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Monday  ●  April 22, 2019

10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Conference Registration Open Sponsored by Mushroom Council

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

CACFP Creditable Roundtable* by invitation

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Preconference Training Academy *pre-registration required

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

USDA & State Agency Training *state agencies only

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Learning Excursions *pre-registration required SOLD OUT

Tuesday  ●  April 23, 2019 

7:00 am - 7:00 pm

Conference Registration Open Sponsored by Mushroom Council

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Preconference Training Academy *pre-registration required

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

CORE State Agency Training *pre-registration required

9:00 am - 1:30 pm

Exhibit Hall Open

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
Sponsored by Optimum Foods, Novick Brothers, and JA Foodservice

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Functional Networking Sessions

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Windy City Networking Reception & Excellence Awards Presentation

Wednesday ●  April 24, 2019 

7:00 am - 6:00  pm

Conference Registration | Information Desk Open Sponsored by Mushroom Council

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Coffee & Conversation with Grab & Go Yogurt Sponsored by General Mills

7:15 am - 7:45 am

Shop Talk

8:00 am - 9:30 am

National Conference General Session Sponsored by General Mills

9:45 am - 10:45 am

Workshops Session One 
Tracks Sponsored by Grain Foods Foundation and J&J SnackFoods

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Workshops Session Two 

11:00 am  - 2:00 pm

Exhibitor Hall Open

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Lunch Presentation Station in Exhibitor Hall

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Shop Talk

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

CMP and CCNP Certification Celebration*by invitation

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Workshops Session Three

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Workshops Session Four

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Workshops Session Five

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm 

Shop Talk

Thursday ●  April 25, 2019 

7:00 am- 6:00 pm

Conference Registration | Information Desk Open Sponsored by Mushroom Council

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Coffee & Conversation

7:00 am - 7:45 am

National CACFP Sponsors Association Annual Meeting *by invitation

7:15 am - 7:45 am

Shop Talk

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Workshops Session Six

9:15 am - 10:15 am

Workshops Session Seven

10:30 am - 11:30 am

Workshops Session Eight

10:30 am - 1:15 pm

Exhibitor Hall Open

11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Lunch Presentation Station in Exhibitor Hall

1:15 pm - 2:15 pm

Workshops Session Nine

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Workshops Session Ten

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

Featured Speaker Sessions

5:00 pm -5:30 pm

USDA Town Hall

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm 

Shop Talk

Friday, April 26, 2019

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

State Agency Afterschool & Summer Meals Symposium
Sponsored by No Kid Hungry *pre-registration required

8:00 am - 10:00 am

CORE Sponsor Training *pre-registration required

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Learning Excursion *pre-registration required SOLD OUT


First Timers' Orientation

We love welcoming newcomers! We'll make sure you are able to walk away from this jam-packed, three-day conference with new insights and knowledge to use and to share with colleagues back in the office. Learn more about what to expect, how to navigate the schedule, and where you need to be to get the most out of this national training event.

Featured Speaker Sessions

Hear from expert speakers about policy and programming, nutrition and research, or resources and tools. We are highlighting six featured speakers to start the conference off and wrap-up the final day too.
Leave feeling inspired and ready to take action in your role at home.

National Conference General Session

As a community, there are some things we all need to hear at the same time, together. The national  conference general session is strategically planned with speakers who will provide needed child nutrition policy information and who will motivate us towards future success.

National CACFP Sponsors Association Annual Meeting

Members are invited to learn about what we have accomplished in the past year, how we support the CACFP community, and share ideas of how we should plan for the future.

Exhibit Hall Access

Attendees have full access to the exhibit hall where they can visit with food manufacturers, food service vendors, nutrition education resources providers, software solutions, and training and accounting resources. Visit with USDA's Team Nutrition and interact with many other organizations leading change in the child nutrition landscape.

Functional Networking Sessions

Meet with people who do what you do every day! Join your moderator and colleagues to talk about workplace issues. Find a mentor. Share your experience. Make contacts. Talk shop and learn from one another. This is one of the most powerful sessions of the conference.

Regional Networking Sessions

Get to know your USDA regional office team, the National CACFP Sponsors Association board members, and sponsor  representatives. We will also have an opening roll call by state so get your friends to join you and represent!

CACFP Professionals Certification Program Overview

Interested earning the CACFP Management Professional or the CACFP Child Nutrition Professional designation? Learn more on Tuesday, April 23 or online at   

For Sponsors 

CORE Training for CACFP Sponsors of Family Child Care Homes

This train-the-trainer session will cover one module of the CORE training developed for sponsors of family child care homes on CACFP Administration. CORE is a USDA FNS funded initiative designed to provide practical CACFP sponsor focused training solutions.

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited.

For State Agencies    

USDA State Agency Training

Join together with State Agency staff and the USDA for this roundtable session. Come with questions from your state sponsors and providers for the USDA and leave with answers and insight into the present and future of the Child Nutrition Programs. State Agency Staff Only.

Pre-registration is required.

CORE Training for State Agency Trainers

This train-the-trainer session will cover two modules of the CORE training developed for state agencies on CACFP Administration. CORE is a USDA FNS funded initiative designed to provide practical CACFP sponsor focused training solutions. Two concurrent sessions will be offered. One training will cover Financial Viability & Serious Deficiency. The other will review Internal Controls & Corrective Action.

State Agency Staff Only.
Pre-registration is required. Space is limited.

State Agency Afterschool & Summer Meals Symposium

This interactive symposium geared toward state agency staff will feature insights and best practices related to year-round meals, program administration, and streamlining. Topics include effective coordination among staff within state agencies responsible for administration of the SFSP and CACFP, strategies for staff and sponsor training to improve program integrity, and collaboration with community-based organizations to enhance outreach and compliance. Expect to be actively engaged with networking, peer learning, and action planning.

Carolyn Wait & Derrick Lambert, Share Our Strength 

Pre-registration is required.


Afterschool Meals & Summer Foods at Chicago Public Schools

Travel to and observe an after-school meal service at a Chicago Public School (CPS) site and learn about their successes and challenges with program marketing, menu planning, community outreach, and operations. CPS is the third largest district in the US operating 646 schools, of which 400 offer CACFP Afterschool and 360 offer Summer Food Service. SOLD OUT


Farm To Table In Action at The Day Nursery

At The Day Nursery, the children play an active role in the life cycle of the foods they eat. On this hands-on tour, help prep the garden for the spring, take part in a food experience lesson, and learn from the teams at The Day Nursery and the Illinois Farm to School Network about how to advance your own farm to early childhood education activities. Come to Chicago early, or stay late for this excursion – choose from either date:

SOLD OUT Monday, April 22nd ǀ 2:00 pm - 6:00pm
SOLD OUT Friday, April 26th ǀ 8:00 am - 12:00pm



Shop Talk

Join in on these small group conversations to share stories, learn from each other, and connect with professionals who are facing the same challenges and opportunities you do. Unscripted and dynamic, talk shop about specific topics like enrolling providers, fundraising, policy, handling conflict, parent engagement, and mobile meals.


Networking Reception

Make new friends and greet the old! We're creating room to keep the conversation going after the networking sessions so you can talk one-on-one with attendees and make lasting connections.







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. 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.

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


The following preconference training academy sessions are all held concurrently.
Attendees may choose only one. 

Thirty on Thursdays LIVE: New Meal Pattern Training

Get training on hot topics related to the new CACFP Meal Pattern requirements! Dive deep, ask questions, practice what you've learned, answer scenario-based questions, and explore training worksheets for cereal and yogurt sugar limits, grain-based desserts, healthy cooking, and serving milk and meat/meat alternates. 

Annetta Rutland, CMP, 4C for Children 
USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

CACFP 101: Afterschool Meals

Only 1 in 10 children who qualify for afterschool and out-of-school 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 in school or off-site and for CACFP sponsoring agencies.

Kati Wagner, CMP, CCNP, Wildwood CACFP 
Melissa Moore, CCNP, Family League of Baltimore 
Emily Chatelain, MBA, Three O'Clock Project
Simone Moseley, After School Matters

CACFP 101: Homes and Centers 

New to the Child and Adult Care Food Program? Learn the basics of CACFP from experienced CACFP sponsor operators and USDA’s Nutrition Promotion 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
Vicki Lipscomb, CMP, Child Nutrition Program 
Senta Hester, CMP, CCNP, Our Daily Bread of Tennessee 
Kate Abernathy, MS, RD, LD, CCNP, Providers Choice 
USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

Head Start Success: Meeting Performance Standards *SOLD OUT

Come learn how nutrition, gardening, and training are all tied into the performance standards that govern Head Start Food Service. Learn how Head Start requirements align with CACFP to provide good nutrition to children and how center-based gardening can help meet these standards–while also providing education opportunities for families and children. Take home new insights on how to provide the training your staff needs and will enjoy.

Rhonda Kobylecky, CMP, Ricardo Berrios, and
Stephanie Manchester, Acelero Learning 
Kristi Lewis, PhD, RDN, The Institute of Child Nutrition 
Helen Woo, MS, RDN, LDN, Jefferson Parish Head Start

Healthy Kids, Healthy Future: Train-The-Trainer

If your job is to train early care and education (ECE) childcare providers, come explore the urgency of early intervention obesity prevention. Learn about the wide range of free tools from Healthy Kids, Healthy Future for assessment, action planning, policy building, and goal-setting which meet nutrition and physical activity best practices. Discover how to use evidence-based toolkits to promote nutrition and physical activity best practices with ECE providers.

Alex Hyman, Nemours Children Health System 
Emily Keenum, MS, Virginia Early Childhood Foundation

Motivation, Communication, and Training: Lessons from The Wizard

Come on an Oz-mazing journey to learn, experience, and practice invigorating techniques to empower yourself and your employees. Bring your heart, brain, and courage to explore ways to influence your staff with training, motivation, and communication. While documentation, compliance, and menu appeal pave the yellow brick road, the biggest way to have more success over the CACFP rainbow is through inspiring your employees.

Amanda Tucker, CHES, LSS & Carolyn Miller Texas Educational Service Center Region 11

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 your current operations, come learn what you need to know and leave with practical resources and a concrete plan to reach more children with nutritious meals during the summer months. 

Clarissa Hayes, Food Research Action Center 
USDA Food and Nutrition Service Staff

Meet the 2019 Conference Speakers


Check out the conference workshops below or click the image above to download the workshop at-a-glance schedule. 



NEW! Nutrition for the Autistic Child 

Dyan Hes, MD, Gramercy Pediatrics

Child care providers and nutritionists/RDs can make changes in diet and lifestyle to prevent obesity in children, including autistic children and other special needs groups. Learn about programs which have successfully reduced obesity in these young children and the medical complications of obesity in childhood when special needs are factors.


NEW! Better Site Management Means Higher Reimbursement Rates

Emily Branton, MBA, and Naomi Czerwinskyj, MS, Link2Feed

Site management is critical to running a successful CACFP or SFSP program. But with all of the paperwork, sometimes it feels like herding cats. Learn how sponsors are leveraging technology called “Link2Feed” to streamline their processes, automate compliance, increase reimbursements and go completely paperless.

NEW! Understanding Food Allergies

Melanie Wong, MA, RDN, Association for Child Development

Food allergies are becoming more prevalent in child care and can be difficult to manage with an already busy schedule. Learn the basics of food allergies, solutions for managing them in the child care setting, and mealtime ideas for allergy friendly menus.

NEW! Food is Fuel

Wendy Siskin, Wellness in the Schools

Learn how to teach nutrition and fitness lessons to children and message the importance of both components together in a fun, engaging style. Go home with takeaways to improve these healthy initiatives together.

NEW! Standardized Recipes and You

Malissa Marsden, SNS, Child Nutrition Support Services

Learn how to create standardized recipes and why it's important you use them. Review and take home a flow chart which helps create a standard operating practice for recipe development. Learn how to better use foods you have on your shelves to create new recipes and how to look for recipe concepts online.

NEW! A Rainbow A Week: Embracing Changing Meal Patterns

Malissa Marsden, SNS, Child Nutrition Support Services

An analogy on how we changed society in one generation by reaching our youngest leads off this uplifting and positive message meant for everyone. While it's impractical to expect child care to serve a 'rainbow a day,' we can absolutely serve 'A Rainbow A Week.' Learn simple concepts to increase our rainbow of choices and take home recipes to try which feature fruits and vegetables.

NEW! Planning Your Preschool Meal Pattern

Stephanie Schenkel, MPA, Michigan Department of Education

It doesn't matter if you're starting from scratch or looking for new ideas or improvements on menu planning. Learn how to make the most of your preschool meal pattern in this hands-on workshop and meet the CACFP meal pattern requirements.

NEW! Overcoming Barriers to Prevent Food Allergies

Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD, National Peanut Board

As many as 6-8% of children have a food allergy and this number has grown significantly over the past two decades. Recent research shows that early introduction of potential allergens in the first year can reduce the risk of developing food allergies. Learn how to address barriers by breaking down the research and making introduction practical for parents and caregivers to help reduce the future prevalence of food allergies.

NEW! Marketing & Promotion Essentials

Jill Turley MS, RD, SNS, LD, Argunas Consulting

How are you marketing your program? Do you have a plan? Or is marketing an afterthought? There are easy things we can do that can benefit our programs and our students. Let’s explore a few easy marketing and promotion strategies that may end up paying off big for your program.

NEW! Build a Bridge, Gain a Fan

Jill Turley, MS, RD, SNS, LD, Argunas Consulting

Are you building bridges? Bridge building is a great marketing strategy that helps you create fans. Fans are the best kinds of customers – they keep coming back, but they also share their experiences and inspire others. Let’s explore innovative ways to gain fans as a strategy for multiplying promotion efforts!

NEW! Crave the F-A-V: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Intervention

Jennifer Little MS, RDN, LD, Bluffton University
Rachel Weiler, DNO Produce

Learn about the collaborative project, CRAVE the F-A-V, being held in Lima City Elementary Schools and the 15-minute educational activity curriculum shared with students during their lunch period. Hear about the study of the impact of this intervention on the student's knowledge and acceptance of fruits and vegetables as a part of a healthy diet.

NEW! Defining Food Education with Pilot Light

Katie Colvin, MA & Justin Behlke, Pilot Light

Learn why food education is important and how we can integrate it into education. Get to know Pilot Light, a food education non-profit in Chicago, and their Food Education Standards.

NEW! Power of Partnerships: Procurement, Standardized Recipes & Compliant Menus

Illeme Amegatcher, PhD, General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition
Stacy Lofton, MS, RD, SNS, Premier, Inc

From procurement of ingredients and products beyond the grocery store to recipe development and menu creation using single products in multiple applications, join the conversation and dig deeper for a portfolio of solutions and tools.

NEW! Nourishing Students: Using Enrichment Activities to Engage Children through Food and Health

Leyla Marandi, MPH, Center for Ecoliteracy

Nourishing Students is a program designed to teach practitioners how to engage children in exploring the abundance of locally-grown produce. Experiential activities make out-of-school time programs more fun and memorable while enabling children to broaden their understanding of food, health, and the environment.

NEW! Centers Nationwide: A Perspective on their New Meal Pattern Implementation

Jamie Chriqui, PhD, MHS & Rebecca Schermbeck, MS, RD, MPH, University of Illinois at Chicago

Learn about the results of a nationwide study on the implementation of the updated CACFP meal pattern standards. Hear about the pre and post implementation responses as well as qualitative information on independent centers’ experiences with and training and technical assistance needs relative to the food program.

NEW! Smart & Simple Snacking

Jennie Plewka, Red Rabbit

We are often pressed for time and making a fresh snack may seem daunting but there are great benefits to serving nutritious, well-balanced snacks. Learn about how they can impact strong academic performance and take home a couple of easy to prepare snack recipes.


NEW! What’s Real Got To Do With It? How To Help Kids Grow Healthy Relationships with Food

Rhys Powell, Red Rabbit

Prepackaged may be convenient but the human component of making real food is critical to the way kids see it when it hits their plate. They can taste fresh mango swirled into yogurt and they can tell that cauliflower changes the consistency of their mac and cheese, and still gobble it up! Learn why preparing real foods from scratch can cost the same and take home three recipes that take those extra steps.

NEW! The Magic of Healthy Eating through Interactive Learning Activities

Deborah Wilson, Amanda Dyes, & Shelby Beverly, MSA, Georgia Nutritional Services, Inc.

Food insecurity across America means that it is vital we ensure children eat the meals we provide through the CACFP. Eating patterns adopted during childhood affect health across a lifespan. Get information, tools, and activities that help promote healthier living and encourage healthy food choices.


NEW!The Key to Menu Planning: Networking & Collaborating with Parents

Stephanie Manchester, Acelero Learning

By introducing new and healthier choices to our children, we strive to change poor eating habits. Getting parents involved in taste-tests and allowing input on our menus makes it possible for us to change views of the different foods we serve one taste-bud at a time. Parents also open our eyes to new, authentic, cultural foods.


NEW! Empowering Teachers as Nutrition Educators

Ricardo Berrios, Acelero Learning

Get easy, conversational tips for use at meal time in order to engage children during family style dining and discover nutrition education opportunities outside of meal time like center-based gardens, taste-testings, and incorporating the curriculum into the menu. Hear why relationships matter within your organization and with the families you serve to improve nutrition education.


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

Lisa Mack & Jennifer Basey, MEd, National CACFP Sponsors Association

Find nutrition information, CACFP best practices, table crafts, physical activities, business tips for providers, 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.


Accommodating Participants with Disabilities in Community Meals Programs

USDA Staff

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


Accountability & Leadership

Maggie Mae Kennedy, Houston Independent School District

No excuses, you’re the leader. Creating accountability for your employees starts with you. Learn how looking at the big picture will help with the small stuff. Leave with keys to successfully create a culture of accountability.


Ace Your CACFP Audit

Emily Chatelain, MBA, 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, get checklists and take home tips for organization.


Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children

Diane H. Craft, PhD, SUNY Cortland

Learn fun, inclusive, developmentally appropriate physical activities to promote wellness among young children. These physical activities, for children ages 6 months-5 years, use inexpensive equipment, work in small spaces and are ideal for CACFP childcare homes and centers. View videos of children playing these fun activities and try some yourself!


Addressing Hunger through Collective Impact: Hunger Free Communities

Minerva Delgado, MA, Alliance to End Hunger

To end hunger at the local level a broad range of community stakeholders must unite behind a common vision and strategy. Learn about the initiative to support broad-based, multi-sector coalitions committed to ending hunger in their communities. Listen to the impact it’s making, hear case studies and explore how to engage in local efforts.


All About Grains: CACFP Halftime Live!

USDA Staff

USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative brings its popular webinar series to NCA with this special in-person session on grains. Learn ways to add whole grains to your CACFP menu, how to identify whole grain-rich foods, and participate in a listening session on draft training materials focusing on ounce equivalents.


All About Ounce Equivalents

Grains have long been credited in the CACFP meal pattern by “serving.” In October 2019, centers and day care homes must begin using ounce equivalents (oz eq) instead of servings for the grains component when they plan their menus and claim their meals and snacks. Learn how to train your providers on ounce equivalents so they remain compliant.


babyBerk: Driving a State Partnership for Summer Meal Success

Shannon Raymond, MPH & Fran Ransom-Canning, MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Access to meal sites is a common barrier to participation in SFSP. Learn how the Massachusetts State Agency partnered with a State University and their food truck to overcome this barrier. This model capitalizes on a trending food delivery system, reducing stigma around free summer meals and targeting under-served locations.


Back to Basics: CACFP Requirements for Centers

Lori Ferris, CMP, CCNP, RN, Health and Nutrition Consulting of Iowa

Feeling overwhelmed trying to implement the CACFP in your center? Review the basics of the CACFP meal requirements, menu planning, record keeping, supervision, training requirements and mealtime expectations for preschool and childcare centers. Learn how to meet requirements with simple tips you can start using in your centers today.


Baking Whole Grain-Rich Foods

Sharon Davis, Home Baking Association

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


Better Together: Partnerships Support Healthy Nutrition in Young Children

Florence Rivera, MPH, National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness

Community providers serving young children have mutual nutrition goals. They all strive to support child development with healthy foods. Learn about the common standards among WIC, CACFP, and Head Start. Discover how programs are partnering to serve these goals and explore opportunities to strengthen partnerships in your community.


Birth to 24 Months: Parent Attitudes, Perceptions and Behaviors Feeding Children

Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, PhD, MPA, IFIC Foundation

Research examining parent attitudes, trends, and habits focused on feeding children birth to 24 months offers insight about how to tap into parent desires and perceptions while identifying gaps for nutrition educators. Learn how parents’ knowledge and concerns influence a child’s diet and why it matters.


Bridging the Gaps: CACFP in Emergency Housing Shelters

Lauren Tucker, MA & Patricia Smith, City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services
Connor Lightcap, Health Promotion Council

Learn the CACFP monitoring guidelines for sponsoring emergency housing shelters and better understand the challenges with large emergency housing shelters versus small shelters, participation numbers, food complaints, and maintaining accurate records. Hear about our role when working with outside contracted agencies and vendors who provide services to our emergency housing shelters.


Build Your SFSP A-Team!

Nell Dochez & Veronica Day, CitySquare

Staffing makes or breaks the success of your program. Learn how to effectively engage your summer staff, how to build processes to ensure their performance, and how to create strategies to foster buy-in and ownership among every member of the team. Be prepared for interactive games and useful takeaways to use this summer.


Building a Healthy Eating Environment

Florence Rivera, MPH, National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness

The eating environment is as important to healthy child development as the foods we serve. Offering a positive eating environment supports mealtime behavior, picky eaters, and the child experiencing food insecurity. Discover strategies and resources to support building a healthier, positive environment in your program.


Building Leadership Skills

Maggie Mae Kennedy, Houston Independent School District

Think about the best and worst bosses you’ve had. You can probably recognize that those you’ve categorized as best understood that different styles of leadership and communication are needed for each individual. Learn three different leadership styles and how to build a relationship with your staff that encourages productivity and decreases high staff turnaround.


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.


CACFP Afterschool & Beyond

Amber Hayes, RD, Ballard County Schools
Leah Feagin, SNS, Mayfield Independent Schools

Facing how to supply healthy meals and snacks during the school day and then again for evening meals may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be insurmountable. Learn the basics of how to begin with the CACFP or expand an existing program. Take home ideas for easing the burden of paperwork and how to plan for financial management, staffing, meals, and administrative duties.


CACFP and Head Start Food Services Regulations

Rhonda Kobylecky, Acelero Learning

This training will focus on th 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.


CACFP Creditable

Lisa Mack & Ericca Whitley, National CACFP Sponsors Association

We’re helping sponsors help their providers, center staff, and afterschool team with tools, resources, and worksheets. Take a look at the available resources we offer and go home with a tool-kit of new meal pattern handouts.


CACFP Menu Planning Made Easy

Kate Abernathy, MS, RD, LD, CCNP, Providers Choice

Get the tools and resources you need to simplify the menu planning process in the CACFP and to train program participants to do the same. Take home a list of free-to-access websites, apps, guides, recipes, menus and portion size visuals that all providers need to meet program regulations while saving time and money in the kitchen.


CACFP Trainers’ Circle

USDA Staff

USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative brings its new webinar series to NCA with a special in-person session on innovative ways to provide CACFP meal service training. The Institute of Child Nutrition and USDA grantees will highlight strategies they are using to expand the reach and effectiveness of their training efforts.


Carrying the Agency on Your Shoulders

Arnita Rena Hall, MA, EdD, Together We Can Consultants

As a leader of a non-profit, have you ever wondered how you would raise funds, cover training, juggle the budget, purchase supplies and the many other tasks associated with leading? Yes? Come explore the rationale behind collective impact, the ability to diversify roles and the importance of shared responsibility.


Choosy Eaters Can Become Healthy Eaters, Too!

Toni Kay Wright, MS, RDN & Staci Coussens, MPH, NDTR University of Illinois Extension

Only one in five children eats the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day which is unfortunate as they are also developing food preferences during early childhood years. Learn strategies to get children to try new foods so you can shape healthy eaters in the child care setting or be better equipped to counsel providers during home visits.


CHEF: Choosing Healthy, Exciting Foods

Chef Michael Gomez

Your stomach is a fuel tank, not a storage tank. Hear Chef Michael’s personal story, and struggles, and learn how to teach children to make
nutritious food choices and develop a healthier lifestyle.


Civil Rights 101: Compliance with Civil Rights Requirements

USDA Staff

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.


Collaborating with Partners in SFSP

Amy Bianco, Illinois State Board of Education
Diane Doherty, Illinois Hunger Coalition

The Chicago Work Group was formed in 2006 to help eradicate childhood hunger during the summer months by collaborating with partners in the city to map out the areas of Chicago that were not being met by the SFSP. Learn from the panel discussion of group leaders from the USDA, State Agency, Sponsor Organizations, and Advocacy stakeholders.


Collaborative Planning: How You Can Build Buy-In

Carolyn Wait, MPH, RD, Kara Panowitz, MSW, and Derrick Lambert, MA, Share Our Strength

Without internal and external support, even brilliant plans fail. A collaborative approach helps you build buy-in and achieve success. Drawing on the speakers’ experience around summer and afterschool meals, this interactive skill-building session will teach you how to engage partners, design effective meetings, and develop shared solutions.


Community Connections: Promoting Breastfeeding to Reduce Intergenerational Diabetes

Elizabeth MacQuillan, PhD, RDN, Grand Valley State University

Diabetes is the most common pre-existing condition in pregnancy and increases health risks to affected mothers and infants. Postnatally, breastfeeding mitigates many of these risks. Learn practical ways to assess community resources for promoting breastfeeding to mothers with gestational diabetes and ideas for interprofessional collaboration to reduce Type 2 diabetes in communities.


Cross-Program Marketing in Ohio

Brian Davis & Dr. Brigette Hires, MD, Ohio Department of Education

In Ohio, child nutrition programs engage in
cross-marketing and cross-program support at both the State and Sponsor levels. Staff are trained to provide in-depth technical assistance across all programs and promote collaboration opportunities between CACFP, NSLP, and SFSP. Learn how this model expands programs in both access and participation.


Cuisines Across Cultures: Flavors to Please Palates & Spice Up Menus

Karla Dumas, RDN, LDN & Shannon Wells, Forward Food, A Program of The Humane Society of the United States

Learn how to elevate recipes using a variety of spices and ingredients that can turn your menus into a culinary trip across the world. Explore the distinct flavors and spices used in cultural dishes with a variety of plant-based recipes and creative twists to favorite classics. Pack your passport and join us on this culinary journey.


Download Efficiency: CACFP Web Tool & Mobile App

Angie Davis, MEd, & Robin Holz, MS, RDN, Iowa Department of Education

Learn about two innovative, no-cost technologies for CACFP participants aimed at making meal pattern and eligibility compliance a breeze. CACFP Shopper is a Mobile Application to assist CACFP providers identify creditable foods at the point of purchase and ICAVES is a web-based application which determines benefit eligibility using information submitted on household income applications.


Effective Approaches to Recruiting and Retaining Providers & Centers

Jocelyn Moss, MA, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh

Do you have providers or centers who go through the orientation process with your agency and then decide to not enroll on the food program? Or do you have those who decide to leave the food program altogether? Learn about our keys to success with rapport, communications, and support and take home strategies that will help you enroll and retain childcare centers.


Elements of a Successful Home Visit

Annetta Rutland, CMP, CCNP & Terri Burch, 4C for Children

Monitoring, mentoring, and coaching matters. 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.


Empowering CACFP Trainers: Adult Learning Techniques

Lucy Ann Amos, Med, Maryland State Department of Education

Adult learners are driven by internal motivations and rely on past experiences to implement the CACFP. Learn how you can incorporate adult learning principles into training and provide technical assistance to help build long term results. Take home resources created to reach our visual, verbal, writing/reading and kinesthetic learners in a fun, meaningful and relevant manner.


Engaging Parents: Healthy Eating Habits Start At Home

Shekila Smith, MPA, CL, Illinois State Board of Education

It is possible to have parents that champion the CACFP nutrition initiative with their children at home. Collaborate to create strategies which support parent buy-in for healthier eating habits outside of childcare hours.


Family Style Meal Service With Infants & Toddlers, Really?

Sheila Tompkins-Hess, ECE Professional

Yes, really! Early Head Start staff can serve family style meals with even the youngest of children. Many skills are developed at the table when kids are allowed to do it on their own. Get practical tips and tools for how to incorporate family style meal service into your everyday routines and how to document the experience as a learning opportunity.


Farm to Classroom: Teaching Children About Healthy Foods

USDA Staff

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


Farm to Early Care and Education 101

Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, National Farm to School Network
Wande Okunoren-Meadows, Little Ones Learning Center

Farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) connects young children and their families to healthy, local food and experiential learning opportunities. Learn how to get started with farm to ECE, including easy, first steps for local procurement, edible gardening, and food, agriculture, and nutrition education.


Farm to Table: Fit and Tasty!

Londa Tindle, Providers Premier Choice of SEK
Kelly Horn, Sunshine Connections

Farm to Table is a fun and fit topic in Kansas and one of USDA’s strategic initiatives. Learn about the nutritional, economic, and educational benefits for serving local foods and take home suggestions for finding locally sourced foods in your state. Get connected with nutrition education resources including recipes and meal planning.


Feeding Infants: CACFP Halftime Live!    

USDA Staff

USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative brings its popular webinar series to NCA with this special in-person session on the infant meal pattern. Join us for an interactive discussion on breastfeeding, formula feeding, developmental readiness, solid foods, and more. Learn about Team Nutrition’s new Feeding Infants and Breastfed Babies Welcome Here guide!


Field Trip Creditable

Field trips are a favorite child care activity! Learn what’s creditable and how to serve (or counsel your team on) reimbursable meals.


Fly Through Your CACFP Paperwork with CenterPilot

Angela Young, MS, CenterPilot

CenterPilot is a software program that can reduce the stress of claims processing for CACFP centers. Learn how the new meal patterns are easily met and documented when using CenterPilot and how sponsors of Head Start and affiliated sites can easily copy pre-saved menu weeks out to all sites. Afterschool and Summer Meal sites can claim without enrolling or income assessing participants.


Food Banks as Leaders for Community-Wide Obesity Prevention for Children and Families

Michelle Lombardo, DC, The OrganWise Guys
Cassandra Mobley, Mississippi Food Network

Community-based locations working with Food Banks provide ideal settings to implement healthy living programming for children and their families. Hear about a Mississippi Food Network-led project that incorporates a 'School Pantry Night' and a backpack program to provide nutrition education.


Food Is Fun: Sensory-Based Food Education

Rachael Morkunas, Molly Reidy, RD, LDN, and Jayme Flowers, RN, Purple Asparagus

Learn why our approach to sensory-based food education is successful in empowering kids to make healthy food choices for themselves. We will also have an interactive tasting of an ingredient to showcase how we engage children in our programs.


Food Safety in Family Child Care

Elizabeth Dixon, MS, Institute of Child Nutrition

Food safety is an important part of family child care. Learn food safety best practices, easy ways to incorporate them into daily work, and take a look at the Family Child Care Food Safety Kit, a free resource for family child care providers.


Food Safety & Sanitation

Karen A Ray, CMP, CCNP, Regina Coeli Child Development Center

In childcare, food safety is everyone’s responsibility, not just food service staff. Teachers and other personnel often come in contact with food served to children and should be familiar with safe food handling practices. Learn how to protect children from possible foodborne illness by establishing a HACCP (hazard analysis critical control points) system and offering training to all employees.


Garden to Early Childhood Education

Aarie Wade, MSW & Lindsay Ball, Baxter Community Center

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


Get the Facts! CN Labels and Product Formulation Statements

USDA Staff

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


Go Paperless: Bringing CACFP Sponsorships Into The Digital Age

Maureen Lyons & Savannah Thornburg, Wildwood CACFP

Paper records use valuable space, paper, ink and time to sort through. Learn how simple it can be to take your program into the digital age. Get a step-by-step plan to follow if you would like to become more tech savvy and efficient with your resources. Wildwood has recently completed several audits using our digital files and the auditors loved it! Successful implementation requires a scanner and possible file storage hosting services.


Going Garbanzo: Meat Alternates For Special Diets

Karla Dumas, RDN, LDN & Shannon Wells, Forward Food, a program of The Humane Society of the United States

The demand for more plant-based meals and special diets, like vegetarian or vegan options, continues to grow. Investigate these diets and identify ingredients that can be used to meet this need, remain within budget and offer allergen-friendly options for all. Test your plant-based knowledge and watch demonstrations of three popular plant-based dishes for childcare.


Grain Food Consumption: What Does the Scientific Evidence Say?

Yanni Papanikolaou, MPH, Grain Foods Foundation

Hear results of the most recent US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Learn about the myths and realities associated with grain food consumption in the American diet of children and adults.


Grant Writing & Financial Management

Enola R. Foust, MA, EKs Consulting

Learn how to apply the principles of management – planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating – to the grant writing process. Review how your budget can be used to prepare a proposal and identify the components needed to write a successful grant proposal.


Growing Stronger, Sustainable Year-Round Programs with Summer and Afterschool Meals

Clarissa Hayes, Food Research and Action Center

Sponsors and students both benefit when year-round meals are provided seamlessly in communities through the Summer Food Service Program and Afterschool Meal Program. Learn about current best practices, policy opportunities, and new resources for establishing strong, financially viable year-round meal programs.


Guide for Family Child Care Providers Facing Serious Deficiency Allegations

Tom Copeland, JD, Tom Copeland Consulting

Family child care providers often don’t know how to present evidence to properly defend themselves when responding to a Corrective Action Plan or Serious Deficiency notice. Learn what the serious deficiency process is and get practical suggestions for responding to a Corrective Action Plan.


Health-e Pro Demo: Making Ingredient and Recipe Management Easy with Menu Planning Software

Linsey LaPlant, MS, RDN, Health-e Pro

Health-e Pro is simple, intuitive software offering nutrient analysis and menu planning, including one-click publishing to interactive menus. Color-coded menus make meal planning easy while maintaining compliance. With over 5,000 pre-loaded products and recipes, it’s everything you need to make your standardized recipes fully compliant. Easily plan compliant menus for CACFP, SBP, NSLP, SSFP and Smart Snack standards.


Healthy Eating Starts With Positive Role Models

Dominique Harris, MPH & Michelle Fombelle, MPH, CHES University of Illinois Extension

With the amount of time children spend in childcare, it’s important for staff to realize their potential impact in children’s nutrition intake. Learn more about instilling the importance of positive role models, how to incorporate role modeling into your nutrition policy, and ideas for providing staff nutrition education.


Healthy Habits in Early Childhood: Research & Engagement

Elizabeth Villegas, MS, Carolyn Sutter, PhD, and Brenda Koester, MS, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Learn more about what cutting-edge research says about children’s healthy habits formation and get practical steps for incorporating topics into your program addressing picky eating, social and emotional development, environmental exposures, and physical activity. Create a collaborative workbook to take home with resources for engaging children in healthy habits.


Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

Casey Cortes & Whitney Bieber, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Mental health development is just as important as a child’s physical development. Children in environments that nurture their ability for self-control, planning, working memory, and the ability to stay focused tend to enjoy healthier, happier, lives. Learn key components to supporting children’s social and emotional skills which is a key part of human behavior.


Heritage Grains for New Generations

Lynn Loflin, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
Olivia Blanchflower, Greenmarket Co.

Serve healthy and delicious meals to your kids while supporting local farms. Learn from a farm-to-school provider and an innovative nonprofit food hub about the wide range of whole grains available to take your meals to the next level – and help you meet CACFP grain standards.


Identifying Whole Grain-Rich

Lisa Mack, National CACFP Sponsors Association

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.


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

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

Gain insight on investigating allegations of non-compliance in the CACFP and the Summer Food Service Program. 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.


KidKare for Centers

Dawn Perez, Minute Menu Systems

Come see the new web-based experience for centers. Centers can do record-keeping from any device. Meals, attendance, receipts, meal planning and more. Also, new tools for sponsors and back offices to make compliance tracking easier.


Look What I Grew! Kid-Friendly Gardening

Cheryl Moss, A Mother’s Touch Center for Child Development
Michelle Smith, MSW, LSW Pennsylvania Head Start Association

Children love to play in the dirt, so make it purposeful. Create a kid-friendly garden to get children eating the vegetables they’ve planted. Learn how you can grow healthy habits in children and how early learning standards are achieved when gardening with children.


Making Nutrition Fun

Mattie Young-Burns, Kelsey Miller, MSW, and Ashley Roth, MS, RDN, LDN, Common Threads

Learn about healthy eating principles, discover activities for teaching children about fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, and sample a nutritious CACFP snack. Go home with access to free, online, resources supporting CACFP wellness initiatives.


Making the Dollar Stretch: Effective Purchasing Practices

Christopher Primiano, Food & Supply Source

Smaller, independent centers can functionally operate and purchase as if they were a large,
multi-location organization. Learn how you can leverage buying power through a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO). Learn how to build consensus in a multiple priority setting
which is key to successful collaboration.


Making the Most of CACFP in the Current Environment

Geri Henchy, RDN, MPH, Food Research and Action Center
Vicki Lipscomb, National CACFP Sponsors Association

Take home a dynamic CACFP action plan and the strategies needed to strengthen the role of the CACFP. Learn how we can create positive change through safeguarding access to the program, ensuring the effective implementation of the new meal standards, and maximizing opportunities to expand participation.


Marketing Summer Meals to Increase Participation

Amy Bianco & Megan Kuchar, MBA, Illinois State Board of Education
Valarie Hodges, Harrisburg Community Unit School District No. 3

Getting the word out about your SFSP can be a challenge. Learn ways to market your program in an appealing and fun way. Discover resources that could help you increase participation at your feeding sites. Hear about the unique strategies a rural Illinois sponsor is doing in their community to increase participation.


Math, Science, Language & Literacy At Lunch

Sheila Tompkins-Hess, ECE Professional

Head Start Staff can use meal times in their lesson planning. Get some ideas on how to incorporate meal time into the curriculum to take advantage of all the math, science, language and literacy opportunities. Take home tools to help teachers look at meal times in some fresh ways.


Maximizing Summer Participation with Collaborative Partnerships

Shannon Amos, MFCS, Children’s Hunger Alliance
Amanda Wampler, Columbus Recreation and Parks

Open summer food service site locations in targeted at-risk areas can offer much more than just food. Collaborative partners offering structured programming and behavioral health intervention in a safe environment both increases and retains participation. Learn how a group of stakeholders pooled resources to launch a successful summer pilot program.


Meal Time Success with Local Foods: Best Practices in Menu Planning & Procurement of Local Foods

Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, National Farm to School Network
Erin McKee, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

The new CACFP meal pattern requirements emphasize fruits, vegetables, unflavored milk, protein variety and whole grain-rich foods. Learn how incorporating local and seasonal foods can help you serve enticing meals, create educational opportunities for children, and support your local farmers. Learn about best practices and resources on how to find and purchase local foods.


More Than Serving a Meal: Strategies for a Successful Summer Meals Program

Jessica Soldavini, RD, LDN, MPH & Tamara Baker, No Kid Hungry NC

A successful summer meals program requires more than just serving a great tasting, healthy meal. Learn how to use creative strategies related to marketing and promotion, enrichment activities at meal sites, and innovative partnerships that can help to increase participation and the impact that summer meals can have in your community.


Motivated by Movement: Engaging Children and Staff

Kaitlyn Streitmatter, MS, CHES & Kayla Swaar, MPH University of Illinois Extension

Actively engaging in physical activity in childcare is essential for a child’s growth and development. Hear about the importance of physical activity, learn innovative strategies for staff and child engagement during indoor and outdoor play, and share creative approaches for indoor activity.


MyPlate Partner Insights: Taking Nutrition Education to the Next Level

USDA Staff

An interactive panel of CACFP sponsors, providers, and MyPlate National Strategic Partners will share insights and best practices on how to use MyPlate nutrition education resources. Learn about available MyPlate resources and share ideas on what new resources are needed.


National & Local Nutrition Resources for Afterschool Programs

Curtis Peace, MA, Illinois AfterSchool Network
Susan Stanton, JD, ACT Now

Get an overview of the afterschool nutrition landscape, learn about collaborative organizations providing advocacy, public policy, and professional development opportunities, and take home nutrition resources to support your program.


Nonprofit Board Recruitment and Development

Alexia Thex, MEd, National CACFP Sponsors Association

What makes an effective Board Member and how do you find one? Learn about recruiting high quality board members and implementing strategies to help you maintain a highly effective board. Get an overview of what constitutes an effective board and leave with a sample recruitment letter, sample job description and networking strategies.


NOURISHED: A New Model for Raising Healthy Kids

Jill Castle, MS, RDN, CDN, Jill Castle Nutrition

Our nation tends to look to popular diets and trendy foods as a guaranteed solution for raising a healthy child - but a sole focus on food does not nourish the whole child. Blending food, nutrition and feeding kids with a sprinkle of what to expect during different stages of childhood, be challenged to think differently and implement creative strategies and solutions to help nourish and raise healthy children from infancy through adolescence.


Nurturing the Next Generation of Foodies: Whole Grain Strategies for Children

Caroline Sluyter, MS, Oldways
Coleen Donnelly, InHarvest

Switching to whole grains is a simple way to support healthy development, but intake falls below recommendations. Get research updates on the role of whole grains in children’s health and share strategies for getting kids excited about eating healthy options. Watch a chef demonstrate creative ways to incorporate whole grains into child-friendly meals and menus and learn how to prepare intact grains.


Nutrition: Building the Foundation for Health and Development

Florence Rivera, MPH, National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness

Nutrition is vital for healthy brain development and all child care staff play a role in supporting healthy nutrition for both child and family. Discuss the spectrum of nutrition for children birth to five and get strategies for encouraging healthier eating during the program and at home.


Nuts and Bolts of Planning a Successful Mobile Meals Operation

Brian Wieher, CMP, CCNP, SNS & Alyssa Morrison, Operation Food Search
Dr. Keven Vicknair, PhD & Teresa Castaneda, Equal Heart

Taking summer meals programs on-the-go increases access for children typically excluded from structured programming. Successful adoption of this model requires additional planning and investment compared to traditional fixed sites. Learn about planning for mobile operations and effective resource management for sustainable operations.


OSNAP: Tools for Out of School Time Nutrition and Physical Activity

Rebekka Lee, ScD, Harvard University
Jill Cox, MS, RD, Penn State Better Kid Care

OSNAP (Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity) supports out-of-school-time (OST) programs to improve nutrition and physical activity practices and policies. Explore the evidence-base for practice recommendations for healthy foods, beverages and physical activity levels for children in OST care and learn about free, online resources and tools to support afterschool staff.


Organic? Good Fat? Groundbreaking Evidence on How Food Choices Impact Health

Michelle Lombardo, DC, The OrganWise Guys

Learn the latest science on hot topics such as the importance of eating organic foods and why fat may not be what’s making us fat. Find out how you can shop for healthy foods on a limited budget and leave armed with nutrition facts, and meal pattern tips.


Peaks & Pitfalls: Strategies for Effective Professional Development

Arnita Rena Hall, MA, EdD, Together We Can Consultants

The days of sit and get workshops have longed past. Explore seven strategies for effective professional development and how to avoid those that don’t work. Learn how to ensure staff is actively engaged and motivated while also implementing an accountability measure for your training.


Pioneering Family Style Service for Afterschool Meals in a School Environment

Kory Keimig & Valarie Meinen, Houston Independent School District

Learn how HISD Nutrition Services answered the How, What, When, Where, and Why as they implemented family style service in a school environment. Gain an understanding of best practices and take home tools for starting a family style service program.


Please Pass the Peas: Understanding Picky Eaters

Maureen Lyons, Wildwood CACFP

Dive into an interactive discussion of the underlying causes of picky-eating to better understand the negative health impact of long-term food issues. Learn a variety of strategies to improve acceptance and willingness to try new foods. Get best practices for mealtime roles and resources to support children’s efforts.


Portion Distortion: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Carrie Pierce, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Over the past twenty years there has been a major change in portion sizes and the perception of what’s normal. We’ll look at how that has impacted our society and share resources and tips for better portion control.


Positioning Your Nonprofit

Arnita Rena Hall, MA, Ed.D, Together We Can Consultants

Investigate three key dynamics of non-profit management as well as the core elements to position any organization for success via collective engagements and effective communication. Engage in a review of best practices related to the securement of funding along with a robust discussion and action planning session.


Prep to Plate: CACFP Portion Sizes

Caitlin Boland, RD, LDN & Erica Hobby, Novick Brothers

CACFP portioning can be confusing on paper and in practice, many more questions come up. See correct portion sizes illustrated and get answers to common real world portioning and service questions. Get tips for the kitchen and find out what tools help compliance and reduce food waste.


Prepare Creditable Meals in the CACFP

USDA Staff

Discover USDA Team Nutrition resources available to support you in meeting CACFP meal pattern requirements. Hear about newly released tools that can help you credit recipes, purchase the right amounts of food using the Food Buying Guide, and reflect a variety of cultures in the meals you serve.


Promoting Year Round Meals

Megan Kuchar, MBA & Christina Smith, Illinois State Board of Education
Jessica Willis, Northern Illinois Food Bank
Kelsie Kliner, Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Child and Adult Care Food Program along with the Summer Food Service Program help provide children access to meals Year-Round outside of their normal school hours. Learn about the similarities and differences of each program, as well as how to make the transition to potentially facilitate both programs.


Providing At-Risk and SFSP Meals in Alternate Sites

Jane Pakan, Chicago Public Schools

Serving afterschool and summer meals in non-traditional school settings is not without challenges. Hear how we collaborated with other organizations and provided training to non-food service professionals to make it possible to support the children in our community. Get ideas on how to grow your program participation.


Rebranding Supper as “Super Snack”

Brian Wieher, CMP, CCNP, SNS & Alyssa Morrison Operation Food Search

Learn how one sponsor agency transformed their offering by using a non-traditional approach, while remaining in compliance under the CACFP supper reimbursement. Discover how rebranding into a Super-Snack model increases participation and meets the needs of providers unable to prepare and serve traditional hot dinner foods.


Removing Barriers to Summer Meals

Jane Pakan & Allison Polke, RDN, LDN, Chicago Public Schools

Children receive free, nutritious meals over summer break at outdoor school locations through Chicago Public Schools’ LunchStop program. Learn how they operate this alternative to meals served indoors, the lessons learned, and how to grow summer meal participation.


Seamless Summer vs Summer Food Service Program

Crystal Cooper, MBA, Chicago Public Schools

Have you ever thought about changing your summer feeding programs? Learn the differences between seamless summer and the summer food service program. Chicago Public Schools made the switch in July 2017 to increase their revenue and will share the challenges with switching, compliance, operational and fiscal requirements.


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

USDA Staff

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.


Serving Up Multicultural Menus in CACFP

USDA Staff

CACFP serves a diverse group of participants. Learn how two organizations integrated multicultural foods to meet the needs of their communities. FNS Team Nutrition resources will be shared to help you successfully serve up multicultural menus that meet the meal patterns.


Sesame Street in Communities: Let’s Get Cooking!

Antonio Freitas, MS, Sesame Workshop

Learn how to support child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes with our free resources specifically designed to promote healthy eating.


Sesame Street in Communities: Supporting Our Most Vulnerable Children

Antonio Freitas, MS, Sesame Workshop

Beyond our health curriculum, Sesame Street in Communities addresses some of the most adverse experiences affecting our most vulnerable families and children – from trauma to homelessness and foster care to substance abuse. Explore why these resources are being created and their significance in the work you do.


Smarter Mealtimes: Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

Bianca Smith, RD, MDA, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Research shows that making simple, low or no-cost changes to the mealtime environment using behavioral economics strategies can increase children’s selection and consumption of healthier foods. Learn about twenty such evidence-based mealtime strategies and free Smarter Mealtimes tools.


Sourcing Locally for Culturally Appropriate Foods

Diane Chapeta, Seven Generations Ahead

Many child feeding site meals promote an ‘Americanized’ diet. This creates a new normal for culturally appropriate foods, devaluing traditional foods and practices. Learn how to step beyond processed pizza and burritos sourcing local, traditional ingredients to create healthy recipes and traditions for your young, diverse eaters.


Sponsoring Summer Food: Keys to Financial Management

Cherese Myree, CFE & 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.


State Findings for New Meal Pattern Readiness

Geri Henchy, RD, MPH, Food Research and Action Center
Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD, University of Connecticut
Lorrene Ritchie, RD, PhD, University of California
Temitope Erinosho, PhD, University of North Carolina
Caree Jackson Cotwright, RD, PhD, University of Georgia

Is your program or sponsorship easily meeting the new nutrition standards or are there still a few sticking points? Panelists will share research and insights learned from studies of CACFP programs in their states. Learn about current food environments and practices, compliance with the new meal patterns, and technical assistance and training needs of providers.


Strategies To Improve Nutrition & Physical Activity Environments

Christina Burger, MS & Zainab Rida, RD, PhD, LMNT, Nebraska Department of Education

Hear about innovative approaches and resources available to CACFP participants as they implement the updated meal pattern. Review strategies used that target child care providers, children, families, educators, and support organizations to improve nutrition and physical environments, including a blueprint for states for online based training for child care providers.


Streamlining Your Office With No-Cost Technology

Levell R. Baker, YWCA Metro Chicago

Learn solutions for minimizing program chaos and retire from being a CACFP Fire Fighter. There are no-cost ways to simplify daily CACFP compliance tasks related to managing your team and CACFP Providers. Align your field and administration team, monitor schedules, methods to simplify provider communication and increase your program’s efficiency.


Streamlining Paperwork

Vicki Lipscomb, Child Nutrition Programs
Geri Henchy, Food Research and Action Center
Natalie Clark, Minute Menu Systems
Jodi Kuhn, KinderCare Education

Administrative paperwork can be one of the most difficult areas to navigate when operating a child nutrition program. Learn about the intricacies of paperwork from the ground up. Listen to a brief history on paperwork streamlining efforts, hear about current efforts, and help brainstorm new ideas for future action.


Summer Meals: Actions Needed to Improve Participation and Address Challenges

Claudine Pauselli, MPP & Matt Nattinger, MS, PhD, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Learn about the findings from a recent GAO report on the Summer Food Service Program, including what is known about participation in the program, other programs that help feed children over the summer, challenges, and the efforts that states, providers, and the federal government have made to address them.


Supporting Early Care and Education and CACFP Partnerships

Marta Fetterman, CYC-P, Early Learning Indiana
Caliste Chong, MS, Alabama Partnership for Children
Emily Keenum, MS, Virginia Early Childhood Foundation

We all want to increase access to healthy food for children, but often run into roadblocks when working with Early Care and Education programs. Learn how Indiana, Alabama and Virginia worked with stakeholders to increase participation of child care programs in CACFP through partnerships and targeted outreach.


Taking Steps to Healthy Success

Jill Cox, MS, RD, Penn State Better Kid Care
Alex Hyman, MPH, Nemours Children’s Health System

Learn about the National Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives (ECELC) Project, a program to improve healthy eating, physical activity, screen time, and breastfeeding support in ECE programs. Through the collaborative work of CDC, Nemours and Penn State Extension Better Kid Care, free training resources are offered for program implementation.


Taming the Inefficiency Monster

Amanda Tucker, LSS Green Belt, CHES & 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 your programs. Get step-by-step guidance and handouts on finding opportunities for improvement while receiving inspirational ideas on how to strengthen your business flow and keep the inefficiency monster at bay.


Technical Assistance Training

Denise Andrews, CMP, CCNP, For the Children CACFP
Susan Ison, CMP, Helping Hands
Rita Kidwell, Joyce Network

What’s the most common technical assistance your team offers to their providers? Hear from a panel of CACFP Sponsors as they share their tips on providing technical assistance to mistakes that prevent providers from being reimbursed. Learn from their experience and workshop possible solutions together.


Teaching It Forward—Cultivating Healthy Eaters By Example

Stephanie Berno, MS, RD, LD & Elizabeth Del Rio, Houston Food Bank

Adults and peers have a great influence on children’s eating behaviors. Learn practical ways to train staff to encourage children to explore healthy eating, including a tasty hands-on recipe and simple nutrition education activities adaptable to a variety of age groups.


The ClickList Project: A Pilot Project To Minimize CN Disallowances

Stella Marshall, Children’s Hunger Alliance

One of the most common challenges that CACFP participants often struggle with is obtaining Child Nutrition Labels. Learn about helpful tools and tips on creative ways to minimize CN disallowances which will ultimately increase monthly reimbursement and help to provide healthier foods to the children.


The Essence of Me: Growing Healthy-Minded Children

Valerie Fountain, Texas Education Service Center

Teaching nutrition and wellness to children starting at a young age is a critical component of creating the essence of who they grow up to become. With childhood obesity on the rise, the importance of building a strong foundation is paramount. Learn creative ways to incorporate nutrition in the classroom, increasing parent involvement, and partnering with the community.


The OrganWise Guys: Evidence-Based Nutrition & Healthy Living Tools

Michelle Lombardo, DC, The OrganWise Guys

Learn how to include this fun, effective program designed for use with “kids” of all ages. Replicable and scalable, the program is available digitally in both English and Spanish. The OrganWise Guys evidence-based tools are customized for use in Early Childhood, Schools, Summer Camp/Afterschool, Food Banks, Emergency Shelters and Native American settings – on any budget.


The Role of CACFP Sponsors in Helping Providers Respond to a Serious Deficiency Allegation

Tom Copeland, JD, Tom Copeland Consulting

Sponsors need to do more to communicate to providers their rights when responding to a Corrective Action Plan or Serious Deficiency notice. Review a guide designed to walk providers through the process and help them understand their rights.


Serious Deficiency Process

USDA Staff

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. Bring questions and concerns.


Creative Training for Cooks and Teachers

Helen Woo, RDN, Jefferson Parish Head Start

Does the word training fill your team, centers, and providers with dread? Have they had it up to their eyeballs with the same topics–record-keeping, food safety, meal patterns? Do you dread having to present the same type of training again and again? Fear not! Training is necessary but it doesn’t have to be boring. Learn how to make training hands-on, collaborative, and yes, fun!


Twelve Best Food Practices in the Early Childhood Classroom

Danya Johnson & Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, PhD University of AR for Medical Sciences

Do you understand the best practice recommendations related to supporting young children’s healthy eating habits? Are you using them? Learn what they are, what the barriers are and how to overcome them, and evaluate your approaches to language and healthy nutrition modeling for children.


USDA National Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Campaign for Millennial WIC Moms

USDA Staff

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


US Poverty & Its Impact on Children

Cara Brumfield, MA, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality

Across the country, Americans are struggling to secure jobs that offer the prospect of long-term financial security and the promise of a real future for themselves and their families. Learn about the root causes of poverty, understand how poverty impacts families and children, and explore policy ideas and strategies for reducing poverty and mitigating its negative effects.


Veggie Power: Hands-On Approach to Plant-Strong Meals

Karla Dumas, RDN, LDN & Shannon Wells, Forward Food, a Program of The Humane Society of the United States

Programs are faced with meeting a demand for diverse meal options while maintaining fiscally responsible, health-promoting menus. Explore the nutrition research for alternative protein options, while identifying opportunities to promote farm-to-school initiatives and allergen-friendly menus. Participate in a culinary demonstration incorporating plant-based protein and fresh produce.


Writing Recipes Right

Linsey LaPlant, MS, RDN, Health-e Pro

Standardized Recipes are a requirement in any federal meal program. What exactly does a standardized recipe involve? Why are they so important? With fun, hands-on activities, review the important components of a standardized recipe and learn how to ensure your recipes are written for accuracy, scalability, and clarity.

Priority deadline for workshop proposals has passed. However, we continue to accept proposals for programming consideration. 


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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 (until April 15) 



ONSITE (after April 15)

$525 $650
Morning Preconference Sessions NCA Agency
Member Rate*
Non Member

ADVANCE (until December 15)



EARLY (until February 15)



STANDARD (until March 15) 



LATE (until April 15) 



ONSITE (after April 15)

$175 $225
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 Child Nutrition Conference by purchase order (PO) to secure the lowest registration rate possible. POs must reflect an authorized expense and promise of payment, and a copy of the authorized PO must be provided at the time of registration.

Invoices will be issued at the time of registration, and payment will be due within 30 days of the date on the invoice. If payment is not received within 30 days of the date on the invoice, the SA will be re-invoiced at the current registration rate with a 30 day payment deadline.

All payments for outstanding POs must be received by the association on or before April 15th. If payments are not received by April 15th, the SA will be re-invoiced at the onsite registration rate and payments will be due at attendee check-in. We cannot verify payments sent by mail after this date. Payments must be received before attendees can check in.

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


1. Payments can be made by check by mail or in-person onsite, or by credit card online, by mail or onsite. 

2. A Purchase Request, Request for Payment or Check Request will not be accepted in lieu of a PO.


Negotiated Conference Rates

$179.00 per night single/double occupancy
through April 3, 2019 or when sold out.

Headquarter Hotel

Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60601


Chicago Hotel Near the Magnificent Mile

Hyatt Regency Chicago offers a chic, downtown retreat located steps from the Magnificent Mile and iconic Chicago destinations. Slip away for an afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago, ride on the Chicago Architectural Foundation’s boat tour, or snap a photo in front of Cloud Gate, locally known as the Bean. Whether you’re here on business or for a weekend getaway, savor the unparalleled views of downtown and Navy Pier when you stay at Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Don't miss out in 2020, book your spot today.

Click here to check out opportunities in Atlanta.

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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.

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  • 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

For more information contact us at

There are three ways to get noticed as a child nutrition advocate:

  • Exhibit - Year after year, over 95% of attendees say they visit conference exhibitors. Talk with the decision makers and influencers on the front lines of child nutrition. 
  • Advertise - All attendees receive a tote bag and conference program. The program is also available online prior to the conference and for years after the event. Put your message or product directly in the hands and homes of the child nutrition community. 
  • Sponsor - Each year we strive to make the conference experience better for the attendees. Sponsors enrich the conference with opportunities for everyone. Showcase a meaningful brand and be recognized as a conference sponsor.

We went with a goal of 20% attendee conversion and turned 
around with 48%. We will continue to see the value of this 
conference throughout the year. - 2018 Exhibitor

Home to the world's first skyscraper, many museums and over 6,000 restaurants, Chicago is a stimulating location for the 33rd annual National Child Nutrition Conference! Come and join your friends in the "Windy City" for workshops and networking by day and adventure and entertainment opportunities by night! Check out the iconic Bean or Cloud Gate in Millennium Park which is walking distance from the conference hotel. Try Chicago-style deep-dish pizza - with whole grain dough and veggie toppings of course! There's so much to see, do and taste in Chicago - book your hotel room!  

2019 Chicago Partners

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2019 Chicago Sponsors









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2019 Chicago Exhibitors


KidKare by Minute Menu

Tyson Foods

Sabra Dipping Company, LLC

PepsiCo Foodservice


National Food Group | Zee Zees

JA Foodservice

Dole Packaged Foods

Food and Supply Source

Preferred Meals

Optimum Foods


General Mills

American Pulse Association


Red Gold Tomatoes

Champion Foodservice

Novick Brothers

Diversified Foods


Health-e Pro

The OrganWise Guys

Revolution Foods


J&J Snack Foods

MH Miles

Brighton Training Group

Nutrition Matters

JTM Food Group

Peterson Farms Fresh

Gourmet Gorilla

Juice Bowl

Moonstone Press

Trident Beverage

MyPlate Materials

WISE: We Inspire Smart Eating

Jack Link's Protein Snacks

LA Publishing

Premier, Inc. 

CORE: CACFP Operational Resources & Education

Child Care Marketing Solutions

Tajin International

Simplex Solutions


Gilman Cheese

Sustainable Sales 

ES Foods


Soy Connection

Gerber Baby Foods and Good Start Formula

Los Cabos Mexican Foods


Great Northern Baking Company



Team Nutrition

Food and Nutrition Service - WIC

Penn State Better Kid Care

Forward Food, a program of HSUS

Common Threads

Healthy CACFP

Institute of Child Nutrition

Grain Foods Foundation

Sprouts: Growing Healthy Habits