Did you know? Based on guidelines from a recently released memo from the USDA titled “Local Foods in the Child and Adult Care Food Program” (CACFP #11-2015), CACFP will reimburse institutions for locally grown foods purchased from farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), food hubs, local distributors, or directly from a farm. CACFP will release this memo after final review to all food program participants.
The memo reflects the USDA’s support of the Farm to Preschool program, an expansion of the national Farm to School model. The program encompasses a wide range of programs and activities and serves the full spectrum of child care options: preschools, Head Start, center-based, programs in K-12 school districts, nurseries and family home care facilities.
Farm to Preschool goals include:
Influencing the eating habits of young children while their preferences are forming;
Creating healthy lifestyles through nutritious, high quality local foods, classroom education, and hands-on opportunities such as gardening;
Improving healthy food access at home and within the community; and
Ultimately influencing policies to address the childhood obesity epidemic through a local food lens.
Farm to Preschool program components can include the following:
Sourcing local foods in school snacks and meals;
Promoting and increasing access to local foods for providers and families;
Offering nutrition and/or garden-based curricula;
In-class food preparation and taste testing;
Field trips to farms, farmers’ markets and community gardens;
Parent workshops; and
Influencing policies at the local, state or national level.
Why participate in a Farm to Preschool program? Kids Win – Kids have access to nutritious, high quality, local food so they are ready to learn and grow. Farm to Preschool activities enhance classroom education through hands-on learning related to food, health, agriculture, and nutrition. Farmers Win – Farm to Preschool serves as a significant financial opportunity for farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors, and food manufacturers by opening the door to an institutional market worth billions of dollars. Communities Win – Buying local foods reduces the carbon transportation footprint while stimulating the local economy. School gardens and composting programs help create a healthy environment around the school community. To learn more about the Farm to Preschool program, visit the website at www.farmtopreschool.org. The National Farm to School Network (www.farmtoschool.org) offers resources, state contact information, and profiles successful farm to preschool programs in action.
Photo courtesy of Farm to Preschool.org.
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
While children are innately active beings who love to run, jump and play, childhood obesity has drastically increased over the past decade. Why? Americans are busier than ever; our bodies are less active as our days fill with work, school, video games, TV and other passive activities.
Physical activity provides physical, mental and emotional benefits for everyone. Regular activity helps to build strong bodies including bones, muscles, heart and lungs, improves both energy and sleep, provides for a healthy weight, and reduces the chance of type 2 diabetes. Physical activity improves self-esteem, academic success and concentration. It also allows the opportunity to have fun with building relationships with new friends.
In each newsletter, the Colorado CACFP will recognize a child or adult day care center 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
Thomas Learning Center in Lakewood, Colorado.
Thomas Learning Center (TLC) provides quality, developmentally appropriate, affordable care for children in a safe, healthy, home-like environment. TLC serves children age 6 weeks through 12 years and believes that with the right foundation, anything is possible. Through careful curriculum planning, children learn to discover and interpret their world.
TLC works very closely with both the Colorado Preschool Program in Jefferson County, as well as the Denver Preschool Program, to help families, regardless of income, send their children to a high quality preschool. TLC is nationally accredited through NECPA (National Early Childhood Program Accreditation).
Thomas Learning Center participates with the Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) because they care about good nutrition for children and like to introduce a variety of nutritious foods. “Collaborating with CACFP has been a positive and rewarding experience,” said Neta Hansen, Field Supervisor for Thomas Learning Center. “The technical assistance, resources, and knowledge of the CACFP staff have been instrumental in our success. For example, a year ago, we attended a free CACFP training on the Healthy Meals Initiative (HMI). Since then, we have used menus and recipes from the HMI toolkit. The toolkit even came with the shopping list for the menus! Both children and staff loved the new recipes. Through the CACFP, the children and providers at Thomas Learning Centers learned about food choices and healthy eating. Working together, we can help children establish healthful eating habits that will last a lifetime.”
Thank you, Thomas Learning Center, 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 Julie.Pfankuch@state.co.uswith your suggestions or recommendations.
Preventing Falls in Older Adults
For older adults, falls are a leading cause of serious injury. Each year, about a third of older Americans fall. In Colorado, over 500 older adults die from falls each year and more than 14,200 are hospitalized for injuries due to falls. However, falls are not an inevitable fact of life: older adults can improve their fitness and mobility through exercise.
One of the most effective ways to reduce falls is participation in one of the evidence-based fall prevention programs available in the community. These exercise programs focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance. Examples are:
Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance includes gentle movements that emphasize weight-shifting, balance and safe movement.
Stepping On and Matter of Balance classes help older adults reduce their fall risks. Topics include home safety, balance and strength exercises, safe footwear, and how to move safely in the community.
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:
Egg Salad Adapted by Brittney Rodgers, MS, RD, CLC
1 lb + 8 oz
1/2 TBSP + 1/2 tsp
1 TBSP + 1 tsp
1 1/2 tsp
Mustard powder, dry
1 1/2 tsp
Mayonnaise, low fat
Peel and finely chop eggs, using a potato masher or other such tool.
Combine chopped eggs, diced celery, salt, pepper, mustard powder, mayonnaise and pickle relish in a bowl. Mix lightly until well blended.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Portion with no. 12 scoop (1/3 cup).
Each serving meets the meat/meat alternative requirement at lunch/supper for 3-5 year old children.
Miss Brittney's serving suggestion: For a complete meal, serve the egg salad on whole wheat bread and add mango slices, a side salad and a glass of skim milk. Enjoy!
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