Meats, Fats and Grains

Meats, fats, and grains are important pieces of a healthy diet for children and adults. Most of the fats served to children should come from unsaturated fat sources like fish, nuts and vegetable oils. High fat meat and dairy products should be limited.  At least half of the grains consumed should be whole grain sources. Below you will find resources that will help you serve a variety of healthy food options to the children you care for.

Building Block for Fun and Healthy Meals

Summary:  This menu planner provides tools needed to successfully prepare and serve meals and snacks in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). It comes complete with sample menus, guidance on keeping and using production records, and information on food safety and sanitation.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/building-blocks


Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patters Revision: Best Practices

Summary: The USDA has developed new CACFP meal patterns for healthy eating patterns for children and adults in care. Optional best practices were also developed that build on the meal patterns and highlight areas where additional steps can be taken to further improve the nutritional quality of the meals that are served.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_bestpractices.pdf


Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
Promotional Flyer

Summary:  Flyer for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that provides website and phone number for more information about the program and how to sign up.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/tn/CACFPflyer.pdf


Child Meal Pattern for Child and Adult Care Food Program

Summary:  Outlines the food pattern for children for caregivers of children from aged 1 to 18 years of age.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_childmealpattern.pdf


Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

Summary:  This food buying guide contains all of the current information in one place. This will help you buy the right amount of food and the appropriate type of food for programs. It also determines the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements.
SourceUnited States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/food-buying-guide-for-child-nutrition-programs


High Five Stickers

Summary: These stickers can be downloaded to be used for kids during lessons. They can also be used to reward children when they choose to eat heathy foods from the five foods groups.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/high-five-stickers


Infant Meal Pattern for Child and Adult Care Food Program

Summary:  Outlines the food pattern for infants for caregivers of children from birth to aged 11 months.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_infantmealpattern.pdf


Launch Your Day with Breakfast! Stickers

Summary: Use these stickers to help promote eating breakfast in lessons or during mealtimes.  They can be downloaded or ordered from Team Nutrition and that information is located on the page.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/launch-your-day-breakfast-stickers


Make Today a Try-Day!

Summary: Poster and sticker set that you can use in your day care to encourage kids to try new foods. Available by download or can order from Team Nutrition.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/make-today-try-day-cacfp-postersticker-set


Menu Planning Guide for Child Care Homes-Menu Magic for Children

Summary: This guide provides the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal patterns, ideas for menu planning and grocery shopping, how to serve high quality snacks, has sample menus, grocery lists, and recipes.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/menu_magic.pdf


MyPlate for Kids: Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables Poster

Summary: This poster shows kids how their plate or tray should look with half of it being fruits and vegetables.  Available to download or order a copy for free from Team Nutrition.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/myplate-kids-make-half-your-plate-fruits-and-vegetables-poster


MyPlate Posters

Summary:  MyPlate posters that are 20” X 16” in size. They are double-sided in colors of Blue/Magenta and Green/yellow.  You can download for free or order a free one using the Resource Order Form link on the page.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/myplate-posters


New Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns:  Child and Adult Meals

Summary: The USDA recently updated the CACFP food patterns to ensure children and adults have access to healthy foods. The new child and adult meal patterns include a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_childadultmealstandards.pdf


New Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns: Infant Meals

Summary:  The USDA recently updated the CACFP food patterns for adults and children so they have access to healthy foods.  The changes to the infant plan include the support of breastfeeding and fruits and vegetable consumption.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_infantmealstandards.pdf


Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) Manual

Summary:  This manual provides the best practice recommendations for each question on the self-assessment. The manuals also include the rationale behind each recommendation, challenges to implementing recommendations, and tips for changing current practice.
Source:  Michigan Healthy Child Care
Access:  http://mihealthtools.org/childcare/resources.asp


Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children

Summary:  Collection of tip sheets for nutrition and physical activity. Each tip sheet focuses on a specific topic and includes a practical application section to help apply the tips to a child care program for children ages 2 through 5 years old. See pages 15-25.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/nutrition-and-wellness-tips-young-children-provider-handbook-child-and-adult-care-food-program