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2024 NCNC Logo One Line Solo White Drop Shadow

April 22-26, 2024

Orlando, Florida

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 Orlando, 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, 2024. 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.

More workshops are coming! Be sure to check this page regularly for the most up-to-date listing.



Nutrition Education




Addressing Feeding Concerns & Nutrition Therapy 

Do you struggle with choosy and selective eaters? Learn to navigate feeding concerns and discover your role in supporting the children in your care. Hear about therapy approaches which help them feel confident as they fuel their body rather than scared and anxious. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Learn to recognize red flags for choosy and selective eaters. 
  2. Identify the differences between choosy eaters, selective eaters, and ARFID. 
  3. Get best practices for how to create a safe feeding environment. 

Presented by: Jami Rokala, MS, RDN, LD, CLC, CMP, CCNP, Headwaters Nutrition Counseling, LLC 


Celebrating Diverse Food Traditions in Child Care

Nutrition plays a vital role in the development of a child and their individual cultural backgrounds make them who they are. Explore the importance of cultural awareness and discover ways to honor and celebrate the diverse food traditions of the children in your care.~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Define and understand diversity.
  2. Discuss how to appreciate others traditions and cultures.
  3. Learn how to accept others differences.

Presented by: Marielisa Vera, MS, Committee for Hispanic Children and Families


Childhood Obesity Prevention & Early Nutrition Education 

Receiving nutritious meals early in life, as well as being physically active, is critical to the establishment of positive lifelong habits. Discover how teaching children about healthy eating from a young age can positively impact their cognitive, emotional, and physical development to help prevent childhood obesity. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Understand the impact of early nutrition education. 
  2. Discover a comprehensive approach to childhood obesity prevention.  
  3. Learn to create a well-rounded strategy that addresses various aspects of a child's life to promote a healthy lifestyle. 

Presented by: Salome Pemberton, MPH, RDN, National Enrichment Group 


Cultural Responsiveness: Exploring Religion, Heritage, and Halal 

Food providers are a daily constant in a child’s world. What you say about cultures and heritage, through food service, makes a huge statement to children. Gain a better understanding of Halal foods, its cultural significance, and how to be culturally responsive without breaking your budget. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Understand how culture plays a part in food service. 
  2. Learn why religion matters when menu planning.  
  3. Discover how to make kids feel welcomed and included in your food service. 

Presented by:

Jodi Walker, Founder, Kids At Their Best, Inc. 

Mariam Mohammed, Kids At Their Best, Inc. 

Kenna Nelson, Kids At Their Best, Inc. 


Decoding Food Labels 

Does it sometimes feel like you're reading a different language when looking at food labels? Learn to navigate the nutrition maze to make well-informed and healthier choices when it comes to the foods you purchase and serve for your child nutrition program. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Explore the common types of food labels and how to interpret them. 
  2. Identify who regulates and verifies the accuracy of food labels. 
  3. Learn tips and strategies for selecting healthy food choices. 

Presented by: Heather Burkhead-Goins, MEd, Institute of Child Nutrition 


Discovering STEM in the Kitchen 

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts are important building blocks for lifelong critical thinking skills. The kitchen is a natural place for children to learn and explore these concepts in a safe and developmentally appropriate way. Learn simple steps to incorporate STEM into cooking and nutrition activities in child care programs. ~ CEU Specialty 3, Beginner

  1. Identify the benefits of STEM activities for young children. 
  2. Learn how cooking, baking and gardening naturally support STEM concepts.  
  3. Get the tools to deliver this training to child care providers and other CACFP staff. 

Presented by:

Katie Chatfield, MPH, RDN, LD, CCNP,  Providers Choice 

Kate Abernathy, MS, RDN, LDN, CMP, CCNP, Providers Choice 


A Fresh Perspective: Embracing New Foods 

CACFP providers have the ultimate opportunity to introduce unique and healthy foods to children in their care. Learn how adults can create environments where children are receptive to trying new fruits and vegetables. Uncover a fresh perspective to make mealtimes even healthier for children. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Intermediate

  1. Identify strategies to expand adults mindsets about children's food preferences. 
  2. Discover engaging activities to experiment with new foods.  
  3. Explore resource documents for creative and compliant menu ideas. 

Presented by:

Alexandria Dawson, MPA, Ohio Department of Education and Workforce

Charity Blair, Ohio Department of Education and Workforce


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, Beginner

  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


Learning to Love Veggie-Inspired Snacks and Meals 

If you serve it, will they come? In order to get children to eat fruits and vegetables, they need opportunities to engage with them before mealtime. Learn three easy, evidence-based techniques to introduce children to new veggies and the do's and don'ts for high quality food education. Build your confidence in helping children discover their love of veggies. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Discover age appropriate food education activities. 
  2. Explore PHA Veggie Early and Often approved veggie snack recipes. 
  3. Learn about national and regional support organizations to grow your nutritional programming. 

Presented by:

Erin Croom, MS, Small Bites Adventure Club 

Amy Warne, Nutrition and Health Programs, Partnership for a Healthier America


Making Healthy Eating Fun 

Encourage your children to eat healthy foods by making mealtimes fun! Allowing children to be involved in food preparation and menu choices helps build healthy eating habits for the future. Learn how to use songs and games to actively engage children to make the healthy foods they eat, fun to eat. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Discover how to make cooking with children fun. 
  2. Learn how to help children make healthy decisions. 
  3. Get creative ideas for serving healthy and fun foods. 

Presented by:

Marion Campbell, MA, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago 

Tiffany Larocque, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago 


Managing Food Allergies in the CACFP 

Advocating for a child with food allergies is a team effort. Child nutrition professionals collaborate with families, children, and staff in navigating food allergies when serving meals in the CACFP. Learn techniques and best practices for building a positive partnership with children, parents, and staff in regards to food allergies. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Discuss methods of effective communication.  
  2. Identify strategies for effectively communicating food allergy needs. 
  3. Learn how to empower children to develop food allergy confidence and self-advocacy. 

Presented by:

Heather Burkhead-Goins, MEd, Institute of Child Nutrition 

Patrick Butler, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition 

Liz Dixon, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition 


Motivating Children to Eat Healthy Foods 

Convincing children to eat nourishing foods can be challenging, but they need good nutrition to grow and stay healthy. Preparing foods with different methods can provide appealing flavors and textures making them more attractive to children. Learn how to create yummy and nutritious recipes that will encourage healthy eating. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Intermediate

  1. Review the science behind motivational eating. 
  2. Identify best methods to motivate children to eat healthier. 
  3. Evaluate child friendly recipes. 

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


Navigating Special Diets 

Allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities. What is the difference between the three? Learn how to navigate proper documentation, communication, and compliance to foster a safe environment for children with special dietary needs and requests. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Identify the differences between allergies, intolerances, and sensitives. 
  2. Learn what documentation is required for CACFP in order to make a substitution.  
  3. Get tips for communicating with families and medical providers. 

Presented by: Jami Rokala, MS, RDN, LD, CLC, CMP, CCNP, Headwaters Nutrition Counseling, LLC 


Preventing Food Allergies: Introducing the Top 9

Changes to the recommendations for feeding infants have undergone a significant transformation. The latest guidelines encourage introducing solid foods, including common allergens, to babies starting as early as four to six months of age. Learn safe techniques for introducing allergens to infants and understand why postponing is no longer considered the best approach. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Intermediate

  1. Identify the top nine allergens.
  2. Understand the signs and symptoms of food allergies.
  3. Explore the latest guidelines for infant feed recommendations.

Presented by: Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD; National Peanut Board


Promoting Responsive Feeding Practices in Early Childhood Settings 

Responsive feeding is an attentive way of feeding young children that includes watching for their hunger and satiety cues. Explore adult and child roles in the division of responsibility in feeding and its impact on children's physical and mental development. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Define the characteristics of responsive feeding. 
  2. Identify the benefits of responsive feeding. 
  3. Get strategies and resources to help engage in responsive feeding with children. 

Presented by: Shonika Kwarteng, MBA, RD, LD, National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety 



CACFP Classics


Beginners' Guide to Crediting Recipes 

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. This introductory session is recommended prior to attending any Beyond Beginners sessions. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Identify CACFP meal pattern components. 
  2. Calculate ingredients needed to meet CACFP requirements and determine the number of servings per recipe. 
  3. Find your limiting components in the recipe. 

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


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, Beginner

  1. Understand the requirements of an acceptable CACFP administrative budget. 
  2. Define allowable and unallowable costs in the CACFP.  
  3. Identify best practices for developing an acceptable CACFP administrative budget. 

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


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, Beginner

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Civil Rights 101: Meal Modification Requirements 

To ensure equal access and opportunity for participants in the CACFP and SFSP, as required by Federal law, USDA regulations, and Policy Memorandum, meal modifications are required to accommodate participants with disabilities. Learn how to identify disabilities and what is required to meet their needs. ~ CEU Specialty 7, Beginner

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


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, Beginner

  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 


Identifying Whole Grain-Rich 

Serving whole grain-rich (WGR) grains is an important element of the new 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, Beginner

  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 


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, Beginner

  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, CPA, PC

Arnette Cowan, MS, RD, MH Miles Company, CPA, PC


Menu Planning 101: A Guide to Mealtime Success

Navigating the complexities of developing a creditable CACFP menu can often be overwhelming and confusing. What crucial information should you include on the menu to be in compliance? What details should you include on the menu? Learn how to create menus stress-free while meeting CACFP requirements as we guide you through the process. Get confidence and clarity in your menu development endeavors. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Differentiate between front-of-house and back-of-house menus and what information is needed for both.
  2. Identify documents that should be kept on file for menu audits and development.
  3. Understand the difference between retail versus foodservice products.

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



CACFP Meal Patterns


Beyond Beginners: Next Level Menu Planning 

Navigating the complexities of developing a CACFP menu can often be overwhelming and confusing. What crucial information should you include on the menu to be in compliance? Do you include ounce equivalency, serving size, or both!? Moreover, are there specific documents you should maintain while planning your menu? Learn how to create menus stress-free while meeting CACFP requirements. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Intermediate

  1. Learn the differences in retail and foodservice products. 
  2. Evaluate and determine which CACFP foods require documentation. 
  3. Differentiate front-of-house and back-of-house CACFP menus. 

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


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 hands-on activities. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Discover Team Nutrition (TN) tools to help you plan creditable meals for the CACFP.  
  2. Identify creditable and non-creditable foods in CACFP. 
  3. Understand key requirements for the 5 meal components. 

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Limiting Added Sugars in the CACFP 

You've heard about the health effects that added sugars can have on our bodies, but did you know that most young children consume more than the recommended amounts? Added sugars can be sneaky and are often lurking in places that you may not normally expect. Learn to help the children in your care meet the recommendations set forth by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Understand the daily recommendation for added sugars for children. 
  2. Learn what qualifies as an added sugar and what does not. 
  3. Identify ways to limit added sugars at child care centers and homes. 

Presented by: Brittany Coleman, MS, RD, LDN, Delaware Department of Education 


Ounce Equivalents Made Easy with the Exhibit A Grains Tool 

Learn how the Exhibit A Grains Tool can make crediting grains easy. Receive hands-on training with crediting grains and leave with a menu of options for success. Download the Food Buying Guide (FBG) Mobile App before coming to this session. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Identify three functions of the Exhibit A Grains Tool. 
  2. Identify Team Nutrition resources available to assist with determining the amount of a grain product to serve to meet the meal pattern requirements.  
  3. Understand how to use the Exhibit A: Grains Requirements for Child Nutrition Program chart. 

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Quizapalooza: Are You a Meal Pattern Super Star? 

Think you know the meal pattern like the back of your hand? From food components to required serving sizes to substitutions and variations of the meal pattern by age groups, there is so much more to know beyond the basics. Test your knowledge, or learn something new, as we review a wide range of meal pattern topics through polls and interactive learning! ~ CEU Specialty 2, Intermediate

  1. Review the differences between the infant and child & adult meal pattern. 
  2. Identify foods that are creditable in the CACFP. 
  3. Learn about the food exceptions in the meal pattern. 

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


Snack Attack: Elevate Your Snack Game

Day in and day out, the same snacks are being served. You've been longing to elevate your snack game, but you're lacking ideas. Next up on the menu: snacks, snacks, and more snacks! Hit reset on your menus with some fresh snack tips and recipe ideas. Get creative and add something exciting to the plate for you and the children in your care. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Learn how to pair foods that make sense for snack.
  2. Reinvent common foods served at snack as part of a new recipe.
  3. Identify kid-friendly snack trends to serve at your center or family child care home.

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



Head Start


CACFP and Head Start Food Service Regulations 

We will focus on the performance standards that govern child nutrition and how they align with the CACFP to provide good nutrition to children in Head Start. Also, learn what is new in the HS performance standards concerning child nutrition. ~ CEU Specialty 4, Beginner

  1. Understand the Head Start Performance Standards. 
  2. Identify the Head Start regulations that govern the food program. 
  3. Learn how the performance standards align with the CACFP regulations. 

Presented by: Rhonda Kobylecky, CMP, CCNP, Acelero Learning 


Combating Resistance: Uniting Education Staff and Nutrition Teams 

"Oh, the kids don't like that!", "The kids aren't getting enough food", "That's not the way we used to do it!" Ever heard any of these statements when trying to get your education staff on board with the nutrition team? Examine why there might be a disconnect and learn how to get all your staff on the same team. ~ CEU Specialty 6, Beginner

  1. Understand why your team may be resistant. 
  2. Identify the shared goals of the education staff and nutrition team. 
  3. Learn how to communicate the 'why' behind the ask. 

Presented by: Sheila Tompkins-Hess, Nevada Department of Heath & Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services



Conducting Monitoring in the CACFP for Head Start 

Review requirements for conducting a monitoring review and get guidance specifically for sponsors. Bring your questions and we'll find solutions for areas you struggle with when completing a review of sites. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Identify CACFP monitoring requirements. 
  2. Get best practices for conducting a review at a Head Start site. 
  3. Learn how to observe meal counts and the 5-day reconciliation. 

Presented by: Jami Rokala, MS, RDN, LD, CLC, CMP, CCNP, Headwaters Nutrition Counseling, LLC 


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 1, Intermediate

  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:

Valarie Glee, CCNP, Coastal Plain Area EOA Head Start 

Shaimake Woods-Tilley, Coastal Plain Area EOA Head Start 


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, Beginner

  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, Nevada Department of Heath & Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services


Fueling Minds and Bodies with Family-Style Dining 

Unlock a world of learning opportunities during mealtimes at Head Start sites through Family Style dining. Equip your staff with an understanding of the performance regulations surrounding this meal service model, empowering them to create enriching experiences. Get practical guidance on aligning meal service with academic goals while ensuring compliance with CACFP and Head Start regulations. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Identify the Head Start regulations around mealtimes. 
  2. Learn how to use mealtimes as educational opportunities.  
  3. Get ways to help staff recognize the teaching opportunities that happen during everyday routines. 

Presented by: Sheila Tompkins-Hess, Nevada Department of Heath & Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services



Farm to ECE


Enriching Learning Outdoors with Farm to ECE 

Wondering how to make broccoli more tasty, bring the classroom outdoors, and achieve early learned standards by counting caterpillars? Farm to ECE programs are innovative, evidence-based approaches that give young children increased opportunities to learn about nutrition and agriculture, exposure to local produce, and hands-on learning through gardening. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Identify the three pillars of Farm to ECE. 
  2. Learn how to leverage CACFP funds to minimize expenses. 
  3. Get resources to implement Farm to ECE at your site. 

Presented by:

Emia Oppenheim, PhD, RDN, Association of State Public Health Nutritionists 

David Hutabarat, MAM, National Farm to School Network 


Exploring One Vegetable, One Community 

Are you looking for a new approach to get children and families excited to eat vegetables? Discover One Vegetable, One Community (OVOC), a program designed to inspire child care providers, Head Start staff, families, and others in the community to grow the same kind of vegetable. Discover learning activities to encourage children to eat the vegetable they are growing. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Explore the key components. 
  2. Identify the steps to implement the program. 
  3. Get access to free resources supporting gardening activities. 

Presented by: Mary Schroeder, MPH, RDN, LD, University of Minnesota Extension 


Farm to Child: Educational Standard Alignment and Goal Setting

Farm to Child works to increase opportunities for children ages 0-5 to cook, taste, grow and connect with nutritious local foods while engaging ECE professionals, families, and communities. Children who experience these core component activities are more likely to develop healthy life-long habits. Learn how Farm to Child in Colorado finds program success with early learning standard alignment and goal setting. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Advanced

  1. Identify the core components of Farm to Child.
  2. Learn how data can be used by ECE providers for program success.
  3. Get nutrition and agriculture education resources.

Presented by: Brittany Martens, MPH, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment


Farm to ECE: Digging Deeper into Cooking and Nutrition 

Boost your Farm to ECE program with expert advice and actionable tips to help your picky eaters. Discover how cooking together provides practice in fine and gross motor skills, cognitive and language skills, social and emotional skills, and science, nutrition, and math concepts. Weave in developmental activities while making healthy snacks and having fun. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Understand why children develop choosy eating behaviors. 
  2. Learn how to introduce fruits and vegetables by using all five senses. 
  3. Get best practices for sharing new cooking activities with children. 

Presented by:

Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH, Dr. Yum Project 

Wendy Cannon, Dr. Yum Project 


Feed the Soil: Let's Compost! 

Reports from the CDC reveal concerning statistics: each day 50% of children do not eat vegetables and 33% do not eat fruits. Surprisingly, the introduction of composting can have a positive impact on children's willingness to try vegetables and fruits, as understanding their lifecycle encourages them to try new produce. Discover how a NY Head Start program incorporated composting to promote healthier eating. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Examine data from the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Reports. 
  2. Learn how composting exposes children to science, logic and reasoning. 
  3. Explore how composting can encourage healthy eating habits. 

Presented by:

Mary Greer, MPA, Community Action Organization of WNY 

Pamela Acker, MS, Community Action Organization of WNY 


Growing CACFP Beyond the Kitchen 

The educational and developmental benefits of introducing gardening to young children have been well documented. However, because providers have many responsibilities, gardening lessons often receive limited attention and occur only one to two hours per month. Explore how food service providers within CACFP facilities can expand their kitchen roles to increase children's exposure to gardening. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Understand the benefits of gardening for children two - five. 
  2. Identify what to grow in your garden using your CACFP knowledge. 
  3. Learn how to include food service staff in hands on activities with children. 

Presented by: Ashley Flowers, MS, RDN, LDN, Child Care Associates 


Grown for Kids: Farm to Preschool Collaboration 

Interactive activities help expand children's worldview of the food they eat and drink. Discover an innovative collaboration between an early care and education center (ECE) in Connecticut and a working farm. This unique partnership provides children and their families with an insider’s view of the complex journey from farm to table. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Learn about a statewide grant program that helps establish Farm-to-School programs. 
  2. Explore hands on nutrition education through visits to gardens and farms. 
  3. Identify strategies to facilitate family engagement and strengthen community relationships. 

Presented by: Patrice E. Farquharson, EdD, West Haven Child Development Center, Inc. 




Afterschool Meals


Afterschool Meals: Feeding Children for a Healthier Future 

Are you interested in serving afterschool meals at your site but are unsure where to begin? Get an overview of the requirements needed to provide healthy meals at afterschool sites and to receive financial reimbursement. Understand the basics of the CACFP and how afterschool programs can play a crucial role in providing food security to children.  ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Explore how afterschool programs provide a supportive environment for children. 
  2. Identify the requirements to operate the CACFP in ARAS locations. 
  3. Get resources and next steps for providing snacks and meals afterschool. 

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


Afterschool Meals Overview

Only 1 in 10 children who qualify for afterschool and out-of-school time meals are receiving them. The CACFP offers a solution to this nationwide problem. Learn how we can combat sending kids home hungry by partnering with sponsoring organizations.  ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Learn the basics of how to operate the CACFP.
  2. Discover how you can become a sponsor or work with a sponsor.
  3. Hear success stories of those that have implemented the program.

Presented by:  Kati Wagner, Wildwood CACFP


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, Beginner

  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 


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, Inc. 


Food Security Beyond Program Walls 

How do you know when someone is experiencing food insecurity? The contributors of food insecurity are complex and it can be challenging to know if families struggle to put food on the table. CACFP sites are poised to help alleviate food insecurity beyond their program walls. Learn how to support families by creating a food access resource map.  ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Recognize the signs and symptoms of food insecurity. 
  2. Determine a communication strategy to share the food resource map. 
  3. Get customizable resources to increase access to food in your community. 

Presented by:

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

Madeline Moritsch, MS, RDN, Alliance for a Healthier Generation 


Leveraging State and Federal Funds to Support Participation 

The past several years have seen substantial growth in summer and afterschool meals programs with the additional assistance during COVID. SFSP and Afterschool Meals are both a critical part of comprehensive out-of-school time programs. Explore how to partner with existing sites to sustain and grow participation.  ~ CEU Specialty 4, Beginner

  1. Identify the key elements of partnering with SFSP and ARAS enrichment providers. 
  2. Learn how to work with partners to advocate for additional funding. 
  3. Discover how to access existing funding to support program participation. 

Presented by: Erik Peterson, MPAff,  Afterschool Alliance 


Out-of-School Time Meal Program Sponsors' Stories 

Youth-serving organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Parks and Recreation Agencies, and YMCAs have long played a leadership role in connecting children to summer and afterschool meals. Hear from out-of-school time leaders on the post-pandemic role of these organizations, how schools and other advocates can partner with them, and policy and programmatic opportunities for connecting more children to meals.  ~ CEU Specialty 4, Beginner

  1. Understand the role of youth-serving nonprofits as sponsors. 
  2. Learn how to partner with these organizations in your community.  
  3. Identify opportunities that exist for expanding access to meals. 

Presented by:

Clarissa Hayes, FRAC 

Stacey McDaniel, YMCA-USA 

Brett Haydin, Boys and Girls Clubs of America 


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 2, Beginner

  1. Explore and understand the importance and unique roles of the SFSP, SSO, and the At-Risk component of CACFP as pieces of the child nutrition safety net.
  2. Gain insight and resources to better operate these programs and the switch easily between them.
  3. Identify key differences and similarities between these programs.

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service



Summer Food


A Collaborative Approach to Summer Meals 

Delivery of the SFSP by community sponsors can result in patchwork approaches, duplication of efforts, and insufficient reach of many eligible children, particularly where the sponsors are not schools. A unique collaborative of sponsors working together for over 10 years, the Summer Meals Collaborative (SMC), represents an effective model for addressing SFSP challenges. ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1. Identify the challenges and barriers associated with delivering the SFSP. 
  2. Discover valuable research opportunities that exist within the SMC. 
  3. Explore how this model could be replicated nationally. 

Presented by:

Sonya Irish Hauser, PhD, Russell Sage College 

Laura A. McClure, MSPH, Russell Sage College 


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.  ~ CEU Specialty 8

  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:

Jodi Walker,  Kids At Their Best, Inc. 

Mariam Mohammed, Kids At Their Best, Inc. 

Kenna Nelson,  Kids At Their Best, Inc. 


Food Banks & SFSP: Vendors, Caterers and Hot Meals 

School is out, kids are hungry, and your Food Bank is trying to decide if frozen or shelf stable meals are the only options for sponsored sites. Are you considering offering hot and ready meals? From learning recruitment methods for contracted SFSP vendors to road mapping your Food Bank's success for Summer Food Service Program, let's get into it!  ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1. Learn how to establish connections with local community food vendors and restaurants.  
  2. Discover how to create a roadmap to success.  
  3. Get ideas to help supplement SFSP food costs through monetary donations. 

Presented by: Dana Ellis, Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC 


Non-Congregate Summer Meal Service 

As part of our collaborative efforts to enhance USDA's summer nutrition programs, approved program operators in low-income, rural areas can now use alternate service models that are tailored to the needs of the children and communities they serve. Learn how to feed kids far from the bus stop.  ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1.  Hear from State agency and/or sponsor panelists who implemented rural non-congregate meal service in summer 2023.
  2. Gain a better understanding of the requirements under the forthcoming new rule.
  3. Learn best practices for implementing rural non-congregate meal service.

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Non-Congregate Summer Meals: A Deep Dive into Possibilities 

Learn how eight sponsors tackled summer Non-Congregate Meals (NCM) in North Carolina. Hear stories from the families who picked up the meals, volunteers who helped, and partners and staff who made success happen. Get tips to make the meal experience fun, memorable and a learning opportunity for those you serve.  ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1. Understand what non-congregate meals are. 
  2. Learn how to promote and market your meal service program. 
  3. Discover effective ways to minimize risks related to safety and over-producing meals. 

Presented by:

Tamara Baker, Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC at UNC Chapel Hill 

Jessica Soldavini, PhD, MPH, RD LDN, Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC at UNC Chapel Hill 


Rural, Non-Congregate Meals: Summer 2023 Lessons Learned 

With the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, serving non-congregate summer meals in rural areas without access to a congregate site is now a permanent option for states. Offering meals to-go and through delivery has the potential to significantly decrease childhood hunger and increase food security over the summer. Hear about what worked for summer 2023 and what to expect for summer 2024.  ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1. Learn the most recent updates on summer 2024 operations regulations and guidance. 
  2. Discover promising practices for allowable meal service models. 
  3. Engage with experienced sponsors operating rural, non-congregate summer meals in their communities. 

Presented by:

Marissa Spady, MS, RD, Share Our Strength

Walter Campbell, MBA, Charleston County School District 

Constance Moore, MBA, MA, CCNP, YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South 

Shannon Amos, MS, CMP, CCNP, Children's Hunger Alliance 


Serving Up Fun at Summer Meal Sites 

Making meal sites memorable doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Learn tips and tricks for simple, low-cost ways to serve up fun and nutrition at your site. These strategies can help encourage participation and make summer meals a can’t miss opportunity for kids. ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1. Learn how to plan and organize fun events and activities. 
  2. Get examples of special events and activities. 
  3. Identify potential partners who can assist with providing enrichment activities and/or resources. 

Presented by:

Jessica Soldavini, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN, Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC at UNC Chapel Hill 

Tamara Baker, Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC at UNC Chapel Hill 


Summer Supplement: Understanding How EBT Expands Access 

The SFSP is meant to ensure children have food when schools are closed for the summer. The Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Program helps meet this need providing grocery-buying benefits to low-income families with school-aged children. Learn how more than 29 million children across America will benefit from Summer EBT.  ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1. Understand the new S-EBT program. 
  2. Identify eligibility criteria for the program. 
  3. Identify how S-EBT compliments other feeding programs. 

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Underdogs Unite: Collaboration for Deeper Impact on Child Hunger 

Are you wanting to expand the impact of your child nutrition program, but find yourselves constrained by limited resources? Explore keys to successful collaborative efforts as well as common pitfalls to avoid. Learn how to leverage your strengths through partnership for deeper impact on child hunger.  ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1. Identify common collaboration challenges. 
  2. Discover best practices for successful collaborations. 
  3. Learn how to formalize agreements and avoid miscommunications through documents. 

Presented by: Tamara Sandberg, MS, Feed the Children 


Year-Round Celebration: Summer Meals Training and Planning 

Serving summer meals takes an investment that begins as soon as the summer ends. Why not host a celebration for sponsors and potential sponsors that renews inspiration to make the next summer bigger and better? Hear how our annual SummerPalooza Summit transforms training and planning into a can’t miss event to celebrate and regroup for the next summer.  ~ CEU Specialty 8

  1. Learn about the Summer Meals Planning Calendar. 
  2. Discover how to reframe summer meals as a year-round program. 
  3. Get tips for planning and organizing summer meals events 

Presented by:

Tamara Baker, Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC at UNC Chapel Hill 

Jessica Soldavini, PhD, MPH, RD LDN, Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC at UNC Chapel Hill 



Management & Professional Development


Communicating with Impact

Your brain processes nearly 80 GB of data in a single day. That’s about as much as watching 16 movies in a row! It's no wonder we often feel overwhelmed by the idea of having to hold difficult conversations with our coworkers. Learn about a series of tools that can help you improve your communication and feedback competency, equipping you with a means for having more impactful conversations. ~ CEU Specialty 6, Beginner

  1. Learn to shift your mindset to prepare for difficult conversations.
  2. Identify techniques for removing ambiguity when delivering difficult feedback.
  3. Discover the importance of monotasking and effective listening in effective communication.

Presented by: Jordan George, SPHR, LDCP, sHRBP; Curium Solutions


Effective Training Methods for Onboarding 

Ready to successfully take your new hire from trainee to skilled worker? Learn about different types of effective trainings for onboarding, such as Virtual Instructor Lead Trainings (VILT), micro-training, webinars, online courses, and on-the-job aides. Discover how to overcome common challenges during onboarding as well as strategies to measure the effectiveness of your training initiatives. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Identify the different types of learning styles for adult learners. 
  2. Discover the importance of effective onboarding for new employees. 
  3. Learn about free training resources. 

Presented by:

Heather Burkhead-Goins, MEd, Institute of Child Nutrition 

Patrick Butler, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition 

Liz Dixon, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition 



Inclusive Communication 

Effective communication is the cornerstone of building inclusive and diverse communities and workplaces. Learn to enhance your communication skills, which will enable you to connect with diverse audiences and create an environment where everyone feels heard and valued. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Understand the meaning of inclusive communication. 
  2. Explore barriers that may hinder inclusive communication. 
  3. Learn strategies that help foster inclusive communication. 

Presented by: Kavita Sawh, MS, University of Central Florida, Ginsburg Center for Inclusion and Community Engagement 


People, Problems and Pups 

In our efforts to manage work conflicts, financial issues, and time constraints, it's essential to prioritize self-care. Self-care is more than healthy eating, exercise, and pedicures. It can also include the joy of spending time with puppies. Learn to find inner peace and make your mental health a top priority in your self-care routine. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Identify the differences of people in the workplace.  
  2. Discuss strategies to find daily relaxation.  
  3. Understand the importance of mental health for self-care. 

Presented by: Vickie Coffey, RBB Edgewood Schools 


Promoting Well-Being: Managing Workload & Boundaries 

The way we manage the roles we play reflects our responsibilities, goals, beliefs, and values. Having a framework to help prioritize workload increases our sense of balance and enhances our ability to communicate our capacity. Explore the different types of boundaries that help support individual and collective well-being. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Understand how structure and clarity helps everyone work towards team goals.  
  2. Learn to organize your individual workload using the 4 Ds. 
  3. Discover how to set and communicate healthy boundaries. 

Presented by:

Josephine Thomason, MS, RDN, LPN, FNLP, Alliance for a Healthier Generation 

Madeline Moritsch, MS, RDN, Alliance for a Healthier Generation 


Resilience: The Key to Overcoming Challenges 

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

  1. Identify the definition and three categories of resilience. 
  2. Learn the power of a caring adult. 
  3. Discover how to turn negative situations into positive life experiences. 

Presented by: Dee Hankins, Inspirational Speaker


Taking a Bilateral Approach to Self-Care 

It's easy for providers to put the needs of the children they care for ahead of their own well-being. However, it is essential for them to prioritize their own mental and physical health in order to provide the best care for those they serve. Learn how to incorporate self-care into your daily routine to improve overall self-wellness. ~ CEU Specialty 6

  1. Understand the importance of mental and physical health. 
  2. Learn coping mechanisms to combat workplace stress. 
  3. Get tips to take care of your mental and physical well-being. 

Presented by: Laura Sheffield, MS, RDN, LD, Community Action Council-Lexington, KY 

Best P.


Financial Management


Best Practices for Developing a Financial Management Process 

Financial Management is an important factor to the success of CACFP and SFSP. But should sponsors financial management process be proactive or reactive? Get practical recommendations for how sponsors can implement financial management best practices. ~ CEU Specialty 5, Beginner

  1. Explore program requirements for financial management. 
  2. Learn how to establish a financial management process.  
  3. Discover the do's and don'ts of the financial management process. 

Presented by:

Colin Diamond, Myers and Stauffer 

Clay Hardin, Myers and Stauffer 


Choosing Commodity Foods or Cash-in-Lieu 

USDA offers child nutrition programs donated foods. Cash-in-lieu is available for institutions as an alternative. Learn what donated foods are available and how they can benefit a center or SFSP site instead of cash-in-lieu.  ~ CEU Specialty 5, Beginner

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, Intermediate

  1. Outline the budget development process. 
  2. Identify key elements that must be included in a CACFP administrative budget. 
  3. Practice developing a CACFP administrative budget. 

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Financial Management for Center Sponsors 

Ensuring program compliance with proper accounting systems is essential for success in the CACFP. Discover strategies for establishing internal controls for effective financial management. Get best practices and an increased awareness of the importance of recordkeeping and documentation.  ~ CEU Specialty 5, Intermediate

  1. Identify the CACFP performance standards. 
  2. Understand the financial duties of a sponsoring organization. 
  3. Learn how to draft a CACFP Management Plan. 

Presented by: Lynda Bryant-Leibrock, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency 


Preparing for CACFP or SFSP Audits 

The word 'audit' often evokes anxiety and unease for providers. It's not a reflection of your confidence in your work but rather the apprehension of having it scrutinized by someone else. Even when you're certain of following federal guidelines, why do you feel this way? How can you overcome these feelings and approach audits with confidence and composure?  ~ CEU Specialty 5, Intermediate

  1. Learn how to prepare for an announced or unannounced audit. 
  2. Understand the purpose of an audit and how to address findings. 
  3. Identify who is responsible for each aspect of the food program at your site. 

Presented by: Constance Moore, MBA, MA, CCNP, YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South 


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.  ~ CEU Specialty 8, Intermediate

  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 



Program Admin & Operations


Administrative Review Preparedness for Sponsors 

Effective program compliance is key to the success of CACFP and SFSP. What are some of the do’s and don’ts of preparing for an administrative review? Hear lessons learned from administrative review examiners and get recommendations for how sponsors can be better prepared in the future. ~ CEU Specialty 4, Beginner

  1. Learn how to prepare for an administrative review as an auditee.  
  2. Identify what to avoid during an administrative review.  
  3. Understand the importance of the administrative review process. 

Presented by:

Melanie Farris, MBA, Myers and Stauffer 

Clay Hardin, Myers and Stauffer 


Agile Food Delivery: Meeting the Needs of Low Food-Volume Operations 

Most food delivery models revolve around organizations with the resources to store and use large amounts of food. Smaller organizations, or even large ones that use less food, are sometimes left in the cold. But new and exciting options are on the horizon! Learn about advances in agile delivery systems that enable frequent CACFP-creditable food deliveries to any child care organization, regardless of size. ~ CEU Specialty 4, Beginner

  1. Understand the challenges to obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables. 
  2. Learn potential ways to cost-effectively procure fruits and vegetables. 
  3. Identify solutions for small-volume food delivery. 

Presented by:

Jodi Kuhn, MS, KinderCare Education 

Courtney Hines, RD, KinderCare Education 


CACFP in Emergency Shelters 

Do you know the ins and outs of implementing and managing the CACFP in an emergency shelter? Learn best practices for successful monitoring, documentation, and menu planning. Hear about preferred meal choices and patterns at CACFP sites using data collected from our 2023 Meal Guest Survey. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Learn how to deliver profitable, high-quality, nutritious, and delicious foods. 
  2. Get menu recommendations to meet meal guests needs and desires. 
  3. Understand the importance of guest input to inform procurement and reduce food waste. 

Presented by:

Amara O'Connell, City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services

Patricia Smith, City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services

Pam Parseghian, Health Promotion Council 


Emergency Shelters: CACFP Safety Net

The CACFP helps emergency shelters serve healthy meals to children and young people experiencing homelessness and ensures equitable access to nutritious food for better health. Learn about the important resources available to emergency shelters, including cash payments, free USDA foods, training, and program assistance. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Increase awareness of the Emergency Shelter component of CACFP.
  2. Identify best practices and strategies for ensuring equitable access to nutritious foods in Emergency Shelters.
  3. Learn about USDA resources available to help implement CACFP in Emergency Shelters.

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


The Kitchen Sink: Food Preparation, Safety and Efficiency 

Dive into the world of food preparation and food safety for child care and the CACFP. Discover effective portioning techniques to reduce wastes and costs, while optimizing inventory. Learn best practices to ensure children's well-being, make informed food choices, and efficiently manage resources. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Understand the importance of food safety practices. 
  2. Learn to accurately measure ingredients and interpret food labels. 
  3. Explore approaches for effective purchasing and inventory management. 

Presented by:

Caitlin Boland RD, LDN, Novick Childcare Solutions 

Tracie Mercado, CCHA, CCHC, Novick Childcare Solutions 

Marcia Wileczek, CMP, CCNP, Novick Childcare Solutions 


Oversight and Monitoring of the CACFP 

Program monitoring is essential for ensuring that the federally funded child nutrition programs meet the requirements set forth in regulations, are operated with integrity, and provide nutritious meals and snacks to those who participate in the programs. Learn what is required federally from sponsoring organizations to fulfill this responsibility. ~ CEU Specialty 4, Beginner

  1. Understand Federal monitoring requirements for CACFP sponsoring organizations. 
  2. Identify best practices for effective and efficient monitoring reviews. 
  3. Establish a monitoring plan and evaluate your current monitoring practices. 

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


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, Beginner

  1. Define serious deficiencies in the CACFP.
  2. Identify steps of the serious deficiency process.
  3. Define key terms and timelines in the SD process.

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Serving School Meals to Preschoolers

Sometimes, schools must serve meals to a variety of grades at the same time. This is usually due to operational constraints, such as time and space. While this is allowed, there are good reasons to avoid co-mingled meal service. Learn the differences between preschool and K-5 meal patterns and get ideas on how to avoid co-mingled meal service. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Explore meal pattern considerations when serving preschool students in a school setting.
  2. Understand co-mingling when serving preschool students.
  3. Hear from State Agency and Sponsor staff regarding on-the ground experiences with serving preschoolers in a school setting.

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Serving Traditional Indigenous Foods 

The USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative promotes traditional food ways, Indian Country food and agriculture markets, and Indigenous health through foods tailored to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) dietary needs. Learn how to credit these foods in the CACFP and SFSP and incorporate them into your menu planning. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Identify traditional Indigenous foods to serve in CACFP and SFSP. 
  2. Diversify menus through serving traditional Indigenous foods. 
  3. Identify USDA resources to assist in serving traditional Indigenous foods. 

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Successful State Agency Compliance Reviews 

Are you a new State Agency compliance monitor for CACFP, or an experienced monitor looking to brush up on your review planning techniques? Explore effective monitoring techniques you can use in the field. ~ CEU Specialty 4, Beginner

  1. Understand the impact of being unprepared and overprepared. 
  2. Identify strategies to maximize your time and available resources.
  3. Learn how to reduce the stress of conducting reviews.

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



Policy & Advocacy


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, Intermediate

  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, CMP, CCNP, Providers Choice 


Grassroots Advocacy 101 

Do you want to advocate for your program, but are 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, Beginner

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

Presented by: McKenzie Brunner, MGPS, National CACFP Sponsors Association 


Home Eligibility: Licensed or Approved in the CACFP 

Both licensed and approved family child care home providers are permitted to participate in the CACFP. This flexibility allows more providers to join the food program ensuring children have access to healthy foods. Does your state have an approval process for non-licensed providers? Learn what the approval process can look like in practice to better serve your community. ~ CEU Specialty 7, Intermediate

  1. Understand what it means to be "approved." 
  2. Learn how multiple states use the alternate approval process. 
  3. Discover how your state can implement an approval process. 

Presented by: McKenzie Brunner, MGPS, National CACFP Sponsors Association 


How Climate Change Impacts Food Insecurity 

The effects of a changing climate can cause food insecurity, worsen safe drinking water, alter the nutrient quality in food, and make it harder to access adequate nutrition equitably. Children’s vulnerability to climate change means we must increase climate awareness to support their healthy development now and in the future. ~ CEU Specialty 7, Beginner

  1. Examine the impacts of climate change on children. 
  2. Identify ways to build climate resiliency that support health, nutrition, and food security. 
  3. Get climate resources targeted to support children’s healthy development. 

Presented by: Christine Roseberry Belinda, Penn State Better Kid Care 


Promoting Participation: Advancing CACFP in Your State 

Learn how your state’s ECE system can promote participation in the CACFP through policies and activities, such as licensing regulations and recognition programs. Review data from the CDC's updated ECE State Indicator Report (2023) and the Spectrum of Opportunities, which can be used to identify existing policies and activities that advance the CACFP. ~ CEU Specialty 7, Intermediate

  1. Understand CDC’s Spectrum of Opportunities Framework.  
  2. Explore opportunities for collaboration. 
  3. Learn how to use CDC's ECE State Indicator Report for action. 

Presented by: Nora Geary, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, McKing Consulting Corporation 



Research & Resources


Bridging the Gap: Addressing Food Insecurity in Rural Communities 

Hunger negatively impacts a child’s physical and cognitive development, preventing them from reaching their full potential. Explore the root causes of food insecurity and its impact on children and families. Get strategies to identify families facing food insecurity and how to address their needs through programs and community partnerships. ~ CEU Specialty 7, Beginner

  1. Understand the contributing factors and effects of food insecurity.  
  2. Discover how to help address hunger in your community. 
  3. Learn to replicate food security programs in your state. 

Presented by: Luisyana Gamboa, MS, Save the Children 


Charting CACFP Success Strategies by Mapping Child Care Providers 

Child care is an important space where state agencies can mitigate food insecurity by providing healthy and nutritious food choices for children. Figuring out how and where to target those supports can be a challenge. Explore Child Care Aware of America’s CACFP mapping project, what they did, stakeholders they engaged, and a demonstration of the types of GIS map dashboards and story maps created. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Intermediate

  1. Learn how to create geographic information system maps of CACFP data. 
  2. Discover how to use the maps to make data-driven decisions. 
  3. Identify key partners to engage in the process of both developing and then using data-rich tools. 

Presented by:

Alex Cooper, MS, Child Care Aware of America 


Creating Natural Outdoor Learning Environments 

Let’s talk about natural outdoor learning environments! What are they and how can trainers support early care and education (ECE) programs to take a natural approach to their outdoor play spaces? Discover how these spaces encourage active play and healthy eating habits. Learn about different approaches and practical examples to work with ECE programs to create these environments. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Understand what a natural outdoor learning environment is. 
  2. Identify the difference between conventional playgrounds and natural play spaces.  
  3. Get resources to create natural outdoor learning environments. 

Presented by: Caliste Chong, MS, Nemours Children's Health 


Empowering Operators: USDA Team Nutrition Resources 

Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the child nutrition programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity. Learn about the resources available for child care settings, schools and summer meal sites. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Increase awareness of Team Nutrition resources. 
  2. Discover Team Nutrition (TN) tools to help you plan creditable meals for the CACFP.  
  3. Know how to access and describe at least 3 resources available for CACFP and SFSP professionals. 

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Family Child Care Food Safety Kit 

Nutritious food is ineffective if made unsafely. The Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) designed the Family Child Care Food Safety Kits with input from family child care stakeholders to create a tangible resource to help providers adopt food safety behaviors. Since 2021, ICN has distributed over 17,000 kits to 53 states and territories. Discover the effectiveness of the kits for family care care providers. ~ CEU Specialty 2, Beginner

  1. Learn how to develop an audience-specific, educational resource.  
  2. Understand how family child care providers used the kit to adopt food safety behaviors. 
  3. Discuss which kit items were most used and liked by providers. 

Presented by:

Liz Dixon, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition 


Feeding Infants

Join us for an interactive discussion on breastfeeding, formula feeding, developmental readiness, solid foods, and more. Learn about Team Nutrition’s Feeding Infants and Breastfed Babies Welcome Here guide! ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Understand new policy guidance related to breastmilk storage recommendations.
  2. Explore new questions and answers related to the CACFP infant meal pattern.
  3. Discover Team Nutrition tools to help you feed infants creditable foods as part of reimbursable meals and snacks in the CACFP.

Presented by: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 


Healthy Minds & Bodies: Sesame Resources to Promote Emotional Well-Being 

Sesame Workshop is supporting the emotional well-being of young children and families through research-based resources and engaging content designed for the whole family. Our approach offers strategies to support all families – from celebrating joyful everyday moments, teaching children the essential skills they need to understand and manage their feelings, and helping parents and community providers recognize the signs of more serious mental health challenges. ~ CEU Specialty 3

  1. Explore the newly designed digital platform 
  2. Learn of the concepts and resources tethered to our topic page on Emotional Well-Being. 
  3. Determine the most strategic ways to embed these assets into the fold of programming. 

Presented by: Antonio Freitas, MST, Sesame Workshop 


Mindfulness and SEL Practices for Educators and Children 

Mindful practice supports an educator’s ability to grow self-awareness, recognize how emotions and thoughts contribute to interactions with others, and respond to children with compassion. Explore mindful practices and social-emotional learning (SEL) for educators and children to promote a caring, equitable ECE community. ~ CEU Specialty 1, Beginner

  1. Understand how to cultivate mindful practices for an equitable classroom.  
  2. Identify the core areas of mindful practice and the connection to SEL. 
  3. Get resources related to mindfulness and SEL that support well-being. 

Presented by:

Julia Gest, MEd, The Pennsylvania State University 

Holly Hatton, PhD,  University of Nebraska-Lincoln 


Partnering with Cooperative Extension to Improve Eating Patterns 

It takes a village to feed young children, but where do we find them? Discover how to find Cooperative Extension resources to improve the dietary quality of young children. Get strategies for building successful partnerships and learn how Cooperative Extension can support your CACFP team and maintain your bottom line. ~ CEU Specialty 2

  1. Learn technical skills to get choosy eaters to try new foods. 
  2. Explore a resource guide for finding technical assistance and programs. 
  3. Create an action plan for next steps. 

Presented by:

Virginia Stage, PhD, RDN, North Carolina State University 

Kathryn Hoy, PhD, RDN, LDN, North Carolina State University 

Tammy Chase-Brunelle, MA, CHES, North Carolina State University 


Plant-Forward Menus: A Guide to Successful Integration 

There’s never been a better time to add more plant-based options to your program’s menu! The Forward Food Collaborative has been supporting institutions around the country in creating healthier, more sustainable plant-forward menus by offering culinary trainings, educational webinars, greenhouse gas assessments, marketing materials, and more. Learn how you can use these tools to support your program. ~ CEU Specialty 1

  1. Identify the health and environmental benefits of eating and serving plant-based foods. 
  2. Learn how to source, prepare, and successfully market plant-based options. 
  3. Get free resources to create more plant-forward menus. 

Presented by: Kate Jarvis, The Humane Society of the United States 





CACFP Training Program & Nutrition Calendar 

Where else can you find nutrition information, CACFP best practices, table crafts, physical activities, business tips, provider training modules, parent provider connection letters, child care curriculum, and record keeping all in one place? NCA's Nutrition Calendar & Training Program is perfect for providers, centers and afterschool sites. The 56-page calendar record keeping system and 5-hour training program is available in bulk for less than $4 per provider.  ~ Beginner

  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 


Embracing Technology to Maintain USDA Compliance 

Do you get frustrated or overwhelmed with the amount of time spent on meal planning, which takes away from your focus on improving children's lives? Utilizing data creates endless options, but only a few will generate reimbursement. Technology doesn’t just save you time, it can also help you increase revenue.  ~ Beginner

  1. Understand the process of a CACFP reimbursable meal. 
  2. Learn how to use technology to improve CACFP data tracking and management. 
  3. Get best practices to streamline your reimbursement process. 

Presented by: Tristan Clerihew, Early Learning Ventures 


Menu Planning Made Easy: Health-e Pro Software Demo 

Health-e Pro software offers nutrient analysis, menu planning, and online publishing. Color-coding makes meal planning easy while maintaining compliance. Standardized recipe building is simple with 5,000 pre-loaded products and recipes in the software. Easily plan compliant menus for CACFP, SBP, NSLP, SFSP and Smart Snack standards.  ~ Beginner

  1. Learn how Health-e Pro takes care of recipes, ingredients, backup documentation, and setup of your initial cycle menus. 
  2. See how you can save time, save money, and stay compliant. 
  3. Watch how easy it is to plan compliant menus. 

Presented by: Linsey LaPlant, MS, RDN, Health-e Pro 


Using Go NAPSACC to Support State and Program Level CACFP Efforts 

Go NAPSACC is an online tool that can help child care programs in your state elevate nutrition practices including meeting the CACFP meal pattern requirements. Get an overview of this easy-to-use tool, its training and education opportunities, resources available to help child care programs meet nutrition goals, and how your state can use it to support its child care programs.  ~ Intermediate

  1. Learn about Go NAPSACC and its use in nutrition promotion. 
  2. Explore how the tool aligns with the CACFP. 
  3. Discover how to get started using Go NAPSACC. 

Presented by:

Falon Smith, MS, PhD, UNC-CH, Center For Health Promotion & Disease Prevention 

Emily Clarke, RD, LDN,  UNC-CH, Center For Health Promotion & Disease Prevention