Serving Spoons and Healthy Habits – Encouraging Positive Mealtimes and Supporting Family Style Meals in Child Care
From the foods we serve to the conversations we share, involving young children in mealtimes creates a positive eating environment for everyone to enjoy. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides almost 4 million nutritious meals and snacks each day to children and adults in child care and group day care settings. These mealtimes provide a tremendous opportunity to help children establish healthy eating habits. CACFP providers are engaging children in cooking, serving, and other mealtime activities as a way to get children interested in new foods and to encourage healthful eating behaviors.
On July 20, 2016, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) addressed these important topics by adding two new supplemental materials to an existing, comprehensive resource for CACFP providers, Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The new supplements, Create a Positive Meal Environment and Support Family Style Meals, offer fun ways child care providers can continue to create positive meal environments and adopt family style meals with children in their care. Through these practices, child care provides can help children try new foods, recognize foods from different food groups in a meal, and practice table manners. Both additions also offer tips and suggestions for including nutrition education activities during and outside of mealtimes. Read more »
The webinar series is an off-shoot of an ongoing AMS produce webinar series and the popular Produce Safety University (PSU), which helps school foodservice personnel identify and manage food safety risks associated with handling fresh produce. USDA photo courtesy of Lance Cheung.
Whether it’s solving a math problem or figuring out how to buy quality fresh apples, having the right tools and training will lead you to a positive solution. Managing fresh and fresh-cut produce purchases can seem like a complicated math problem for many schools, food banks and other large volume institutions. To help them figure out the right formula and address all of the variables, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) designed a webinar series to help these establishments successfully buy, receive and handle fresh and fresh-cut produce.
The webinar series is an off-shoot of an ongoing AMS produce webinar series and the popular Produce Safety University (PSU), which helps school foodservice personnel identify and manage food safety risks associated with handling fresh produce. While PSU was delivered using interactive, hands-on classes, the webinar series’ online format allows more people to expand their knowledge of all things produce. As a result, more and more large volume institutions will be able to satisfy their demand for fresh produce. Read more »
Farmers Markets offer in season, local produce to communities nationwide.
Promoting access to fresh and nutritious foods for the millions of Americans who participate in nutrition assistance programs is a top priority for USDA. We’re happy to announce that we’re emphasizing our commitment to promoting healthy food choices by giving more SNAP participants the ability to spend their benefits at farmers’ markets. Starting this month, we are making $4 million dollars in funds available to equip farmers’ markets with wireless point-of-sale equipment. Read more »
We left the cool warehouse with sticky shoes and smelling of spoiled bananas, but also with a warm feeling for having helped the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas ensure healthy, fresh food for their clients. Hundreds of cases of bananas had been donated, but when food bank staff checked the produce it was too spoiled to be used. However, the sturdy produce boxes could be salvaged for further use, so 32 USDA volunteers from the Food and Nutrition Service Southwest Regional Office and USDA Risk Management Agency rolled up their sleeves to empty and then reassemble the boxes. This was a great opportunity for us to work together with other USDA employees and see the food bank in operation first hand. The project was part of the January 12th USDA National Day of Service honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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RA Ludwig, Texas Department of Agriculture Todd Staples, Deion Sanders and Former NFL Athlete/Hall of Famer review activities that are planned for the children at Sanders’ youth camp.
On July 6th, I attended an event to kick-off this season’s Summer Food Service Program in Texas and to celebrate the state’s third annual “Mayor’s Challenge” to end child hunger during the summer. The event was held at NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders’ youth camp in Duncanville, Texas. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday (center), corperation for national and comunity Service CEO Patrick Corvington and Bread for the City President George Jones announced at Bread for the City, on April 29, 20ll in Washington, DC, that the USDA will become champions to end hunger and innovative partnerships to address hunger, especially among children USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
In 2009, nearly 1 million children simply didn’t get enough to eat in the United States. It’s a startling statistic but one that we can change, and you can help. Today, USDA launched a series of new online tools and volunteer initiatives to increase the number of individuals, organizations, and governments actively working to end childhood hunger. These tools will help you to get involved and become a champion to end hunger in your community! We can end hunger if we all work together. Whether you represent a non-profit, faith-based organization, state or local government, school, private company, or you’re an interested and passionate member of the public, it’s time to get involved and take action. Read more »