April 2016
Issue 5
Inside this Issue:
Farm to Child Care
At-risk afterschool claiming 
Annual WIC message
2016 CACFP Institution and Site Staff Training Schedule
In the Spotlight: City and County of Denver
Recipe Corner
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
CACFP Contact Info

Farm to Child Care

The first thing that catches your eye as you approach the Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley in Alamosa, Colorado is the giant silver solar dome that overshadows the club buildings.  The dome contains a zero efficiency indoor garden, a water tank filled with fish and a series of raised beds where children get their hands in the dirt to practice their gardening skills.
The dome at the Boys and Girls Club sets the stage for some cutting edge Farm to Child Care activities happening in Colorado.  
“We are dedicated to ensuring children in our afterschool program have nutritious meals and snacks,” said Chris Lopez, CEO and president of the Boys and Girls Club of San Luis Valley, which participates in the Colorado Child and Adult Care Food Program. “The dome, and participation in the CACFP at-risk afterschool program, is an important part of meeting this goal and gives our kids a chance to learn where their food comes from.”

Lopez believes it is important for children to learn about gardening and how to grow healthy food.  “We built the dome a year and a half ago with the generous financial support of Al and Virginia Wehe and a bevy of wonderful volunteers who put their own sweat equity into the project,” he said.

Children reinforce STEM skills by gardening in the dome.

Inside the dome are a series of raised beds where the kids can experience planting and tending to lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, green chilies, tomatoes and many other vegetables year round. In January, the kids were able to harvest enough lettuce to use in their afternoon snack of lettuce wraps. 
Lopez describes their aquaponic system as “…an inside holding tank; it’s from this tank we get water for the plants. The tank has koi fish inside, which provides nutrients for the plants as we water from the tank.”

An aquaponic system is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in.  Using an aquaponic system provides an economical and ecological abundance of fresh food, even in winter.

Volunteers help create the dome.

The club complements the gardening activities with a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum that focuses on gardening and offers experiential and hands-on learning opportunities.   

The dome at Boys and Girls Club of San Luis Valley is just one example of Farm to Child Care activities already occurring in Colorado child care centers. 

CACFP is committed to bringing Farm to Child Care activities to its participants and is developing a Colorado Farm to Child Care program. The program will help CACFP child care centers and homes have access to more locally grown produce and increase children’s acceptance of vegetables and appreciation of locally grown food through hands-on gardening, cooking, nutrition education and taste testing.

If you are interested in learning more about national Farm to Child Care activities and resources, please visit the National Farm to School Networkl website:
Stay tuned for future updates!

Photos courtesy of Boys & Girls Club of San Luis Valley: C. Lopez, 2016
At-risk afterschool claiming reminder
In the at-risk afterschool program, meals and snacks
are only reimbursable during the school year.

WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children that provides nutrition education, healthy foods, breastfeeding support and health referrals to eligible women, infants, and children.  Colorado has 107 WIC clinics throughout the state. Call 800-688-7777 to find the WIC clinic nearest to you.

Federal CACFP regulations require each institution (other than outside school hours care centers, at-risk afterschool care centers, emergency shelters, and adult day care centers) to provide parents of enrolled children with current information on the benefits and importance of WIC as well as the eligibility requirements for WIC participation.
For eligibility guidelines and more information on WIC:
Visit the WIC website at:
2016 CACFP Institution and Site Staff Training
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wed, April 13

Wed, May 11

Thurs, June 16

Wed, July 13

Thurs, August 11

Wed, September 14

Wed, October 12

November - TBD

Thurs, December 14 
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO  80246

San Luis Valley BOCES
2261 Enterprise Drive
Alamosa, CO  81101

4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO  80246

Pueblo Community College
900 West Orman Avenue
Pueblo, CO  81004

4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO  80246

Mesa County Public Health Department
510 29 ½ Road
Grand Junction, CO  81504

4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO  80246

Colorado Springs - To be determined

4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO   80246

Register online at

For more information, please contact Jodi Christopfel at 303-692-2608 or

In each newsletter, the Colorado CACFP will recognize a child or adult day care center, afterschool program or participating organization that exemplifies the goals of the CACFP by improving the health and well-being of children and adults in care.

This month, the Colorado CACFP recognizes the accomplishments of


City and County of Denver


The vision of the Office of Children's Affairs (OCA) is to deliver a world-class city where all children, youth and their families have the opportunity to succeed.  The role of the Office of Children's Affairs is to support city agencies, the community and its service providers in achieving three major goals to ensure that:
•    All children have their basic needs met;
•    All children are ready for kindergarten; and
•    All children and youth have the opportunity to succeed academically and professionally.

The health of our children matters – not only to them, but also to their communities.  The healthier the youth in our cities, the more prepared they are to learn, work and contribute to a thriving 21st century city.  

Providing children with free healthy food after school has multiple benefits.  While many students receive healthy meals during the school day, they often have little access to healthy food after school. Denver Mayor Hancock set five goals for Denver’s youth, one of which was to increase the number of children in Denver who are at a healthy weight.  

The mayor and his staff worked vigorously to support and advocate for afterschool meal programs. As a sponsor for the CACFP at-risk afterschool program, the City and County of Denver regularly works with other sponsors to promote meal services, and strategizes with Colorado state agencies and anti-hunger organizations to increase participation rates and address program barriers.  In addition, the City and County of Denver also mentored the City of Aurora to become a CACFP sponsor. Aurora now provides afterschool meals in two of its recreation centers.

Throughout the school year, OCA serves about 80,000 healthy afterschool meals, mostly hot or cold suppers.  When schools are closed, including holidays and Saturdays, several of OCA’s 21 sites often provide meals to children. The Child and Adult Care Food Program not only fills empty stomachs, but prepares students to excel throughout the school day and in the after school hours.  

Thank you, City and County of Denver, for your dedication to the health and wellness of the children in your care.

If you would like to nominate or recognize a child care or adult day center, please send an email to with your suggestions or recommendations.
Recipe Corner

Breakfast Banana Split

An easy and healthy breakfast for children and adults
Adapted by Jessica Jones, BS, DTR
Ingredients 25 servings 50 servings
Banana (medium) 4 1/4 lbs
(~13 bananas)
 7 3/4 lbs
(~ 25 bananas)
Vanilla Yogurt       6 1/4 cups                  12 1/2 cups

(Sliced, fresh or frozen)     
6 1/4 cups        
12 1/2 cups

Whole Grain Cereal

8 1/2 cups
17 cups

Cut bananas in half lengthwise.  Place half of the banana in the bottom of a bowl. 
Top with 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup strawberries and 1/3 cup cereal. 

This recipe is easy to serve family style.  Everyone will have fun building their own breakfast banana splits. Seasonal fruits, like blueberries, peaches, raspberries, etc. can also be substituted for the strawberries.

CACFP Crediting
Each serving meets the bread/bread alternative requirement and the fruit/vegetable requirement for children 3-5 years of age.    

Miss Jessica's serving suggestion:
Add 3/4 cup of non-fat milk for a complete breakfast.  Enjoy!

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
 (1) Mail:            U.S. Department of Agriculture 
                         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
                         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) Fax:            (202) 690-7442; or 
(3) Email: 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.



Contact Info for CACFP

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Child and Adult Care Food Program
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO  80246

P   303-692-2330      F   303-756-9926     
CACFP Website
CACFP Website
Link to CHEARS
Link to CHEARS
WIC Website
WIC Website
Bits and Bites is published by:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Child and Adult Care Food Program 
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO  80246-1530

P   303-692-2330
F   303-756-9926

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