“Change before you have to.” ~ Jack Welch
You’ve heard the buzz. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meal Pattern has been improved to help us serve children healthier meals in our programs. We need to begin following these new standards by October 1, 2017. Have you thought about the changes you need to make in order to meet new food program standards?
Change is hard but when done little by little, it can be a little less overwhelming. It’s the beginning of April, why not begin choosing one pattern that has changed and implementing it into your program?
Whether you are a child care provider or a CACFP Sponsor, there are materials listed below to give you some guidance of where to begin. And providers - always check with your CACFP Sponsor to make sure you are on the same page for reimbursable meals.
Association for Child Development has put together a lengthy list of resources available in both English and Spanish to be used by any program who finds it worthwhile. These include:
- The New Meal Pattern Self Assessment: Grab your weekly menu and take the assessment to help you prepare for a successful transition to the improved meal pattern.
- Menu Makeovers: This provides you with three example meals and snacks containing side by side comparisons of what a menu would look like prior to the October 1 date and what a reimbursable meal would look like after the October 1 date.
- Grain-Based Dessert Fact Sheet - this sheet displays what is considered a grain-based dessert and why they are no longer a reimbursable item on the food program.
- New Meal Pattern Shopping Guide - as you implement your healthier menus, shopping may have to change for you. This small and easy to carry and use guide helps you shop according to these news changes.
And there are more - Including a breakfast cereal guide, whole-grain rich guide, yogurt guide and using the new CACFP meal patterns to lower costs! Check them out here.
Looking to see what other states are doing? Healthykidshealthyfuture.org has compiled state agency information and trainings.
Are you slowly but surely trying new things to be ready for implementation? What's your plan? Share in the comments below.