Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
The CACFP is a federal program that provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children who are enrolled for care at Tri-Valley Head Start, Early Head Start, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Centers. CACFP contributes to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children in the United States.
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
The SFSP is a federally-funded, state-administered program. SFSP reimburses program operators who serve free healthy meals and snacks to any child or teen in low income areas, regardless of Head Start enrollment status.
Meals served by participating institutions and facilities must meet minimum guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The CACFP and SFSP helps institutions and facilities serve well balanced, nutritious meals to the participants in their care. Serving nutritious meals helps improve and maintain the health and nutritional status of participants in an early care environment and can help them develop and maintain good eating habits.
Early food and eating experiences form the foundation of attitudes about food, eating behavior, and consequently, food habits. One of the basic responsibilities of Head Start is to provide nourishing food daily that is clean, safe, and developmentally appropriate for children. Food is essential in any early care and education setting to keep infants and children free from hunger. Food provides energy and nutrients needed by infants and children during the critical period of their growth and development. Feeding nutritious food everyday must be accompanied by offering appropriate daily physical activity and playtime for the healthy physical, social, and emotional development of infants and young children. Early care and education settings have the opportunity to guide and support children’s sound eating habits and food learning experiences.
|Breakfast||Lunch||Snack (must serve 2 of the 4 groups)|
Family Style Dining – DUE TO COVID WE ARE NOT PRACTICING FAMILY STYLE DINING
Children will participate (with assistance as needed) in meal related activities such as setting tables, pouring, clearing tables, and cleaning up which will provide opportunities for decision making, responsibility, sharing, communication, and fine motor eye-hand coordination. Food is placed in serving dishes according to family style. As developmentally appropriate, children serve themselves. Adults may offer hand-over-hand support to allow children success. As able to, each child will make his or her own food choices based on individual
Head Start staff promote interaction and language use among children and between children and adults.
Staff will encourage interesting and pleasant table conversation across a variety of topics, not only those
related to food and nutrition.
Monthly menus must be posted at each center and provided to all parents via Learning Genie.