture-centered approach to nutrition and healthy eating. Get tips for authentic meal makeovers, healthy eating strategies, awareness of fullness, and other lifestyle modifications. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn about the nutritional value of favorite Latino dishes.
  2. Know how to makeover common Latino dishes.
  3. Take home strategies for making healthier modifications.

Presented by Sylvia Klinger, DBA, MS, RDN, CPT, Hispanic Food Communications, Inc.


Spice Up Your Menus
Global and ethnic foods are a leading trend in recent years, but with so many complex spices, where do you begin? Discover various new spices and learn how some school nutrition teams have spiced up their menus with new flavor profiles. Be prepared to have fun & get your hands spicy! ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Get ideas to include new spices in your menu.
  2. Learn to cook with specific spices.
  3. Discover how leading school districts adopted new flavors.

Presented by Sara Parthasarathy, Flavor Temptations


USDA National Breastfeeding Campaign
Get an overview of USDA’s campaign, which supports breastfeeding moms with comprehensive, current and culturally appropriate messaging, materials, and website. Campaign goals are to encourage initiation and continuation of breastfeeding; increase knowledge and ability to breastfeed; increase referrals to WIC; and provide technical assistance in the promotion of breastfeeding. ~ CEU Specialty 1

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Utilizing Cycle Menus in Your CACFP Operation
Do you ever struggle with trying to figure out what to serve on your menu? Do your children get “burnt out” with eating the same menu items frequently? Learn how to control costs, reduce waste, use a cycle menu effectively, and serve a variety of foods. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Understand the systematic approach in knowing how to create a cycle menu.
  2. Recognize the benefits of implementing cycle menus.
  3. Take home resources on cycle menus and recipes.

Presented by Laura Duckworth, SIU Head Start




Head Start Track


Active Play to Combat Obesity
Learn how to encourage active play and integrate movement breaks in the Head Start classroom. Take home resources to help you enhance child development and learning through physical activity. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1.  Identify the components of a childcare environment that helps children adopt healthy living habits.
  2. Explore why active play is important for young children.
  3. Learn a variety of ideas for use in the classroom to help children develop physically active behaviors.

Presented by Laura Sheffield, MS, RDN, LD, Community Action Council


Connecting Nutrition with Family Engagement
Partnering with families is an essential piece in the promotion of nutrition education initiatives. Discover creative ways to build family enthusiasm around healthy nutrition habits and learn how to provide them with the tools they need to adopt those habits long term. ~ CEU Specialty 3

  1. Learn to connect the importance of nutrition with family partnerships.
  2. Discover how to help families incorporate healthy eating at home.
  3. Get easy action steps and simple recipes.

Presented by:
Tracy Ragan, CCNP, MBA, Coastal Plain Area E.O.A., Inc.
Valarie Glee, Coastal Plain Area E.O.A., Inc.


Emergency Preparedness in Head Start
The pandemic taught us to always be one step ahead and prepared for the unknown. Discover ways to integrate emergency preparedness and planning into your facility operation plans while including all departments. Practice writing your own emergency plans to support your program and outline your next steps. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Create an emergency preparedness plan.
  2. Learn how to help your staff to understand their role in emergency situations.
  3. Reflect on your current plans and next steps.

Presented by:
Sheila Tompkins-Hess, Department of Child and Family Services
Rhonda Kobylecky, CCNP, CMP, Acelero Head Start


Family-Style Dining in Head Start
Family-style dining is a Head Start requirement that makes meal time easier and more efficient while empowering children to make their own decisions. It also can bring family time back to our families when they use family style dining as a way to connect and communicate at home. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Learn to successfully implement family-style dining.
  2. Get ideas to make staff more open to using family style dining.
  3. Discover best practices on how to train staff.

Presented by Tricia R. Edwards, The Children’s Center


Healthy Dads in Head Start
Parent engagement is a key tenet for Head Start programs and doesn’t always need to be about nutrition. Fatherhood is vital to the health of the families and children we serve. Learn how involvement impacts a child’s growth and hear testimonies from MVCDC. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Hear about the data and statistics on fatherhood involvement.
  2. Get ideas to engage fathers in your program.
  3. Explore the impact of fatherhood to the families served in Head Start.

Presented by Brad Currie, CCNP, CMP, Miami Valley Child Development Center


Impacts of Sodium: Shaping Healthy Food Preferences
Sodium is an essential mineral that plays important roles in our bodies. However, we may be consuming too much, resulting in increasing health risks like high blood pressure. Learn about the impacts of sodium and how to shape healthy habit choices early. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Identify amounts of sodium on Nutrition Fact Labels.
  2. Get tips modify meals to reduce salt usage.
  3. Learn tricks to keep flavor with limited salt.

Presented by Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, National CACFP Sponsors Association




At-Risk Afterschool Track


Afterschool Meals: Reflections and Promising Practices
How we think, plan, and operate afterschool meals programs has changed dramatically over the last few years. Hear from Out-of-School Time Meals Champions as they share their experiences, lessons learned, and promising practices. Discover how afterschool meals programs will continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape and how programs can learn from children and families to better serve their communities. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Gain strategies to improve your afterschool meals program.
  2. Find out how to use reflection, evaluation, and iteration as tools.
  3. Learn how to plan for afterschool meals 2023.

Presented by Paige Pokorney, MPH, Share Our Strength


Compliance at Your At-Risk Afterschool Site
Compliance is key to a successful At-Risk Afterschool program. Take a deeper look at the why behind the policies and procedures that are in place and how to establish best practices at your site. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Understand the importance of compliance at your site.
  2. Learn how to encourage staff to maintain compliance.
  3. Get tips to set your site up for successful monitoring visits.

Presented by Angie Hughes, CMP, CCNP, Life360 Community Services


Expanding Afterschool Meals Through CACFP and SFSP Partnerships
Serving meals and snacks to children at-risk afterschool doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. Learn how to expand your CACFP or SFSP sponsorship to include At-Risk Afterschool Programs. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Identify At-Risk Afterschool eligibility criteria.
  2. Learn how extend SFSP site operations to support your ARAS program.
  3. Get ideas to create partnerships to build community support.

Presented by Barbara Muse, MDiv, Bread of Life Development Ministries


Impacts of Afterschool Meals
Learn how providers help families understand the nutritional value and quality of foods through Afterschool Meals. Discover ways that you can assist children that may not receive meals once they leave your site. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Review the benefits of serving Afterschool Meals.
  2. Understand how to offer nutrition education.
  3. Ensure children have access to supper.

Presented by Marion Campbell, MA, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
Barbara Chiquello, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago


Nutrition Education Beyond the Classroom
Learn methods to engage and educate children about nutrition, food, and health through afterschool lessons, garden-based classes, and partnerships with clinics. Explore innovative approaches that target literacy and STEM learning. Hear about cutting edge research surrounding food sovereignty. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Recognize nutrition, food, and health education is possible in any community.
  2. Discover ways to reach children who are not exposed to nutrition education in school.
  3. Learn how food sovereignty intersects with child nutrition.

Presented by:
Richa Bisht, USF Morsani College of Medicine
Dhalia Bumbaca, WellFed Community
Chris Adwell, WellFed Community


Reaching Rural and Tribal Communities
Learn about the innovative Freeze and Thaw model that has been successful in overcoming barriers to serve rural and tribal communities in Arizona. Discover how we implemented the monthly delivery of bulk products so children in afterschool programs have access to supper meals and the benefits of starting this model at your sites. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Discover a new model for serving afterschool meals.
  2. Learn how to engage with tribal and rural communities.
  3. Identify the benefits of implementation of the Freeze and Thaw model.

Presented by Terra Masias, MA, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance


Serving Communities Year-Round Through Afterschool Meals and the SFSP
The Summer Food Service Program, Seamless Summer Option, and At-Risk Afterschool component of the CACFP help serve children year-round outside of school hours. Learn about strategies for making these programs operate efficiently, best practices (including for transitioning between programs), and resources for engaging communities and increasing access to nutritious meals when school is not in session. ~ CEU Specialty 4

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service




Summer Food Track

Embracing Diversity in Your Summer Meal Program
Meal programs are becoming more diverse each year. Learn strategies to recognize and strengthen diversity in your organization and your local community while leading your summer meal program.

  1. Recognize why diversity matters in meal programs.
  2. Discover ways to strengthen your organization with diverse staff.
  3. Learn how to embrace diversity in your community.

Presented by:
Raquel Galvan, Kids at Their Best
Alicia Alton, Kids at Their Best
Javier Lomeli, Kids at Their Best


Finding and Meeting Community Needs Through Porch Visits
Page County’s Porch Visit Program combines food delivery with one-on-one weekly conversations outside each participant’s residence. Porch Visitors assist households by building relationships, making connections, and increasing food security. Learn how one community has leveraged cross-sector collaboration to reach their most vulnerable community members.

  1. Know how to replicate this program in other communities.
  2. Identify and engage key community partners.
  3. Learn the value and results of the program.

Presented by:
Megan Gordon, Page Alliance for Community Action
Jenny Jeffries, SNS, Page County Public Schools


Keeping It Cool with Summer Food
Trying to beat the summer heat? Cold meals can be high-quality, healthy and appealing for your summer meals program. Learn ways to incorporate cold items into your menus and receive recipes to introduce to your sites.

  1. Learn the basics of planning a cold menu.
  2. Discover how to make cold menu items visually appealing.
  3. Get recipes that work for your site.

Presented by Robert Rusan, SNS, Mushroom Council


Meal Innovations: Maximize Labor and Mitigate Supply Chain Issues
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.

  1. Learn how to package up a side dish, entrée, meal and meal box.
  2. Get menu suggestions to deal with supply chain shortages of individually packaged items.
  3. Discover way to combat labor shortages when offering supper or summer meal programs.

Presented by:
Donna S. Martin, RDN, EdS, FAND, LD, SNS, Burke County Board of Education
Paige Pokorney, MPH, Share our Strength


Recent USDA Studies on CACFP and Summer Meals
This session will discuss findings from the Study of Nutrition and Activity in Child Care Settings (SNACS), the Summer Meals Study (SUMS) and other relevant USDA research on CACFP and Summer Meals.

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Serving Summer Meals Where the Kids Are
Serving summer meals to the kids who need them, the ones who are often in the most hard to reach places, is critically important. Discover ways to overcome the barriers and challenges that prevent the most vulnerable from accessing meals and how to become the connecting agency for meals.

  1. Identify what makes up your “community."
  2. Learn the skills to develop relationships to help access hard to reach populations.
  3. Get ideas to recruit kids and their families to help you access hard to reach areas.

Presented by:
Jodi Walker, Kids At Their Best
Raquel Galvan, Kids At Their Best
Karra Walker, MPA, Kids At Their Best
Javiar Lomeli, Kids at Their Best


Summer Meal Program Success
Summer meal programs reach children who need good nutrition when school is out of session. Get tips to improve your program to keep children fed during the summer months and discover innovative ways to strengthen your organization.

  1. Discover ideas to promote summer meals in your community.
  2. Learn new activities to try with your children.
  3. Get best practices to implement at your site.

Presented by Gurjeet Barayah, California Department of Education


Summer Meals: Reflections and Promising Practices
How we think, plan, and operate summer meals programs has changed dramatically over the last few years. Hear from Out-of-School Time Meals Champions as they share their experiences, lessons learned, and promising practices. Discover how summer meal programs will continue to adapt to the ever-changing need and landscape and how programs can learn to better serve their communities.

  1. Gain strategies to improve your summer meals program.
  2. Find out how to use reflection, evaluation, and iteration as tools.
  3. Learn how to plan for summer meals 2023.

Presented by Paige Pokorney, MPH, Share Our Strength


Toolkit for Successful Summer Meals
Is there a place you would like to provide meals but it doesn’t look friendly? Worried about weather, transportation or attendance? Wondering how to engage diverse youth to increase attendance at new sites? Learn how to grow your Summer Meals program or how to get started for the first time.

  1. Discover how to provide summer meals at any type of site.
  2. Learn how to implement and sustain a program with no resources.
  3. Get a toolkit that covers it all.

Presented by:
Jodi Walker, Kids At Their Best
Raquel Galvan, Kids At Their Best
Karra Walker, MPA, Kids At Their Best
Alicia Alton, Kids at Their Best




Program Spotlight Track


Catering to Rural and Urban Sites
Rural and urban sites can look very different in terms of operations, populations served and available resources. Get insight on how to address the challenges and implement best practices that come with serving both rural and urban sites for Afterschool Meals and Summer Food Service. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Gain insight from a large, successful sponsor’s operations.
  2. Learn tips to expand programs to include more geographic areas.
  3. Explore other sites and their stories of success.

Presented by Chelsea Casso, MA, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma


Community Wellness Hubs: Partnerships to Support Child Nutrition
What is a community wellness hub, and how can partnerships with parks and recreation agencies support the health of children and their families? Learn how collaboration can implement innovative food access strategies to support health and well-being. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn ways to partner with parks and recreation agencies.
  2. Leverage childhood food access programs.
  3. Understand how community partnerships lead to strong, equitable systems.

Presented by:
Maureen Neumann, National Recreation and Park Association
Liliana Ruiz Fischer, MPH, National Recreation and Park Association
Jasmine Zandi, Central Arkansas Library System


Increasing Healthy Eating Through Family Engagement with SFSP & CACFP
The SFSP and CACFP are important tools to address food insecurity and support your bottom line, but did you know they could be leveraged to increase overall family engagement and provide a foundation to provide healthy eating practices that can be used at home? Learn how while also hearing why the key best practices of these programs can move the needle on participation. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Learn why family engagement can be a key strategy for growing participation.
  2. Explore a pilot program that provides family resources through the CACFP.
  3. Recognize lessons learned about family engagement.

Presented by:
Clarissa Hayes, Food Research & Action Center
Stacey McDaniel, YMCA of the USA


Innovative Strategies to Connect CACFP and Farm to ECE
What is farm to early care and education, and how can this program help achieve best practices in CACFP and support healthy environments? Learn how a national grant has helped foster connections between these two programs in Colorado and Iowa at the state and community level through innovative strategies. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Identify the three core elements of farm to ECE.
  2. Understand the natural overlap between farm to ECE and CACFP.
  3. Discover strategies states and communities can use to build sustainable connections.

Presented by:
Sophia Riemer, MPH, RDN, National Farm to School Network
Brittany Martens, MPH, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Chelsea Krist, Iowa State University Extension
Krista Smith, Iowa State University Extension


Promoting CACFP Supper Eligibility with CalFresh
Hear how practical strategies increased CalFresh/SNAP enrollment through partnerships with local school districts and community organizations with the goal of achieving eligibility for CACFP supper. Get best practices about building an effective team, tips for communications plans, and how to track your progress from those that piloted the innovative and successful enrollment campaigns in San Diego. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Identify how CalFresh/SNAP is beneficial for students, schools and communities.
  2. Learn best practices to promote access.
  3. Get customizable communications plans and materials.

Presented by:
Amanda Mascia, San Diego Hunger Coalition
Ashley Jeznach, San Diego Hunger Coalition


Put Your State on the Plate with Local Foods
Serving local foods can be the perfect solution for your palette, plate, and participants. Learn how easy it can be to include food grown in your state on your plates when menu planning. Hear how we developed partnerships to help us incorporate locally sourced foods that you can replicate. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Understand the definition and importance of local foods.
  2. Learn how to collaborate and develop partnerships for success.
  3. Get ideas to implement or expand local food choices.

Presented by:
Brooke Wolf, Quality Care Services, Inc
Beth Carlton, Child Care Links


Supporting the Front Line in the Fight Against Rural Child Hunger
The Rural School Nutrition Directors Network is a peer network tailored to the unique strengths and constraints of rural communities. Hear how rural nutrition directors support one another through sharing ideas, experiences and effective practices to increase access to nourishing food among children. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Hear about successful food security programs in rural communities.
  2. Obtain relevant resources to strengthen rural school food service delivery.
  3. Discuss challenges and constraints facing school nutrition departments.

Presented by Luisyana Gamboa, MS, Save the Children


Teaming Up to Raise a Generation of Veggie Lovers
Ready to guide your children to the path of healthy and adventurous eating? Hear how PHA’s Veggies Early & Often campaign is trying to change the fact that vegetables are under-consumed and under-available in the food marketplace. Discover the advantages of introducing vegetables early and tips to integrate these into your menus to foster healthy taste preferences and dietary patterns. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn to inspire colleagues to serve more veggies to children in their care.
  2. Identify ways to integrate more vegetables into your infant and child menus.
  3. Explore the steps to become a child care partner of PHA’s Veggies Early & Often campaign.

Presented by Ella Daniels, MA, Partnership for a Healthier America


Turnip-the-Beet on Your Summer Meals Program
Learn new ways to spice up your service from the award-winning program at the Rialto Unified School District. Hear the strategies and innovations in marketing, community relations, and quality meal service that redefined Rialto’s program.

  1. Learn how to market your program.
  2. Discover how to create relationships beyond the cafeteria.
  3. Get tips and suggestions to get your program recognized.

Presented by:
Fausat Rahman-Davies, Rialto Unified School District
Maria Rangel, Rialto Unified School District
Kristina Kraushaar, Rialto Unified School District


Wheat2School: A Farm to School Partnership Program
Hear how this new hands-on, garden-based nutrition education program is partnering with community organizations who produce 100% whole wheat foods in California. Discover how they built a regional and statewide collaboration between grain farmers and schools. Gain tips on recipe development and training for scratch baking.

  1. Learn about Wheat2School’s nutrition education, procurement, and partnership building program.
  2. Explore how to build a strong farm to school program for whole grains.
  3. Get tips for creating culturally relevant 100% whole wheat foods.

Presented by:
Claudia Carter, MS, California Wheat Commission
Lauren Thomas, RDN, San Miguel Joint Union SD




State Agency Track


Building Communities of Practice to Promote Equity
Explore communities of practice as a strategy to integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion into state ECE systems to promote best practices for healthy eating and physical activity in young children. Learn strategies, get resources, and review examples in action to drive and advance equity to improve nutrition and health outcomes for young children. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Define Communities of Practice.
  2. Learn strategies states can use to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion into ECE systems.
  3. Review approaches to data analysis for addressing inequities.

Presented by Georgia S. Thompson, Nemours Children’s Health


CACFP at CDSS: Transitioning to a Social Services Program with an Equity Lens
In 2021 the CACFP in California transitioned from the Department of Education to the Department of Social Services. Discover why California felt it was important to have CACFP operate as a Social Services program and how the focus on equity will be an important factor in the work going forward. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Understand the benefits of having CACFP operate under Social Services.
  2. Discuss the importance of an equity lens on social services programs, particularly food programs.
  3. Hear about the work CDSS is doing in CACFP to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Presented by:
Jessie Rosales, California Department of Social Services
Jessica L. Dailey-Keithline, California Department of Social Services


Cross-Program Referrals to Increase CACFP Participation
The Arizona State Nutrition Action Committee’s trans-agency collaborative, WIC/CACFP Collaboration Initiative, worked to build local level relationships with WIC directors and CACFP early child care providers to promote cross-program referrals to improve participation rates. Learn about the process of designing the initiative in an equity-centered, partner-engaged manner and hear the findings from an evaluation of the process. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Review USDA regulations for promoting cross-program awareness and referrals.
  2. Learn the evidence behind promoting access and awareness to CACFP/WIC.
  3. Understand the implementation strategies piloted by Arizona.

Presented by:
Yuka Asada, PhD, RD, University of Illinois Chicago
Suzanne Callor, PhD, Arizona Department of Education, Health and Nutrition Services


Program Compliance and Audit Preparedness for State Agencies
Do you know the dos and don’ts of conducting an audit? Effective program compliance and auditing is essential to the success of CACFP and SFSP. Hear lessons learned and get recommendations states can make to sponsors to be better prepared for future audits. ~ CEU Specialty 5

  1. Identify the goals of an audit from the State Agency perspective.
  2. Understand the auditing process from beginning to end.
  3. Learn best practices for conducting an audit as a State Agency.

Presented by:
Melanie Farris, MBA, Myers and Stauffer
Colin Diamond, Myers and Stauffer


Seizing Opportunities in Statewide Systems Building
Knowing how to seize opportunities helps build and sustain successful statewide early care and education systems. Embedding health, nutrition and physical activity strategies into existing and emerging programs strengthens each agency. Discover how various agencies within a state can work together to provide clarity and support for providers. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Recognize opportunities for input and influence with other agencies within your state.
  2. Identify ECE health and nutrition practice levers.
  3. Learn how state agency partners can collaborate to provide consistent health messaging to providers.

Presented by Bonnie Williams, MA, AZ Department of Health Services


Serious Deficiency Intervention: Supporting Successful Changes
The serious deficiency process is not a one-size-fits-all approach to making lasting program change. Learn about an intervention style technical assistance model adopted by one state agency to provide additional support to help programs address their administrative and operational capacity to operate under CACFP. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Identify significant program deficiencies using this model.
  2. Learn to support programs in making sustainable changes.
  3. Understand the impact of using an intervention style model.

Presented by:
Amanda Chisholm, MPA, MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Shannon Raymond, MPH, MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


Strategies to Address Food Insecurity in ECE Settings
Explore how food insecurity impacts young children and how two states partnered with early care and education programs to support families that are food insecure. Get resources and ideas for how you can support families in your program and state. ~ CEU Specialty 7

  1. Examine current nationwide statistics and existing inequities.
  2. Identify strategies to support families that are food insecure.
  3. Learn how to replicate this model in your state.

Presented by Caliste Boswell Chong, MS, Nemours Children’s Health




Program Admin/Operations Track


Avoid Costly Mistakes in the CACFP
Monitoring, eligibility, and claims can be overwhelming which can lead to costly mistakes. Identify the most commonly made errors and learn effective ways to avoid making these mistakes in your program. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Identify the three most common mistakes.
  2. Learn effective solutions to correct these errors.
  3. Get tips and best practices to avoid costly mistakes.

Presented by Jocelyn Moss, CCNP, CMP, MA, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh


CACFP Administrative Review Advice
Get tips, suggestions, and best practices to prepare for an administrative review. Discover how to find success, avoid findings, and communicate with the review team. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Identify common findings during administrative reviews.
  2. Learn about available technical assistance opportunities.
  3. Get tips on how work with analysts and consultants before and during the review process.

Presented by:
Cintya Loreto, California Department of Social Services
Oby Okoye, RD, California Department of Social Services


Completing Claims Like Clockwork
Learn the CACFP best practices for the submission of accurate claims for the reimbursements of meals. Identify management practices that adversely impact claims and help ensure that providers are getting reimbursed for the meals that they are serving. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Identify the role of the sponsoring organization.
  2. Learn the key steps of the claim workflow.
  3. Understand how to correctly calculate administrative fees.

Presented by Cherese Myree, CFE, MH Miles Company, CPA, PC


Creating Meaningful Vendor Relationships
Establishing a positive vendor relationship can solve many challenges. Explore what it means to be a good customer and how to manage a positive relationship with your vendor or supplier, creating an overall better nutrition program. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Understand the RFP process.
  2. Learn how to manage vendor expectations.
  3. Develop better communications and positive vendor relationships.

Presented by Shawn Mason, PhD, Food For Good


Crediting Basics and Beyond in the CACFP
Discover USDA Team Nutrition resources available to support you in meeting CACFP meal pattern requirements. Review and the ins and outs of the meal components via hand-on activities. ~ CEU Specialty 1

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Culinary Basics: Weighing and Measuring Accurately
Accurately weighing or measuring ingredients can make or break a recipe, not to mention the nutrition and meal pattern crediting for CACFP. Learn why accuracy is important, and practice your skills through a hands-on activity. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Describe the difference between weight and volume.
  2. Identify when to use weight and when to use volume to measure.
  3. Practice weighing or volume-measuring an ingredient.

Presented by:
Chef Garrett Berdan, RDN, Institute of Child Nutrition
Molle Polzin, RDN, Institute of Child Nutrition


Filling the Gap: How Food Banks Can Support Your Program
Food banks can be a resource for child care sites, afterschool programs, and summer programs who struggle to provide healthy food. Learn how to partner with your local food bank for prepared meals or whole foods and additional ways they can support your program. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. How to find food banks in your area.
  2. Determine if using prepared meals or rescued food can work for you.
  3. Find ways to partner with local food banks.

Presented by Kylee McCombs, MS, RD, LDN, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle


Get the Facts! CN Labels and Product Formulation Statements (PFS)
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 experts will provide guidance on accepting documentation for meal pattern requirements and share sample Product Formulation Statements and CN Labels. ~ CEU Specialty 4

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Menu Planning to Meet CACFP Meal Pattern Requirements
Join USDA’s Team Nutrition inititiave for an interactive session on menu planning for the CACFP. Discover free resources available to support you in meeting CACFP meal pattern requirements. Learn how to use these materials to successfully plan, prepare, and serve nourishing and appealing reimbursable meals in the CACFP. Attendees will have a chance to explore USDA standardized recipes, cooking videos, and other materials created especially for child care settings. ~ CEU Specialty 2

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


More on Meal Patterns
We’re here to clarify your meal pattern questions! We’ll answer commonly asked questions, show how to access training from USDA Team Nutrition, and explore additional resources. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Review milk requirements in the CACFP.
  2. Understand when sugar limits apply.
  3. Know what makes a product a grain-based dessert.

Presented by Lisa Mack, National CACFP Sponsors Association


Serious Deficiency Process
Are you in a quandary about the SD process? Get an overview of the serious deficiency process, hear about the most common errors in responding to serious deficiencies, and better understand the elements of the appeals process and role of the hearing official. ~ CEU Specialty 4

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Standardizing Your Own Recipes
Want to use your grandmother’s secret tuna noodle casserole recipe but don’t know where to start to make it CACFP creditable? Have a great recipe that your children love but need to standardize it for use in your food service program? Learn to identify the basics of recipe standardization for CACFP and help further your success in menu planning. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Identify the steps to standardize a new or existing recipe.
  2. Get tools to use for nutrient analysis.
  3. Take home resources for recipe crediting and recipe templates.

Presented by:
Heather Burkhead-Goins, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition
Danielle Barrett, EdD, RDN, Institute of Child Nutrition




Policy & Advocacy Track


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. ~ CEU Specialty 7

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Child Nutrition Program Reauthorization is in the works. Learn what it means to CACFP & SFSP. ~ CEU Specialty 7

  1. Get the most recent legislative update.
  2. Learn how you can advocate for CNR.
  3. Hear NCA's policy priorities.

Presented by Alexia Thex, MEd, National CACFP Sponsors Association


Civil Rights 101: Compliance with Civil Rights Requirements
The session will address the Civil Rights training requirements as outlined in FNS Instruction 113-1 , Civil Rights Compliance and Enforcement – Nutrition Programs and Activities. State agency staff who interact with program applicants, participants and potentially eligible individuals and those persons who supervise front line staff must receive annual Civil Rights training. This session will fulfill this requirement. ~ CEU Specialty 7

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Civil Rights Compliance and Special Diets in the CACFP
What is required for a child with a food allergy or special diet need? Come and learn how to best support the needs of the child while balancing program regulations. Review real world examples with solutions and lists of creditable foods, tools and resources while maintaining compliance with civil rights. ~ CEU Specialty 7

  1. Understand the basic requirements for civil rights and special diets.
  2. Get documents, forms, and nutrition education resources.
  3. Discover how other sponsors/programs are managing special diets.

Presented by:
Kate Abernathy, MS, RDN, LDN, CCNP, CMP, Providers Choice
Katie Chatfield, MPH, RDN, Providers Choice


Grassroots Advocacy 101
Are you ready to advocate for your program but unsure where to begin? Learn why we advocate for the CACFP and how to get started. Get tools and templates to make a plan so you can take action and make your voice heard. ~ CEU Specialty 7

  1. Understand what advocacy is and how to engage in it.
  2. Learn how to find your elected official.
  3. Create an advocacy plan and take action.

Presented by Alexia Thex, MEd, National CACFP Sponsors Association


Inviting All Voices: Developing Equitable Policy and Practices
Anti-bias principals offer a lens to recognize, think about, plan for, and implement equitable policy and practice in ECE communities. This requires an intentional focus on creating a space to include all voices in the ECE community, elevating those who have been historically under-represented or marginalized. Consider strategies and learn about resources to build and enhance equitable policy and practice in your program. ~ CEU Specialty 7

  1. Strategies to support equitable policy and practice within ECE communities.
  2. Ideas to encourage members of an ECE community to be active participants in policy issues and decision-making.
  3. Resources to develop and support equitable policy and practice.

Presented by:
Julia Gest, MEd, The Pennsylvania State University
Laurie Strouse, The Pennsylvania State University




Management & Professional Development Track


Accountability & Leadership
Understand the power of recognition, learn how to give great feedback and build a team that trusts. Get a list of guiding principles that create a culture of collaboration and accountability. Discover how looking at the big picture can help with the small stuff in your workplace. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Learn ways to become an effective leader.
  2. Discover how to recognize a lack of accountability and how to hold your team accountable.
  3. Receive strategies to build trust as a leader.

Presented by Maggie Mae Kennedy, Spring Branch ISD


Be Prepared & Plan Ahead: Steps for Emergency Preparedness
Learn how child care centers can prepare for handling emergency situations including internal threats, external threats, and natural disasters. Understand how to plan for emergency situations before they occur so your staff can respond quickly and effectively when an emergency happens. ~CEU Specialty 6

  1. Create lists of potential emergency team members and types of emergencies they may encounter in their operation.
  2. Identify tools and trainings that are needed to prepare and respond to a variety of emergencies.
  3. Get free resources to use to prepare for emergency situations.

Presented by:
Liz Dixon, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition

Patrick Butler, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition


Breaking Down Tasks for Successful CACFP Sites
Are your child care center staff overwhelmed by their CACFP duties? Need help implementing daily tasks for your sites? Practice creating a task management guideline that will give your staff clear and concise guidance. Discuss what steps need to be executed and how to pinpoint a breakdown in communication. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Receive a task management guideline to give Center directors.
  2. Learn how to simplify tasks that will help the center director assign small tasks.
  3. How program monitors can use task management to establish details and pinpoint the breakdowns.

Presented by Sharon Ray, Nutriservice Inc.


Customer Service Skills in the CACFP
Great customer service improves your client satisfaction, participant numbers and employee morale. Learn how to identify your customers and get best practices to overcome verbal and non-verbal communication barriers to help your CACFP program. Learn to model principles of customer service while improving interaction with your stakeholders. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Define customer service and recognize its importance.
  2. Identify barriers to customer service and ways to overcome them.
  3. Complete a self-assessment and create an action plan.

Presented by:
Amanda Tucker, CCNP, CMP, LSS, LINQ - TITAN

Carolyn Miller, CCNP, CMP, ESC Region 11


Fostering a Positive Work Culture
A positive workplace is critical to staff engagement and success. Learn how to foster a sense of connectedness and acceptance within your team. Gain valuable tools to identify employee strengths, encourage a practice of gratitude, and teach the value of collaboration. ~ CEU specialty 6

  1. Learn to assess the strengths of your team.
  2. Identify how to communicate in a clear and effective way.
  3. Recognize preferred styles of gratitude.

Presented by:
Madeline Moritsch, MS, RDN, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Josephine Thomason, MS, RDN, LDN, Alliance for a Healthier Generation


Nonprofit Board Recruitment and Development
What makes an effective board member and how do you find one? Join us for a look at how to recruit high quality board members. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Understand what constitutes an effective board.
  2. Learn strategies to engage each board member.
  3. Get tips and resources to build your board.

Presented by Alexia Thex, MEd, National CACFP Sponsors Association


Resilience Is Everything
Resilience: The ability to bounce back. It’s what enables students to come out of challenging experiences with a positive attitude about themselves and their futures. After 18 years in foster care and watching his daughter battle brain cancer, hear how Dee turned those unexpected events into incredible life lessons. ~ CEU Specialty 6

Presented by Dee Hankins


Small Tweaks, Giant Peaks: Reframing Your Mindset
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. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Discover how grit and resilience affect everyday tasks.
  2. Get strategies for increased productivity.
  3. Learn about activities that successful people make habits.

Presented by Daryl Williams Jr., MS, My Pursuit of Excellence LLC




Train-the-Trainer Track


Baking Whole Grain-Rich
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 in the science, literacy, art, food safety and math to boost benefits beyond the plate. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn steps to bake a few whole grain-rich items.
  2. Explore activities to assist your children in learning about grains.
  3. Take home resources baking with whole grains.

Presented by Sharon P. Davis, Home Baking Association


Engaging Training Techniques
Training in the CACFP is critical to the success of the program. Discuss the challenges you’ve faced and identify training gaps and needs. Learn techniques for engaging training activities and review USDA tools to incorporate onsite or virtually. ~ CEU Specialty 3

  1. Learn effective training strategies.
  2. Review tools and resources for engaging training activities.
  3. Discuss different learning methods for in-person and virtual training.

Presented by:
Anjelica Terry, MS, Region 4 Education Service Center
Veronica Howard, MPH, Region 4 Education Service Center


Mindfulness: Reconnecting Children to Their Senses
Mindfulness reconnects children to their five senses, bringing them into a moment-by-moment awareness of themselves and their surroundings. Learn how physical activities like breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and sensory play help children become capable of exhibiting empathy, compassion, and patience as they acquire better emotional and social skills. ~ CEU Specialty 3

  1. Gain an understanding of mindfulness.
  2. Explore how mindfulness is related to teaching young children social/emotional skills.
  3. Learn mindfulness exercises and how to apply them.

Presented by Tracy Cheney, MEd, Three Cheers Consulting


Promoting Nutrition with Culinary Arts Fairs
Move over science fairs, the culinary arts fair is here to teach children about nutrition and how to develop healthy habits! Learn how to teach students to create a story board with recipe and nutrition facts. Hear how they prepare the food to be judged by their peers using a rigorous rubric on taste, appearance and nutrition. ~ CEU Specialty 3

  1. Receive step-by-step directions on implementing a culinary arts fair.
  2. Learn how to excite students and involve your kitchen staff.
  3. Discover how to promote nutrition and healthy eating through the fair.

Presented by Rhonda L Thomas, MA, Wyoming County Schools




Financial Management Track


CACFP Administrative Budgets
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.CEU Specialty 5

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Developing a CACFP Budget
Now that you know the basics of how to develop an administrative budget, this session will dive into details and best practices about how to tailor a budget to your CACFP operation. ~ CEU Specialty 5

Presented by USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Flawless Audits for Multi-Program and Multi-State Sponsors
Sponsors need strong organization, clear cost allocation, and excellence in monitoring to be prepared for your state audit. Learn how to operate so State Agencies find it a breeze to perform your Management Evaluations. ~ CEU Specialty 5

  1. Organize paperwork for clear presentation.
  2. Get best practices for managing your finances.
  3. Discover the importance of team relationships and audits.

Presented by:
Rev. Dr. Lawrence Karow, CMP, CCNP, D.Div, UMCFood
Luke Ruter, UMCFOOD
Jolene Benedict, UMCFOOD
Dean Faulkner, UMCFOOD


Investigating Fraud, Waste & Abuse in Federally Funded Programs
Gain insight on investigating allegations of non-compliance in the CACFP and SFSP. Learn how to identify red flags during a monitoring review and take home interview techniques, sampling methodologies, and best practices which have been instrumental in identifying fraud, waste, and abuse in federally funded programs. ~ CEU Specialty 5

  1. Define the meaning of fraud and learn the different types.
  2. Explore techniques to identify fraud.
  3. Learn strategies to reduce the risk of fraud, waste, and abuse in the CACFP and SFSP.

Presented by Cherese Myree, CFE, MH Miles Company, CPA, PC


Program Compliance and Audit Preparedness for Sponsors
Do you know the dos and don’ts of conducting an audit? Effective program compliance and auditing is essential to the success of CACFP and SFSP. Hear lessons learned and get recommendations states can make to sponsors to be better prepared for future audits. ~ CEU Specialty 5

  1. Identify the goals of an audit from a sponsor’s perspective.
  2. Understand the auditing process from beginning to end.
  3. Learn best practices for conducting an audit as a sponsor.

Presented by:
Melanie Farris, MBA, Myers and Stauffer
Brandon Price, Myers and Stauffer


Sponsoring Summer Food: Keys to Financial Management
You’re already working the food program and are ready to expand to summer feeding. Hear about best practices to ensure proper internal controls for successful financial management and mitigate high risk program areas.

  1. Identify key SFSP Financial Management Requirements.
  2. Discover strategies for existing programs to include SFSP.
  3. Acquire best practices to prevent common internal control weaknesses.

Presented by Cherese Myree, CFE, MH Miles Company, CPA, PC




Research & Resources Track


Building, Funding, and Sustaining Farm to ECE Programs
Interested in connecting children to local foods and engaging children in hands-on education about food? Explore what farm to early care and education (ECE) is, why it’s important, and how to build, fund, and sustain farm to ECE programs. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Understand what farm to ECE is and why it’s important.
  2. Identify strategies for building and sustaining farm to ECE programs.
  3. Learn how to engage partners to support farm to ECE.

Presented by Amy Garfinkel, MPH, California Department of Food and Agriculture


Communicating Special Diet Needs
Communication is key for keeping children and CACFP participants with special diets safe in our care. Learn best practices and receive resources for school operators to effectively communicate special diet information with staff, families, students, and program participants. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Identify the differences between food allergies and food intolerances.
  2. Learn what is required for special diets.
  3. Gain resources to implement communication strategies at your site.

Presented by Angela Gomez, RDN, SNS, LunchAssist


Engaging Your Community in Your Meal Program
Meal programs are an important outreach tool, but what if your meal program also connected kids with others in their community and had business leaders helping out? Find out the potential with us. Bonus - all the ideas involved are cost-free! ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Identify ways to engage your community in your program.
  2. Learn how to involve youth in your meal program.
  3. Receive resources to involve your community.

Presented by Jodi Walker, Kids At Their Best


Farm to Classroom: Teaching Children about Healthy Foods
Farm to early child care can help foster children’s learning and exposure to new foods. Learning opportunities can increase the curiosity of young minds, and their familiarity with new foods. Hear how to use available resources to employ simple nutrition education activities and get children excited about new foods. ~ CEU Specialty 1

USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Fostering Mental Wellness Through Physical Activity
Mindful movements can be done at any time during the day, not only providing relaxation and peace to children, but also to your staff. Learn about the benefits of physical activity and mindfulness, how to bring these into child care settings, and how to use mindful movements in our daily lives. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Discover the benefits of physical activity and mindfulness.
  2. Learn techniques and how to promote them.
  3. Take home resources to get started.

Presented by:
Emily Campbell, MPH, CHES, AL Partnership for Children
Christina LeVert, MS, LD, RD, AL Partnership for Children


Gardening Activities for Every Classroom
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. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Identify benefits of gardening with children.
  2. Learn how to incorporate gardening in your program.
  3. Receive resources to implement gardening activities.

Presented by:
Emily Campbell, MPH, CHES, AL Partnership for Children
Christina LeVert, MS, LD, RD, AL Partnership for Children


Happy and Healthy with Sesame Street in Communities
Every child deserves healthy food, and every child can be empowered to make healthy choices! Even when families are having a hard time getting enough nutritious food to their tables, parents and other caring adults can remind children that our bodies are amazing and worth taking care of. Explore resources with some furry friends from your favorite Street to support healthy habits for everyone in the neighborhood. ~ CEU Specialty 3

  1. Learn about the digital platform Sesame Street in Communities.
  2. Explore the newest resources from our topic page on Eating Well.
  3. Strategize ways to embed and share with children and families!

Presented by Antonio Freitas, MS, Sesame Workshop


The Healthy Conversations Kit: A Family Engagement Tool
Early care and education professionals are trusted partners for families as they work together to help children grow, learn, and thrive. Do you need support teaching about healthy eating topics? Explore the kit. Experience a conversation. Engage with families! ~ CEU Specialty 3

  1. Increase your awareness of how discussions with families on nutrition topics support a child’s health journey.
  2. Get resources and skills to facilitate a talk with families on healthy eating topics.
  3. Understand why building optimal health behaviors is a team effort.

Presented by Rebekah Duchette, BSN, RN, Nemours Children’s Health System


Ideas and Strategies to Make Mealtimes More Enjoyable
Expectations can set us up for success or failure, chaos, or calm. There is a lot to manage at mealtimes; child preferences, nutrition guidelines, emotions, spills and more. Learn how to implement strategies that lead you and your children towards more fun, calm and safe mealtimes. Explore mealtime together and identify resources, ideas, and expectations that will benefit both you and the children you serve. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Examine current mealtime expectations.
  2. Learn strategies that address the demands of mealtimes.
  3. Identify resources to make mealtime less stressful.

Presented by:
Emily Campbell, MPH, CHES, AL Partnership for Children
Christina LeVert, MS, LD, RD, AL Partnership for Children


Mobile Meals: A Guide to Getting a Food Truck for Free
Food trucks are the perfect solution to reduce overhead and still reach those in need. Discover ways to get a food truck for free and expand your outreach by serving mobile meals. ~ CEU Specialty 4

  1. Discover where to find vehicles to use for food trucks.
  2. Understand how to obtain equipment and permits.
  3. Learn the do’s and don’ts of operating a food truck.

Presented by Angela Christopher, MS, Destiny of Greenwood


Planting the Seeds of Gratitude, Respect & Nurture for Nature
Explore a nature-based program that teaches children how to be grateful and respectful of every living thing in our environment. Get ideas to infuse nature into your program to create an enriching environment that invites children to connect with their natural world. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn the importance of nurturing nature early.
  2. Receive resources on how to connect children to the natural world.
  3. Identify the positive impact of nature and environment education.

Presented by Lenika Flores, SNS, YMCA


STEM in the Kitchen
Wondering how to introduce children to STEM in the kitchen? Learn basic principles with fun hands-on experiments designed to introduce children to the scientific process. Get resources to implement STEM concepts using household tools and age-appropriate tasks to make connections to a young child’s real world. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Learn affordable ways to make STEM connections in the kitchen.
  2. Discover how to make connections to STEM in all areas of a child’s life.
  3. Participate in hands-on breakouts to practice theories presented.

Presented by Angela Russ-Ayon, Russ InVision Company


Storytelling to Promote Healthy Eating Habits
How can storytelling foster healthy eating for children? Early care settings are one of the best places to help children build a healthy living foundation. Explore a series of storytelling techniques designed to encourage children to eat healthier to prevent childhood obesity. Learn how to use a wide variety of literature along with felts, puppets, props and other techniques to inspire children to eat healthy. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Understand the significance of obesity in the United States.
  2. Use storytelling to teach healthy eating.
  3. Learn the importance nutritious foods in early care settings.

Presented by Lenika Flores, SNS, YMCA




Commercial Track


CACFP Training Program & Nutrition Calendar
NCA’s Nutrition Calendar & Training Program is perfect for providers, centers and afterschool sites, available in bulk for less than $4 per provider.

  1. Learn how to use the 2023 Counting Animals calendar to support your program.
  2. Get inspired on how to implement the activities and training.
  3. Find out why over 35,000 providers across the country consider this their #1 CACFP resource.

Presented by Jennifer Basey, MEd, National CACFP Sponsors Association


Fly Through Your CACFP Paperwork With CenterPilot
Are you paying first class prices for coach experience? Fly through your paperwork with our web based/mobile application! Our first class cabin serves a full course of CACFP management tools allowing you to fully manage your program operations. Learn how to save hours of staff time while staying effortlessly compliant.

  1. Learn how to help sites manage participation requirements.
  2. Learn how to elevate sponsor compliance.
  3. Learn how to on board new sites.

Presented by:
Angela Young, MS, CenterPilot
Lisa Laclede, CenterPilot


Make Every Bite Count with the Dietary Guidelines
When it comes to feeding infants and toddlers – every bite counts! Learn the most up-to-date dietary guideline recommendations, what they mean for food choices in the CACFP program, and how you can support healthy eating for infants and toddlers in your care. Get expert tips for answering parent questions.

  1. Understand the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines.
  2. Identify the types of nutrient dense foods young children need.
  3. Learn strategies to help toddlers follow a healthy dietary pattern.

Presented by Susan Pac, MS, RDN, Gerber Products Company