"1 in 5 children in the US goes to bed hungry. Our agency takes that statistic seriously and has been focusing on expanding our program offerings, and increasing the number of participants we serve daily.  The National CACFP Conference is a pivotal opportunity to see what “best practices” relating to ending childhood hunger and program expansion other agencies are having success with. At the conference I always felt welcome; there was a profound sense of shared purpose among all the attendees.There isn't another large scale networking and learning opportunity like it as far as CACFP is concerned, and the knowledge that you gain is immeasurable." Trina Tyson

  Click-Here-Register-Today.jpg  Workshop Schedule   Conference Program  Steps for Approval Guide

 Wednesday  ●  April 18, 2018

 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Exhibitor Hall Setup

 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Conference Registration | Information Desk Open

 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

CACFP Creditable Roundtable *

 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

USDA Paperwork Reduction Committee Meeting *

 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

City of San Antonio PreK Tour *

 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

San Antonio Food Bank Tour *

 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

USDA & State Agency Roundtable

 Thursday ●  April 19, 2018

 7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Conference Registration | Information Desk Open

 9:00 am - 1:30 pm

Exhibit Areas Open

 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Preconference Training *

 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

CACFP Professionals Certification Program Overview

 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

First Timers' Orientation

 1:45 pm - 3:00 pm

Conference Welcome & Featured Speaker Sessions

 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Regional Networking Sessions

 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Functional Networking Sessions

 Friday ●  April 20, 2018

 7:00 am - 5:00  pm

Conference Registration | Information Desk Open

 7:00 am - 8:00 am

Continental Breakfast Sponsored by  BIHNFS_logo_2017.JPG

 7:00 am - 1:30 pm

Exhibitor Areas Open (Closed 8:00 - 9:30 am)

 8:00 am - 9:30 am

National Conference General Session Sponsored by  TDA.png

 9:45 am - 10:45 am

Workshops Session One

 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Workshops Session Two

 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Grab & Go Lunch and Learn

 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Workshops Session Three

 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Workshops Session Four

 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Workshops Session Five

 Saturday ●  April 21, 2018

 7:30 am - 5:30  pm

Conference Registration | Information Desk Open

 7:30 am - 8:30 am

Continental Breakfast 

 7:30 am - 10:00 am

Exhibitor Areas Open

 7:45 am - 8:30 am

National CACFP Sponsors Association Annual Meeting *

 8:45 am - 9:45 am

Workshops Session Six

 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Workshops Session Seven

 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Workshops Session Eight

 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Grab & Go Lunch and Learn

 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Workshops Session Nine

 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Workshops Session Ten

 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Regional Wrap-Up Sessions

* Ticketed events by invitation or pre-registration.

 Wednesday  ●  April 18, 2018

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Four-year-olds want to do it all, and they need to! At Pre-K 4 SA, early childhood educators combine children’s energy with curriculum-based play to prepare students for success in kindergarten and beyond. The vision behind Pre-K 4 SA is to invest in education to develop a strong future workforce, lower school dropout rates, and encourage more engaged local citizens in the city of San Antonio. Pre-K 4 SA, a CACFP provider for 2,000 kids annually, also teaches nutrition education in the student classrooms as well as in parent classes. Tour one of the four city facilities to see how students participate in growing, harvesting and eating nutritious foods, how parents are actively engaged, and how the community is advanced through the program. Registration limited! Transportation provided to and from the Pre-K 4 SA site.

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The San Antonio Food Bank confronts the ongoing conflict of childhood hunger through the Summer Foods Service Program at nearly 150 locations as well as through the Child and Adult Care Food Program at 15 sites. Nationally recognized as a top operationally efficient non-profit, the food bank team will showcase its anti-hunger efforts for attendees. Tour the facility and the mobile truck grocery market, Mobile Mercado. Hear from off-site partners who implement the food programs with meals prepared at the food bank, and partake in a CACFP creditable snack while engaging with the health-conscious kitchen team. Create a memorable experience through volunteer and team building activities that will have you further inspired. Following the tour, attendees have the option to return to the headquarter Hyatt Hotel or explore the city’s historic Market Square.

 Thursday ●  April 19, 2018

CACFP Professionals Certification Program Overview

Attendees interested in learning more about how to earn the CACFP Management Professional or CACFP Child Nutrition Professional certifications should come to this session to hear why the program was started, what the qualifications are to earn a CACFP Professional Designation, and next steps to getting the certification complete.

First Timers' Orientation

After 32 years of the annual conference, we love welcoming new comers. If this is your first NCA conference to attend, please join us for the First Timer's Orientation where you'll learn more about what to expect from the conference and how to get the most out of the annual event. There's so much in store for you! Come hear what we have planned. 

Conference Welcome & Featured Speaker Sessions


Regional Networking Sessions

We know that networking is one of the most valued benefits of attending a national conference with fellow child nutrition community professionals. With over 1,000 attendees, NCA helps facilitate that right from the start by hosting the Regional Networking Sessions on day one. Get to know your regional office representative, NCA board member and regional representative. Look forward to meeting your neighbors.

Functional Networking Sessions

Many times, we simply need to meet up with people who get it. We need to visit with other professionals who do exactly what we do, every single day. Don’t miss this session where you get that opportunity to meet and network with people who work in your field, in your space. Share success, talk challenges, and go home knowing you have new friends you can reach out to throughout the year for advice and information.

 Friday ●  April 20, 2018

National Conference General Session

As a community, there are some things we need to hear all together. The National Conference General Session is strategically planned with speakers who will provide needed child nutrition policy information as well as motivate us towards future success. Hear from Brandon Lipps, Administrator for USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Senta Hester, President of National CACFP Sponsors Association, Angela Olige, Assistant Commissioner of Texas Department of Agriculture, Eric Cooper, President and CEO of San Antonio Food Bank and Will Lourcey, Founder of Friends Reaching Our Goals. Meet these Presenters


 Saturday ●  April 21, 2018

National CACFP Sponsors Association Annual Meeting

Attend our annual meeting to hear more about where we are, what we’ve accomplished, and what we have planned! We’ll talk shop, introduce staff, review financials, and share long-term goals.

Regional Wrap-Up Sessions

This end-of-conference get-together is a chance for attendees to meet again, talk about lessons learned, share stories, and revisit main messages from the conference. We want you to go home on fire about the gained knowledge and inspiration. 

 Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Register to attend one of these four-hour deep dive preconference training sessions. Presented classroom style, these are limited in size, and require pre-registration to attend. All sessions are concurrent from 8 am - 12 pm.

CACFP 101: Foundations of Success

New to the Child and Adult Care Food Program? Learn the basics of CACFP from experienced CACFP sponsor operators and USDA’s Nutrition Education, Training and Technical Assistance staff. This 101 course will cover Program Administration, Program Operations, Nutrition, Financial Management, Non-profit Management, and Civil Rights as required to operate a CACFP sponsoring organization.

  • Blake Stanford, CMP, SW Human Development Services
  • Cheryl Lewis Jackson, MPA, RD, LDN, National Director, USDA Food and Nutrition Service
  • Senta Hester, CMP, CCNP, Our Daily Bread of Tennessee
  • Vicki Lipscomb, CMP, Child Nutrition Program, Inc.
  • Kate Abernathy, MS, RD, LDN, Providers Choice
  • Victor Salazar, Hummingbird Child & Adult Nutrition
  • Candice McElhaney, MA, National CACFP Sponsors Association

CACFP Afterschool: Serve Snack, Supper, and Holiday Meals

Only 1 in 10 children who qualify for afterschool and out-of-time meals are receiving them. The Child and Adult Care Food Program offers a solution to this nationwide problem. Learn the basics of CACFP Afterschool and hear from a panel who are already implementing the program successfully at their sites. Discover how you can sponsor the program or work with a sponsor to serve children who are at-risk. Congress has offered a solution. Don't send kids home hungry. This session is for anyone who works with afterschool programs and for sponsoring agencies.

  • Kati Wagner, CMP, CCNP, Wildwood CACFP
  • Jenny Eyer, MPH, Children At Risk
  • Jenny Arredondo and Berta Macat, San Antonio ISD

CACFP Headstart: An Indicator of Quality Child Care

Are you meeting guidelines specific to Head Start and CACFP?  Come and learn how Head Start requirements align with the CACFP to provide good nutrition to children. Leave understanding the performance standards concerning child nutrition, how to implement training, and understand how to better serve culturally appropriate meals and make family style dining successful.

  • Rhonda Kobylecky, CMP, Directof of Food Services, Acerlero Learning
  • Kristi Lewis, PhD, RDN, Research Scientist, The Institute of Child Nutrition
  • Sylvia Klinger, DBA, MS, RD, CPT, Founder, Hispanic Food Communications
  • Helen Woo, MS, RDN, LDN, Dietician, Jefferson Parish Head Start

Farm to Preschool: Getting in the Game of Local Food & Learning in Early Child Care

Farm to early care and education (ECE), also known as farm to preschool, includes the use of local foods in meals and snacks, gardening opportunities, and food-based learning activities. Farm to ECE initiatives are evidenced-based approaches to meeting CACFP meal pattern and nutrition standards. At this training, actively engage in farm to ECE activities and learn about curriculum, resources, and tools to help start or expand farm to ECE initiatives. Whether you are a seasoned local foods expert or are just ready to plant your first seeds, you will walk away with a concrete plan to “grow” health and wellness, experiential learning opportunities, and parent engagement tools.

  • Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, National Farm to School Network
  • Candayce Howard, Joshua Smith, and Phillip Hester of Our Daily Bread of TN
  • Jamese Kwele, The Food Trust
  • USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

HR Toolkit: Non-Profit Management Strategies

Non-Profit management is key to operating a successful organization. Learn how to motivate staff, evaluate employee performance, manage generational diversity, and lead your team. Whether you are new to a management role or are looking for tools to be more effective, this session will offer you solutions and resources to use immediately.

  • Lynn Richardson, SOS Employment Group- Retired

Meal Pattern Components: Serving Up Great Nutrition

Great nutrition is the keystone of the CACFP. Because we believe that healthy eating starts early and is a learned behavior, it's incredibly important that program operators and providers know what makes the meal pattern components powerful when united. Fighting obesity, introducing healthy foods, and ensuring variety across food components are some of the important goals explored in this training. Go home on fire about great nutrition.

  • Julie Miller Jones, PhD, LN, CNS, Grain Foods Foundation
  • Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, Produce for Better Health Foundation
  • Cheryl Buckley, MBA, MS, RD, CDN, Chobani
  • Lana Frantzen, PhD, Dairy MAX
  • Hawley Poinsett, MS, RDN, LD, Texas Beef Council

Summer Foods: Planning, Participation, Policy & Partnering for Success

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is an important tool for addressing the nutrition gap low-income children face when the school year ends. Success depends on collaboration, proactive planning, and partnerships. Whether you are a CACFP sponsor operating SFSP for the first time, or a year-round sponsor looking to expand or sustain your current operations, learn all you need to know at this session and leave with practical resources, new contacts, and a concrete plan to reach more children with nutritious meals during the summer months. 

  • Clarissa Hayes, Food and Research Action Center
  • Brian Wieher, Operation Food Search
  • Emily Delehanty, USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Show Me the Money: Getting Through the Budget Approvals Process

This training is a 101-level overview of the generally accepted source documentation to support allowable costs for CACFP operations. Attendees will learn about best practices for determining if proposed program costs are necessary, reasonable and allowable. Discover the impact the management plan has on the budget; what constitutes a related party transaction; and who has the burden of proof for ensuring proposed costs are necessary, reasonable, and allowable. Training will include group activities, discussion on proposed program costs that are often questioned, and tools to assist with avoiding common budget submission mistakes.

  • Cherese Myree, CFE, Vice President, MH Miles Company, CPA PC
  • Monica Miles, CPA, CFE, President, MH Miles Company, CPA PC 


Workshop Directory by Track  Meet the Presenters


Nutrition Sponsored by GrainFoods_Logo.jpg

Administration & Operations

Advocacy & Policy

Train the Trainer

Financial Management


Research & Resources

Program Spotlight

Head Start

At-Risk Afterschool

Summer Food



Advocacy & Policy

Advocacy & Alliances: Promoting Kids’ Health Through Cross-Sector Partnerships

Adriana Kohler, Texans Care for Children
Shelby Massey, American Heart Association

Using recent Texas initiatives as a case study, this session will explore ways to build coalitions across sometimes disconnected stakeholders to promote policies that improve nutrition and physical activity in child care. Discuss creative ways to use media and strategies for working with state and community leaders to inform – and shape – policies.


Child Care Action: Budgets and Policies from the Capitol to the Kitchen

Geri Henchy, Food Research and Action Center
Mary Beth Salomone Testa, National Association for Family Child Care

Join us to discuss the policies that matter for your sponsorship, child care, Head Start or after-school program. Congress is making decisions that will impact access to nutritious meals and snacks in child care. Get the hot news and get ready for action!


Civil Rights Meal Accommodations

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

Hear about the updated requirements for accommodating CACFP and SFSP participants with disabilities, including food allergies, and learn how to work collaboratively with parents and representatives to reach an agreed-upon reasonable modification to ensure an equal opportunity to participate in CACFP and SFSP and receive program benefits.


Civil Rights Training: Requirements 101

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

An overview of the Civil Rights requirements for the CACFP state agencies and sponsors, this training will provide information on the Civil Rights obligations of State Agencies, the contractual requirements for CACFP sponsors, and provide resources to assist with administering CACFP in accordance with Civil Rights Requirements.


Gaining Your Voice and Standing for the Children: Empowerment at the National Level

Christy Felling, Share our Strength
Sherry Rackliff, National Indian Child Care Association
Stacey McDaniel, YMCA of the USA
Senta Hester, Our Daily Bread TN

It can be difficult to find a way to represent the millions of children our programs help while running your own program. By joining with a national organization, your individual voice can be joined with thousands, maybe even millions, across the nation. Learn how to partner with a national organization to have your voice heard!


Increasing Access and Participation: Strategies for Streamlining Paperwork

Vicki Lipscomb, CMP, Child Nutrition Program
Tracy Mueck, Texas Department of Agriculture

Providers, both veterans and new members, sometimes struggle with the intricacies of program paperwork. Join members of the Congressionally-appointed Paperwork Reduction Committee as they summarize their work in streamlining recommendations for the child nutrition community.


Policy-Oriented Collaboration: Forging Relationships at the National, State, and Local Levels

Jessica Rose-Malm, Child Care Aware® of America
Kate Clabaugh, National Recreation and Parks Association
Jamese Kwele, The Food Trust
Shannon Amos, Children's Hunger Alliance
Vicki Lipscomb, CMP, Child Nutrition Program

Our communities and states are unique and both the opportunities and challenges facing us are diverse in nature. Recognizing the work we can do at all levels, whether that is locally within your community, within your State Agencies as well as state-based organization, or on the national front, can make us more effective and successful in educating for the best policies for the children we serve.


Taking Action at the Grassroots Level

Candice McElhaney, MA, National CACFP Sponsors Association

How do you make a difference in your community? Learn what resources you may have available, how to access those resources, and how to reach out and partner with others in your community to spark positive change!


At-Risk Afterschool

Collaborating to Improve Access to Summer & Afterschool Meals

Grace Norman, MPSA, Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative
Carolyn Wait, RD, Share Our Strength

Partnerships enhance your work while connecting more kids with Summer and Afterschool Meals. Drawing on real-life examples, this session will show you how to build a sponsor or stakeholder council that effectively shares ideas, aligns resources, and strategically expands program access. This session will also share tools for identifying sites.


Creating Equity and Food Access with Customized At Risk CACFP Programs

Anneliese Tanner, MS, Austin Independent School District

Using Austin ISD as a case study, we’ll discuss how school districts can bring equity to, and expand, food access in their community with the At Risk CACFP. By creating clean label menu standards and offering custom service types, school districts can increase meal participation positively affecting their bottom line and the community.


Hunger Doesn’t End on Friday: Serving Meals on Weekends and Beyond

Carolyn Wait, RD, Share Our Strength
Clarissa Hayes, Food Research and Action Center

For many kids, weekends, snow days, and school breaks are some of the hungriest times of year. Afterschool and Summer Meals can fill this gap while bringing you additional revenue. This session will show you the options and help you to plan effectively to serve at non-traditional times.


Let’s Get Cooking! Nutrition Education for At-Risk Afterschool

Carolyn Pancarowicz RD, CDN, East Hartford Public Schools
USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

Kids love cooking! Learn how you can provide hands-on fun while teaching kids about healthy foods. Explore new USDA-developed materials created especially for these settings, as well as programming opportunities and experiences from the Crossroads Afterschool Programs in East Hartford, Connecticut. Leave with a recipe for success.


Serving Your Communities Year-Round through Afterschool Meals and the Summer Food Service Program

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

The Summer Food Service Program, Seamless Summer Option, and At-Risk Afterschool component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program all provide opportunities to serve children year-round outside of school hours. Learn strategies for making these programs operate efficiently, hear best practices (including transitioning between programs), discover resources for engaging school communities, and learn about other tools for increasing access to nutritious meals when school is not in session.


Shelf-Stable Food Means Greater Food Access Afterschool & Summer

Shannon Amos, MFCA, Children’s Hunger Alliance

Learn the ways in which shelf-stable food can be used as a tool to provide greater food access for rural and summer programs, as a back-up when unexpected issues in delivery or inclement weather arise, or to supplement daily food service when more children attend than anticipated.

Supper Program: Hunger Doesn’t End with the Dismissal Bell

Chandra Blackwell, Valerie Meinen, and Maggie Kennedy, Houston ISD

A healthy breakfast and lunch are essential to learning. But, the importance of a nutritious meal doesn’t end when classes dismiss. HISD Nutrition Services is working to expand its Supper Program. While securing buy-in from school leadership can be difficult, the program is growing and is becoming a welcome addition. 



Head Start         

Building an Effective Head Start and CACFP Partnership for a Good Start to Grow Smart

Simone Smith and Veronica James-Howard, MPH, Gulf Coast Community Services Assoc.

Nutrition through CACFP in Head Start is the main ingredient in the recipe for good health for children. Head Start Standards require each child enrolled to be screened and nutritional needs identified. Learn how to address the nutrition related risks at an early stage.


CACFP and Head Start Food Services Regulations

Rhonda Kobylecky, CMP, Acelero Learning

This training will focus on the HSPS 1304.22 that govern child nutrition and how they align with the CACFP program to provide good nutrition to children in Head Start. Also, learn what’s new in the HS Performance Standards concerning child nutrition.


Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care & Education

Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, National Farm to School Network
Helen Woo, MS, RDN, LDN, Jefferson Parish Head Start

Join this session to learn about Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE), which aligns farm to ECE activities with Head Start Program Performance Standards and the Early Learning Outcomes Framework, and to hear how practitioners are putting farm to ECE into practice in Head Start settings.


Head Start as Leaders of Healthy Living 

Dr. Michelle Lombardo, DC, The OrganWise Guys

Head Start Centers can be leaders in obesity prevention since children spend the majority of the day there and are still in the process of developing habits. Thus, interventions addressing food, education, and exercise have significant potential. Learn how an intervention that addressed these topics showed statistically significant health improvements.


Resources to Support Healthy Nutrition of Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

April Powell, NCECHW, American Academy of Pediatrics

Free, online resources developed by the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, support parents and child care providers in serving healthy, nutritious foods. Review the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center’s Growing Healthy tips, a program assessment tool, and database of best practice guidelines.


Socially Just Environment as Part of High-Quality Head Start Preschool Classrooms

Mari Riojas-Cortez, PhD, and Toni Sturdivant, MA, University of Texas at San Antonio

A socially just classroom environment should be the premise for high quality preschool experiences for underrepresented children. Look at high quality experiences through a social justice lens which include the identification of funds of knowledge, cultural and language identity as part of socioemotional development, and family integration in the learning process.


Transitioning to Family Style Dining

Helen Woo, MS, RDN, LDN, Jefferson Parish Head Start

Transitioning to family style dining can be fear-inducing. Cooks worry about having to deliver food and wash more dishes. Teachers are afraid kids will sneeze into food, spill milk, and lick serving spoons. Learn how a Head Start succeeded in going from pre-plated cafeteria mayhem to a calmer, structured, learning experience.


Financial Management   

CACFP Administrative Budgets

USDA Food and Nutrition Services Staff

Learn tips and best practices on the preparation of an acceptable Administrative Budgets. 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.


Effective Purchasing Practices

Chris Primiano, Food & Supply Source

A reverse town hall style workshop, come prepared to talk as we explore where to find true costs are as well as how to reduce costs, time, and effort in purchasing.


Investigating Fraud, Waste & Abuse in Federally Funded Programs: Red Flags in the CACFP & SFSP

Cherese Myree, CFE, MH, and Monica Miles, CPA, CFE, MH Miles Company, CPA, PC

Gain expert insight on investigating allegations of noncompliance in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program. Learn how to identify red flags during a monitoring review. Walk away with interview techniques, sampling methodologies, and best practices that have been instrumental in identifying fraud, waste, and abuse in federally funded programs.


Sponsoring Summer Food: Keys to Financial Management

Cherese Myree, CFE, MH, and Monica Miles, CPA, CFE, MH Miles Company, CPA, PC

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.


Successfully Mastering CACFP State Audits

Emily Chatelain and Melissa Fox, Three O’clock Project

CACFP is a wonderful way to provide healthy meals to needy children. Don’t let all the red tape of administering this program get you caught in the weeds. Learn how to prepare for a successful audit and hear from Sponsors on best practices, tips, and tricks.


Cost Allocation for Center & Home Sponsors

Alix Pasillas, Food for Kids
Vicki Lipscomb, CMP, Child Nutrition Program
Brian Tipton, Esq., The Private Client Law Group

Confused about the requirements for cost allocation when you begin sponsoring unaffiliated centers? This workshop should help. We will review the USDA guidance concerning cost allocation and share some examples of typical expense areas and examples of a cost allocation plans.


CACFP and the OMB Super Circular

Brian Tipton, Esq., The Private Client Law Group

The OMB Uniform Grants Guidance, better known as the "Super Circular," provides the basic framework for administering Federal grants, including CACFP.  Failure to follow the Super Circular can result in major compliance problems.  This session will explain the key aspects of the Super Circular and differences in CACFP requirements.


Procurement: Rules & Review     Two Hour Session

Tamra Jackson & Amanda Anderson, Wyoming Department of Education

We all think that procurement in CACFP is new, right? Well it has been going on since the beginning of time with cooks, directors and childcare workers. You know your stuff! Come and learn about the rules and how to document the work that is already being done.



Avoiding Burnout

Suzanne Zanella, CMP, CCNP, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh
Debra Ghia, Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers

When you experience work overload day in and day out, you can start to feel as if you’re on a treadmill and that you’ll never catch up. This is upsetting, stressful, and often leads to burnout. Learn how can you add more meaning to what you do every day.


Meal Program Benefits for Grown-ups

Krista Scott, MSSW, Child Care Aware® of America

We’ll review findings on child care professionals’ reported health and how nutrition programs for children, like CACFP have a positive impact on the adults in child care settings too. We will also share a framework to develop nutrition/CACFP promotion messages that are specific to child care professionals which will help increase participation in CACFP programs.


Farm to Work Wellness Programs

Amanda Reat, MS, RD, & Julie Latcham, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living

Farm-to-Work is a work site wellness program aimed at improving employee health and wellbeing by increasing access to low-cost, convenient, seasonal produce from local farmers. This session will focus on strategies to engage employees and create a sustainable Farm-to-Work program.


Healthy Early Care & Education: It’s Not Just Kid’s Stuff

Jill Cox, MS, RD, Penn State Better Kid Care
Carolyn Hightower, MBA, Vitamix Foundation
Diana Rosa and Kerry Riter, The Centers for Families and Children

Children’s health and wellbeing is a primary focus of child care professionals, even as their own health and influence is often overlooked. Explore the importance of healthy eating practices for Early Care & Education professionals and identify strategies to promote a healthier food environment for everyone.


Leadership Lessons: Hiring, Keeping & Motivating Staff

Lynn Richardson, SPHR, CCP, SOS Employment Group-Retired

Learn why effective leadership, in addition to good management, is the primary factor affecting your ability recruit/retain top talent. Increase employee morale and successfully motivate your staff to consistently perform work at their highest capability.


Managing Generational Diversity

Lynn Richardson, SPHR, CCP, SOS Employment Group-Retired

This workshop identifies some influences that effect how each generation views the workplace and what leadership techniques work effectively with all generations. Main points will include how to identify key characteristics of Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Xers and Millennials, what leadership style will work with all generations and how to motivate different generations.


Non-Profit Board Recruitment and Development

Alexia Thex, MEd, National CACFP Sponsors Association

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. Get an overview of what constitutes an effective board and how to develop strategies to make each board member an effective contributor and supporter of your organization. Leave with sample recruitment letter, sample job description and networking strategies.


Role Models for Health

Lois Coleman, Institute of Child Nutrition

You are in a unique position to impact the health of children and families by modeling healthy behaviors. Learn about key nutrition and physical activity recommendations and why they are important and leave with tools and tips to help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

Tackling Inefficiency: Increase Your Sanity and Workflow

Amanda Tucker, CHES, LSS - GreenBelt & Carolyn Miller, Texas Education Service Center Region 11

Learn how to improve and maximize policies, procedures, and training to counteract the most common findings and inefficiencies in CACFP. Receive step-by-step guidance on finding opportunities for while receiving inspirational ideas on how to strengthen business flow and keep the inefficiency monster at bay.


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Beans and Legumes: The Power of Pulses

Karla Dumas, RDN, LDN, and Lauren Pitts, RD, The Humane Society of the US

Pulses, or the term used to describe dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas, are emerging as health and culinary all-stars. Pulses are a great source of protein, while very low in fat; also providing many of the nutrients Health benefits aside, pulses are an affordable protein with a low carbon footprint. Test your pulse knowledge throughout the session and you may walk away with a prize or two! Take a closer look at these sustainable crops while identifying simple ways programs are integrating pulses into their menus.


CACFP Creditable

Lisa Mack and Ericca Whitley, National CACFP Sponsors Association

We’re helping sponsors help their providers, center staff, and afterschool team with tools, resources, and worksheets. Join the staff of the National CACFP Sponsors Association for a look at the available resources and go home with a tool-kit of new meal pattern handouts.


Child Nutrition Training                 Two Hour Session

Cynthia Snyder, Marcia Wileczek, and Caitlin Boland, RD, LDN, Novick Brothers Corp.

This comprehensive training on the USDA guidelines and nutritional requirements for early childhood and school age food programs is geared for all. Parent component trainings are also shared in this format for parent partnership with their school’s food program. Learn about CN labels, how to measure portion sizes, how to read and identify a food label, and what a child requires nutritionally in age groups 0-12 years.


CN Labels & Product Formulation Statements Defined

Lauren Lazzetti-Moss, Sysco Charlotte

The new CACFP guidelines can be a little intimidating for operators, but look no further! Learn how to use CN labels and product formulation statements to your advantage. We’ll review how to read and understand labels, sample menus, and dedicate time to answering questions about menus and labeling concerns.


Cultural Foods Made Creditable               Two Hour Session

Jennifer A. Hanson, PhD, RD, LD, & Olivia Paden, MPH, Kansas State University
Paola Paez, PhD, The Center of Excellence for Food Safety Research in Child Nutrition Programs
Denise E. Laursen, RDN, LD, US Army Child and Youth Services

Food and culture are tightly interwoven, and mealtimes provide an excellent opportunity to explore different cultures. Ideas will be shared while discussing the importance of these experiences. Bring your recipes, as we will transform cultural dishes into recipes that are safe, creditable, and designed to meet the best practice guidelines.


Farm to Early Care and Education 101

Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, National Farm to School Network
USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

Learn about the basics and benefits of the growing farm to early care and education movement which offers increased access to healthy, local foods, gardening opportunities, and food-based activities to enhance the quality of educational experience in all types of early care and education settings.


Defining Food Marketing Terms

Lutina Cochran, Institute of Child Nutrition

At a time when health is so important, do you find yourself questioning the meaning of food claims and terms? Don’t fret – this interactive session will define food terms commonly found on product packaging. We’ll also provide tips, tools, and strategies for selecting nutritious foods.


How to Plan Meals to Meet Meal Pattern Requirements

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

Discover how to use Team Nutrition resources to plan menus, make smart food purchases, and meet CACFP requirements. Learn about new tools that help you credit your recipes to determine how they fit into the updated meal patterns. Explore easy, new recipes that reflect a variety of tastes and cultures.


Infant Care and Feeding             Two Hour Session

Sonia Cotto-Moreno, MPH, RDN, LD, Dietitians Balance Health

Review the revised infant feeding guidelines and outline a blueprint for building a responsive infant and toddler care environment. By reviewing how learning happens holistically and how it originates in relationships in this age group, attendees will be able to promote healthy eating behaviors while implementing the CACFP guidelines.


Let’s Eat! Implementing Family-Style Dining

Brianna Holmes and Alexandra Hyman, Nemours Children’s Health System

Have a seat and let’s eat! Family-Style dining allows program staff and children to eat together in a relaxing environment while promoting healthy habits. This interactive session discusses the best practices, CACFP requirements and strategies to support early childhood programs in implementing family-style dining in their program.


Menu Planning 101: Incorporating the New Requirements

Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, DBA, MS, RD, CPT, Hispanic Food Communications for Grain Foods Foundation

We don’t need research to tell us it can be hard to serve delicious and nutritious meals and snacks that kids will actually eat, and dare we suggest, enjoy? Complaints that top the list are lunches and snacks that don’t get eaten and are time-consuming to prep. Explore a number of simple solutions to help care givers keep out of the meal rut.


Menu Planning with Popular & Nutritious Shelf Stable Tomatoes

Jodi Batten, SNS, Red Gold

Looking for ideas to help you integrate creditable vegetables in the new CACFP Meal Pattern? Come to this session to learn about nutritious, shelf stable tomato products and easy and popular menu solutions, featuring complete reimbursable meal ideas plus DIY Grab N Go Meal Kits.


Navigating Food Allergies and Intolerances

Natalie Butler, RD, LN, Nutrition by Natalie

Childhood food allergies and intolerances are rising, worsening and are associated with the development of other diseases. Learn about the role of the microbiome and other risk factors for food allergies and intolerances and how to identify triggers. Practical tips and simple substitutions for how to ensure adequate nutrition with restricted diets will be shared.

Nutrition for the Autistic Child

Maria Orlikoski and Ashby Tietgens, University of the Incarnate Word

We will examine nutritional aspects of autism regarding Food Allergies, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Sensory Sensitivity and Food Selectivity. We will provide evidence-based guidelines for Childcare, After School care and Food Service Directors in regard to menu planning and meal provision for children with autism.


Out with the Old and In with the New Meal Patterns

Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, DBA, MS, RD, CPT, Hispanic Food Communications for Grain Foods Foundation

Gain a greater understanding of changes to the meal patterns that equip care givers to provide children with healthy, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, with an emphasis on Hispanic populations within care center communities. We’ll make time for questions and facilitate sharing of tips and tricks found while implementing the new meal patterns.



Diane Welland, National Pasta Association

Find out how pasta fits into the CACFP meal pattern and why it is included in the Dietary Guidelines. Learn how create fun, healthy pasta meals and snacks which are convenient, cost-effective, and easy to serve in a child care setting. Discover tips and tricks for buying, serving and preparing pasta and learn where to find pasta resources.

Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity

Dyan Hes, MD, Gramercy Pediatrics for Grain Foods Foundation

Child care providers and nutritionists/RDs can make changes in diet and lifestyle to prevent obesity in children. Learn about programs which have successfully reduced obesity in young children and the medical complications of obesity in childhood. Most importantly, prevention will focus on collaboration between the healthcare providers and community organizations.


Quick & Easy, Nutritious, Low-Prep Snacks

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, Produce for Better Health Foundation
Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, CBR Nutrition Enterprises

Access to safe, nutritious and affordable food is essential to building a healthy foundation for the future during childhood. Learn the important role that CACFP can play in creating health equity and identify nutritious low-prep snacks using the CACFP new meal pattern guidelines.


Serving Whole Grain-Rich

Lisa Mack, National CACFP Sponsors Association

Serving Whole Grain-Rich (WGR) is an important element of the new meal patterns. Learn how you can support your CACFP operators in determining whole grain-rich products.


Spotlight on Grains and Dairy

Kathy Wiemer, MS, RD, General Mills Bell Institute of Health
Keith Thomas Ayoob, EdD, RD, FADN, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Explore the holistic benefits of grain and dairy foods, their contribution to nutrients and food group intakes, and how they fit into the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Participants will learn practical tips on how to easily identify qualifying cereals and yogurts.


Strategies to Engage Families in Healthy Active Living

Krista Scott, Child Care Aware® of America for the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness

Child care and Head Start programs support the healthy habits of families. However, many programs struggle to engage families to continue these healthy habits at home. Learn target healthy behaviors for children birth to 5 and implementable strategies for engaging families in their program.


Science & Recipes for Plant-Based Palates

Karla Dumas, RDN, LDN, and Lauren Pitts, RD, The Humane Society of the US

As food and nutrition professionals, the importance of incorporating more plant foods into everyone’s diet is understood. However, the science supporting the concept of meat reduction isn’t always accurately - or adequately - communicated to the general public. We’ll break down the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ updated position paper on vegetarian diets and discover a variety of plant-based recipes with a focus on plant powered protein, whole grains, and plentiful produce to incorporate at home and in school menus.


Veggie Power   Two Hour Session

Karla Dumas, RDN, LDN, and Lauren Pitts, RD, The Humane Society of the US

Join us to explore the nutrition research and culinary demand for alternative protein options, international flavors and comfort foods with a twist, while identifying opportunities to promote farm-to-school initiatives and allergen-friendly menus. Participate in a culinary workshop incorporating plant-based protein and fresh produce. Unleash your inner foodie in this fun and interactive workshop!


Vegetable Victory: Spice Up Your Veggies

Vahista Ussery, MS, MBA, RDN and Lindsey Schoenfeld, RDN, To Taste

Are the folks in your child nutrition programs tired of preparing vegetables the same old way? Are the kids craving more variety? In this chef-led demonstration class, Chefs will help you perfect techniques for steaming, roasting and stir-frying vegetables using simple and successful recipes.


Research and Resources

Baby Steps to Deliver Optimal Nutrition in Child Care

Erin Quann, PhD, RD, Gerber Products Company

Child care is a unique opportunity to improve the nutrition and early feeding habits of our youngest generation. New research from Nestlé’s Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) will be reviewed to determine how food consumption patterns compare to recommendations. Meal and snack tips, resources and tools will be shared.

Building a Better Sandwich for Children

Yanni Papanikolaou, Nutritional Strategies for Grain Foods Foundation

Sandwiches have been associated with increased calories and nutrients to limit, however, previous research has not distinguished between sandwich type. The aim of the current research is to assess energy/nutrients contributed from all sandwiches in the diet, and complete a modeling analysis using both whole grain and enriched grain breads. Learn why sandwiches should stay on your menu.


Behavioral Interventions for Pediatric Feeding Disorders             Two Hour Session

Bryant C. Silbaugh, PhD, BCBA, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Pediatric feeding disorders (PFD) are biobehavioral conditions with adverse effects on nutrition, communication, and social skills, and are common in children with developmental disabilities. This workshop will provide the audience with an overview of behavioral interventions for PFD and discuss the need for interdisciplinary research.


Early Childhood Development in Latino Children

Amanda Merck, MPH, Salud America!, UT Health San Antonio

This session will share the programs and policies for improving early childhood development in Latino children as well as the latest research which summarizes the current state of Latino child development in America. Take home keys for promoting culturally-sensitive development experiences for at-risk populations.


Eating Pasta Means Better Diet Quality

Yanni Papanikolaou, Nutritional Strategies for Grain Foods Foundation

A secondary analyses was completed in American adult and children using datasets from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2012. Pasta consumption was associated with a better diet quality, improved shortfall nutrient intakes and lower intake of nutrients to limit relative to non-pasta consumption in Americans.


Enroll Children Online

Dawn Perez, Minute Menu System

Learn how to use your Minute Menu software to allow parents to enroll and re-enroll their own children using any modern device such as laptops, tablets, or phones.


Healthy CACFP: Online Childcare Nutrition and Feeding Education

Robert Bensley, PhD, Western Michigan University
Jennifer Kozaczek, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

The Healthy CACFP Internet-based nutrition education and behavior change system is designed for enhancing the adoption and delivery of the new meal pattern by childcare center staff. Get an overview of the system, hear childcare center staff feedback, and leave with lessons in hand.


Promoting Nutrition Education and Physical Activity

Matt Madsen, CATCH Global Foundation
Cassandra McElhiney, Mesa County Partnership for Children and Families

Early childhood is an important time for establishing lifelong healthy habits. Learn how CATCH Global Foundation is building the capacity of community resource providers to support nutrition education and physical activity in preschools across Colorado. Take home sample activities designed to keep preschoolers moving, learning, and having fun.


Pre-Programmed Meal Patterns

Angela Young, CenterPilot

Learn how to use your Center Pilot software to pre-plan meals, weeks, and calendars and ensure that all new meal pattern requirements are met.


Monthly Processes for Online Claimers

Lori Johnson and Dawn Perez, Minute Menu Systems

Learn how to use your Minute Menu software to process online claiming as transparent and as efficient as possible.


Hot Topics: What Science Says

Dr. Keith Thomas Ayoob, EdD, RD, FADN, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

This session is about the science/ideology of three of the hottest and most controversial topics in food and nutrition: pesticides used on fruits and vegetables, added sugar in foods, and the use of sugar substitutes. Often ideology and philosophy drive parents’ opinions but we’re ethically mandated to make policy that’s fact-driven. Learn how issues that have both scientific and emotional components can co-exist.


Harvest of the Month: Celebrate the Season & CACFP

Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, National Farm to School Network
Isel Otero-Vera, The Food Trust

Dig in to Harvest of Month curricula—user-friendly resources which support CACFP best practices by encouraging providers to offer local and seasonal foods, including a variety of whole fruit and vegetable options and whole grains, and offering experiential nutrition education opportunities.


Engaging Your Audience with Interactive Training

Shannon Raymond, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jumana Saleh, MS, John C. Stalker Institute, Framingham State University

Explore the resources available from MassCAMPS (Massachusetts Children’s Access to Meals Planned Smart), a product of a USDA Team Nutrition training grant. Attendees will experience several research-tested MassCAMPS resources, including a sponsor training manual, culinary videos, and kid-friendly recipe cards.


Money Talks

Katherine Soule, PhD, Patti Wooten Swanson, and Derrick Robinson, University of California

The UCANR Money Talks (MT) program has resource guides meant to promote financial literacy and household resource management. Learn about and identify MT resources you can use to improve your CACFP participant’s understanding of the economic value of food choices.


Navigating Food Access

Anne Valik, MPH and Jill Turley, MS, RD, LD, SNS Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Programs work diligently to serve nutritious snacks and meals – but we know that identifying and accessing healthier options to fit a variety of meal patterns and menu planning needs is challenging. Explore exciting new resources to help you more easily source nutritious options, save time and support kids’ health.


Offering Water

Christina Hecht, PhD, and Laura Vollmer, RD, MPH, University of California Nutrition Policy Institute

The CACFP now requires participants to offer water. What’s working well for providers and what are the difficulties in fulfilling this requirement? Let’s work together towards full implementation as we give and get solutions for offering water to small children of all ages. We’ll review expert recommendations for infant and toddler beverage practices, and provide educational and promotional resources.


Preventing Peanut Allergies

Sherry Coleman Collins, National Peanut Board

Based on recent research, new guidelines recommend the introduction of peanut foods as early as 4-6 months of age, based on risk. Hear the latest research, understand why the guidelines changed, and learn how to provide guidance regarding peanut food introduction to prevent peanut allergies.


Promoting Latino Childhood Nutrition and Health Through An Online Network

Rosalie Aguilar, MS, Salud America!

Salud America!, an online network of 200,000 + members, uses campaigns along with action packs, stories, maps and multimedia tools to promote access to better food in neighborhoods and overall childhood health. Get to know these tools and how they can be used to take action for Latino Health.


MyPlate: Setting a Good Example to Create Healthy Eating Patterns

Barbara Jirka, PhD, SNS, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

Are your staff members creating a healthy food environment for the children in your child care center? Discover the MyPlate Daily Checklist to assess eating patterns and learn about helpful MyPlate resources to share with providers, center staff, parents, and children.


Support Breastfeeding in Your Community

Cristell Perez, MPH, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living

Hear an overview of practical accommodations and recommendations on how childcare centers can support both mothers whose infant attends the center and their employees in meeting their personal breastfeeding goals.


Technology Based Resources - An Interactive Tour

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

Join us for a tour of technology-based resources geared to assist with your menu planning and training needs. Come explore technical assistance resources from USDA such as the Food Buying Guide (FBG), FBG Mobile App, and the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl. Experience training opportunities from The Institute of Child Nutrition including those available through their e-learning portal! Bring your mobile phone or tablet computer to fully engage in this interactive session.


Program Administration & Operations 

50,000 Providers Can't Be Wrong: Nutrition, Training, and Record Keeping Made Easy

Lisa Mack, National CACFP Sponsors Association

Learn how the NCA Nutrition Calendar Training Program impacts providers daily featuring nutrition information, CACFP best practices, table crafts, physical activities, and new meal pattern information. Take a look at the five-part companion training module and supplemental materials. 


Bridging the Gap: Getting Parents on the Same Page

Gretchen Elkins and Laurie Staples, Education Service Center Region 20

Centers strive every day to provide nutritious meals and maintain a healthy active environment for children in their care, but how can we get families to live well and share the same message at home too? We’ll provide resources to engage parents and encourage families to live a healthy active lifestyle.


Culturally Relevant Nutrition Education

Latrice Sales, IT’S TIME TEXAS

Using a personal empowerment framework, this workshop will help health educators and wellness professionals understand and develop culturally relevant nutrition education practices. Adapting nutrition education to the cultural needs of the population can improve program effectiveness and empower individuals to live a more healthful lifestyle.


Engaging Youth in Nutrition Education

Katherine E. Soule, PhD, and Shannon Klisch, University of California

Develop strategies for integrating youth engagement and positive youth development programming into your nutrition education services and projects with youth leaders. The workshop will describe the steps, lessons learned and outcomes of integrating positive youth development programming with nutrition education services.


Let’s Talk Serious Deficiency

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

The purpose of the serious deficiency process is to ensure that an institution is in compliance with established Program regulation, guidelines and policies, or is in the process of becoming so. Using scenarios, case studies and interactive discussion, we’ll discuss the correlation of the serious deficiency process and Program compliance.


Sponsoring Homes? Learn How To Sponsor Centers Too

Senta Hester, CMP, CCNP, Our Daily Bread of TN
Vicki Lipscomb, CMP, Child Nutrition Program

Sponsors are needed for child care centers. If you are sponsoring homes, you already know CACFP. Now learn what it means to become a center sponsor and what steps you need to take next to get started.


Streamlining and Automating Processes: An Introduction

Alexandra Thurston, City of Fort Worth

This session will review some ways that sponsors and sites can leverage existing and free tools to work and communicate more efficiently, while improving compliance. Become familiar with how to send customized emails to multiple recipients with the effort of one message; gain knowledge of how to passively collect data using forms, and explore hidden features of existing software (MS Outlook). Potentially beneficial to all, particularly sponsors.


Seeds to Success: Tracking Your Progress

Valeria Anglin, Essential Needs

For new or small sponsoring organizations, while they may operate on a smaller budget, it does not mean that they cannot afford to have checks and balances in place to assure accountability within their CACFP program. Hear about different methods of how to develop free online claiming forms that are cost effective and efficient to use, until your organization can feasibly afford to contract with a software company.


The CACFP and Tribal Nations: Successes and Challenges

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

Join this panel discussion to hear creative and new ways Tribes successfully implement their CACFP, including ideas about integrating traditional foods into the new meal patterns. Discuss challenges and issues with USDA representatives and ways in which Tribes, States, and the Food and Nutrition Service can collaborate to meet Tribes’ needs.


What Would You Do? Monitors’ Real Life Situations

Jacki Redmond, Brenda Ranck, Tiffany Bell, and Sherry Wilkey, Mid Michigan Child Care

As a food program monitor, we have all been in unexpected situations. Our real-life experiences can help someone else know what to do if they get in that same or similar situation. This discussion based, role-play workshop is designed to help us be prepared in any encounter in homes or centers.



Program Spotlight

Success in the Food Program: Training to Engage Family Home Child Care Providers

Alexandra Hyman, Nemours Children’s Health System

Nemours Children’s Health System created a train the trainer model with interactive bilingual user-friendly tools and materials targeting family home child care providers to support them with the new CACFP meal pattern requirements: Success in the Food Program. Take a look at the trainer’s guide, hear about the success and challenges in implementing this training, and learn where to find the free training packet online.


CACFP Center Sponsor Success

Cindy Lumbreras, MS, & Rafael Gracia, Pre-K 4 SA

Learn about the City of San Antonio’s innovative Pre-K 4 SA and their participation in CACFP. Serving 2,000 four year olds on an annual basis, Pre-K 4 SA shares success stories and challenges encountered as a center sponsor.


Garden to Classroom: Where Children Win

Amelia Smith and Audrey Lehn, Educare Lincoln

Educare Lincoln partnered with Community Crops to connect early childhood education with healthy foods for young children. The school garden allowed for family interactions, unique recipe activities within the classroom, and therapeutic opportunities for children. Hear how this partnership benefited children in care, and their families, while offering opportunities to use the garden to meet CACFP standards.


Healthy Kids Need Healthy Adults: CACFP Staff Wellness

Jennifer Weber, MPH, American Heart Association

Staff wellness programs are gaining momentum in early care and education settings. This session will include lessons learned from the Healthy Way to Grow program along with strategies, tools and resources to facilitate healthy habits.


Successful Training Approaches from Team Nutrition

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff
Tessa Adcock, Kansas State Department of Education
Brittany Martens, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Discover how state agencies have used Team Nutrition Training Grants to provide training on the updated CACFP meal pattern requirements. Explore how Kansas uses a Team Up for CACFP Success model that includes workshops and mentoring, as well as Colorado’s culinary-based trainings for providers.


Surviving Hurricane Harvey

Jennifer Boesch and Keith Lewis, Houston Independent School District

During Hurricane Harvey, HISD Nutrition Services was faced with critical issues: a flooded production facility, displaced staff and a desperate community. By maintaining communication with employees, district, city and state officials, Nutrition Services played a major role in Houston’s recovery by feeding thousands and securing free meals for all students.


The Road to 54 Million Meals

Keith Lewis and Betti Wiggins, Houston Independent School District

No longer under outside management, the Houston Independent School District has a new energy. With a brand new nutrition officer and a focus on “good food,” Nutrition Services is excited to blaze a new trail. Hear about the department’s commitment to reaching the goal of serving 54 million meals in HISD
through NLSP, CACFP, and SFSP.


Train the Trainer

Connecting to the Reason We are All Here 

Tamra Jackson and Amanda Anderson, Wyoming Department of Education

We are in charge of making sure policies and procedures are followed and integrity is upheld in our programs. While all of these training topics are important, what is most important is that we are training individuals who have direct contact with thousands of children across our country. Do the people you are training understand how much you value their work? This session is about people, children and the relationships that are so important.


Don’t Eat Raw Cookie Dough – Exploring the Safety of Flour

Scott Hood, PhD, General Mills Bell Institute of Health, Nutrition & Food Safety

Do your child care providers make their own play clay? Preschool children are likely to put play clay in their mouths during play time. Learn why you need to share the message about the risks involved with consuming raw flour and get take-home strategies to share for using flour safely with kids.


Eat. Create. Cultivate. Fun With Food Through Positive Mealtime Experiences

Kate Abernathy, MS, RD, LDN, Providers Choice

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


Get Your Kids Excited About Cooking      Two Hour Session

Chef Ann Butler & Chef Quincy Jackson, Edible Education

Are you interested in starting a sizzling cooking program at your site? Chef Ann will guide you through the cooking program 101 steps. From culinary sanitation and safety to delicious recipes and games, you will enjoy learning how to create and share a culinary program.


Record-Keeping Training

Amanda Tucker, Education Service Center Region 11

We’ll give you the outline, the worksheets, and the tools you need to train family home providers record-keeping. This free training program from the National CACFP Sponsors Association is designed for sponsoring agencies to use in one-hour group training settings. With a few tweaks, it can be used as an at home training lesson too.


Sprouts: Growing Healthy Habits Curriculum

Carolyn Sutter, PhD, Brenda Davis Koester and Elizabeth Villegas at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Sprouts: Growing Healthy Habits is a curriculum designed to support children’s development of nutrition knowledge and healthy habits with 8 lessons that incorporate hands-on activities and interactive stories. This workshop will provide an introduction to the curriculum, example lesson, and discussion of effective implementation strategies with which you can train your program operators.


Lead By Example: Healthy Training for Educators to Help Build Healthy Students

Ivanna Neri, Common Threads

Nutrition education and healthy cooking expert, Common Threads, will facilitate this hands on (and edible!) workshop as an example of a professional development session to improve staffs’ personal health and wellness as well as experience simple lessons and tools to bring relevant nutrition education to CACFP programs.


Presentation Pointers

Jennifer Basey, MA, National CACFP Sponsors Association

Presenting is hard work! We will discuss tips to help you become a more successful trainer and the key components for developing a complete and engaging presentation.


Workshops for Early Childcare Providers

Amanda Merck, MPH, Salud America!, UT Health San Antonio

Early care providers are incredibly influential during the young, formative years of a child’s life. With professional development opportunities, care providers are better equipped to reduce the achievement gap, improve nutrition and physical activity, and provide a high rate of economic return for the children in their care. Get tips on providing effective ECE workshops to staff.


Elements of a Successful Home Visit: Monitoring, Mentoring to Coaching Does it Matter?         
Two Hour Session

Annetta Rutland & Terri Burch, 4C for Children

Child care providers need support at times with meeting program guidelines and CACFP Monitors know that there is a wealth of information to give providers around meeting the requirements of the program. This workshop will explore how monitors can guide providers to compliance by using strength based coaching methods.


Summer Food


Creating Welcoming, Inclusive Meal Sites

Clarissa Hayes, Food Research and Action Center
Veronica Day, CitySquare

Inclusive, welcoming meal sites are key to any successful afterschool and summer meal program. Often families will not visit sites with their children because of language barriers, dietary restrictions, immigration or cultural safety concerns. Learn steps sponsors and advocates can take to create a welcoming, safe place and ultimately increase participation.


Creating an Effective Summer Food Marketing Campaign

Lucinda Perry Jones and Brian Wieher, SNS, Operation Food Search

Learn how to plan and implement a powerful Summer Food Service Program promotion campaign to drive participation and raise community awareness. The strategy and tactics to be presented helped Operation Food Search, the largest non-profit SFSP Sponsor in the St. Louis region, to increase participation.


Summer Meals: More than a Sack Lunch

Kayte Partch, Nebraska Department of Education

Learn about three main factors that can positively influence summer meals participation among eligible children: providing appealing meals, opportunities for fun learning and activity, and building a sense of community around a summer meals program.


Summer Meals Outreach and Marketing

Kara Panowitz, No Kid Hungry MD, Share Our Strength
Melissa Moore, CMP, Family League of Baltimore

Explore examples of marketing and outreach used in Maryland to increase the number of kids attending summer sites. Examples will include themes, materials, partnerships and using what you have.


Summer Fun, Summer Thrive

Veronica Day, CitySquare

Want to enhance your summer food program? Come learn about innovative practices for Summer Feeding. We will look at different types of summer models and how each is successful. The presentation will focus on how to help your programs not only grow but become a more robust service.


Soaring High in Summer Food Service Programs

Kristi L. Lewis, PhD, RDN, The Institute of Child Nutrition, ARD

Sponsors of Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) face many operational challenges providing meals to children during summer months when schools are not in session. Gain insights on research-based best practices, partnerships, and marketing initiatives found to help sponsors meet their program’s goals. 


Summer Starts in September: Planning for Meals and Quality Programs

Leslie Gabay-Swanston and Dana Hammond, National Summer Learning Association

Carefully planned, high quality summer programs increase access to summer meal programs, encourage participation and retention, providing youth with life changing experiences. Hear about exemplars connecting meals and quality, and learn practical ways to implement assessment measures, using an NSLA’s interactive program planning guide.



Submit a Waitlist Workshop

Click here to register online! 

Mail-in Registration Form 


Registration Rates & Deadlines

National Child Nutrition Conference NCA Agency
Member Rate*
Non Member

ADVANCE (until December 15)



EARLY (until February 15)



STANDARD (until March 15) 



LATE (after March 15) 



Morning Preconference Sessions NCA Agency
Member Rate*
Non Member

ADVANCE (until December 15)



EARLY (until February 15)



STANDARD (until March 15) 



LATE (after March 15) 




Learning Excursions NCA Agency
Member Rate*
Non Member
(Limited Space, Includes Travel
$25 $25

* Membership discounts apply to all attending staff from a member organization. 

There are NO REFUNDS for cancellation. However, agencies may transfer registration to another individual within their organization.


National CACFP Conference Purchase Order Policy

The National Child and Adult Care Food Program Sponsors Association (NCA) Board of Directors recognizes the need for State Agencies (SA) to have the option of payment for registration for the National CACFP Conference by purchase order to secure an early or standard registration rate which is discounted from the late/onsite registration rate. Purchase orders must reflect an authorized expense and promise of payment. The Board of Directors has determined that in order for State Agencies to register for the NCA Conference with a purchase order and secure early or standard registration rates, the purchase order must be accompanied with a credit card guarantee.  The credit card will ONLY be charged if payment by check is not received by the association.

Furthermore, the early registration rate for a PO is extended at NET 30 -- which means that registration received on or before the early registration deadline (February 15) by PO and credit card guarantee will secure the early registration rate as long as the check is received within the next 30 days. If payment is not received within that window, the State Agency will be invoiced at the Standard Registration Rate.

All payments for all POs must be received by the association on or before April 18. Outstanding registration payments will be processed on the credit card used to guaranteed the registration on April 20.

This policy is not meant as a burden, however, reflects the desire of the association to ensure integrity, collection of funds, and preservation of organizational finances.


  1. A SA FAXES a PO with credit card guarantee on February 15 in order to qualify for the early bird rate.

  2. The SA has 30 days in which to send the check to NCA.

  3. If the check is not received by NCA on or before March 16, the SA will no longer qualify for the early bird rate, and will now be invoiced the standard rate.

  4. Again, if the check is not received by NCA within the next 30 days -- on or before April 15, the SA will no longer qualify for the standard rate, and will now be invoiced at the late rate.  

  5. If the SA does not bring payment to the conference and/or does not attend at all, the credit card used to guarantee the registration will be charged the late rate.

Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas

Flying in? Plan to arrive on Wednesday, April 18 and depart on Sunday, April 22, 2018.

Conference Registration is Required Before Booking a Hotel Room
When payment is made for conference registration, attendees will be emailed a link to secure the negotiated rates while inventory remains. We will update room inventory status here when we are close to selling out.

Negotiated Conference Rates * Through March 17, 2018  

Headquarter Hotel

123 Losoya Street
San Antonio, Texas

Standard:  $174.00 per night plus tax
Government: $124.00 per night plus tax 

  • Guest Room Internet Complimentary
  • Self-parking rate for conference attendess is $15.00 per day


105 South St Mary's Street
San Antonio, TX

Standard: $162.00 per night
(Four night minimum)

  • Hot Breakfast including Belgian waffles, fruit, biscuits and gravy, sausage, and more
  • Kickback evening hot food and cold beverages
  • One Hour Free Long Distance
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Soda & Popcorn in Lobby
  • Parking Fee Additional 

drury_inn_and_suites_riverwalk.jpgDRURY INN & SUITES SAN ANTONIO RIVERWALK

201 N. St. Mary's Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

Standard: $159.00 per night plus tax
Suite: $169.00 per night plus tax
(Four night minimum)

  • Hot Breakfast including Belgian waffles, fruit, biscuits and gravy, sausage, and more
  • Kickback evening hot food and cold beverages
  • One Hour Free Long Distance
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Soda & Popcorn in Lobby
  • Parking Fee Additional


Who We Are?

  • The National Child Nutrition Conference is the premier national conference for the Child and Adult Care Food Program community and home of the USDA requested Summer Food Program training.

  • The CACFP community serves over 2 billion meals and snacks to over 4.4 million children daily as well as 115,000 elderly persons.

  • We represent over 52,000 child care centers, 137,000 family child care providers and 865 sponsors.



Why Join us?

  • Promote your business and organization to leaders and members of the child nutrition community.

  • Participate in numerous networking opportunities with key decision makers.

  • Feature your business products or organization resources.

Who Attends?

  • CACFP Sponsors

  • Child Care Centers

  • State Agency Staff

  • Federal and Regional Agency Staff

  • Industry Leaders in Child Nutrition

  • Head Start

  • After-School/ At-Risk

  • Summer Food Sponsors

  • Nutrition Professionals

  • Tribal Nations

Exhibitor Information Packet

For more information contact us at

The city of San Antonio, Texas boasts much to offer in attractions, history and fantastic flavors. The conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the famous Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is the home to many restaurants and shopping. In the evenings after sessions, take a stroll or grab a taxi, water taxi that is! 

During the conference dates and throughout 2018, San Antonio will gather city-wide to celebrate its 300th anniversary. This is a historic occurance and one that will make our 32nd annual conference especially memorable to be held in this Texas legendary location!

Explore San Antonio!