2016 Mealtime Memo


December 2016: Training, Training, We all Need Training!
Regulations on staff training and professional development in child care programs vary widely from state to state. However, several national programs, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Head Start Performance Standards, require ongoing training in nutrition. Therefore, this memo will feature some key sources for meeting your training needs.
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November 2016: Outdoor Playtime is the Best Time – Winter Play
Young children do best when they have many opportunities to participate in physical activities throughout the day. However, in the winter months participating in outdoor play may be less favorable than staying indoors where it is warm and cozy. Therefore, this memo will feature the importance of young children participating in outdoor play throughout the year, even in the winter months.
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October 2016: Got Leafy Greens?
Fresh vegetables are great sources of essential nutrients young children need for healthy growth and development. However, many children do not eat enough vegetables each day. Therefore, this memo will features some strategies for incorporating more leafy greens on your menus.
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September 2016: Please Help! Help-Desk Team at Your Call
Have you ever had a nutrition-related question about the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) but didn’t know who to ask? Maybe you had a question but were embarrassed to ask your colleagues or someone at the state agency office? Look no further, this memo will provide an overview of how the Institute of Child Nutrition(ICN)’s Help-Desk Team can help.
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August 2016: Is it Safe to Eat? Food Temperatures for Child Care
Controlling temperatures is one of the most important ways to control the growth of bacteria in food. It also helps to reduce the risk of children and staff becoming sick with a foodborne illness. Therefore, this memo will feature some basic tips for selecting and using food thermometers to prepare meals for the children in your care.
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July 2016: Got Time? Online Courses for Professional Development
Training and professional development are essential resources for success in a child care setting. Not only does it help everyone to succeed in their day-to-day roles and responsibilities, but training and professional development also increases confidence among staff. However, finding time to attend training can be a challenge for some child care professionals. Therefore, this memo will feature strategies for obtaining professional development through online courses.
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June 2016: For Good Nutrition, Eat Foods in Season!
Good nutrition is the cornerstone of good health. A balanced diet filled with a variety of nutritious foods helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and obesity. In addition, when young children develop healthy eating habits, that include nutritious foods, they are more likely to continue these healthy habits into adulthood. Therefore, this memo will feature three key reasons to incorporate seasonal foods in your child care menus for good nutrition.
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May 2016: Herbs and Spices
Using herbs and spices is a great way to enhance the flavor of food without adding additional fat, salt, or sugar. Although, learning to use them takes practice and can be time-consuming, if you know the common herbs and spices, understand how to use them, and are aware of how to store them, it can help you prepare nutritious meals filled with flavor. Therefore, this memo will provide some basic tips for selecting herbs and spices when preparing meals in child care settings.
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April 2016: Preparing Foods with Limited Time
A busy day in a child care setting may call for many things beyond caring for children, such as greeting parents, answering phones, purchasing food, etc. Occasionally, the long list of tasks can limit the time for preparing food. Therefore, this memo will provide you with some basic strategies for preparing foods with limited time.
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March 2016: Beverages That Count
The beverage aisle at the grocery store is filled with bright colors and enticing products. Unfortunately, many beverages, such as sports drinks and soda, are high in added sugars, which add unnecessary calories to the diet. Serving more nutritious beverages can provide essential nutrients to a child’s diet, as well as promote good eating habits. Therefore, this memo will provide some basic tips for selecting nutritious beverages.
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February 2016: Cooking With Oils
Think about the aisle where the cooking oils are found in your local supermarket. How many different types of oils are there? In many cases, there are numerous options to choose from: olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, and vegetable oil. This memo will provide the basics about the most commonly used oils.
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January 2016: Mealtime Conversations with Preschoolers
Positive and effective communication is the foundation for developing healthy and rewarding child-to-child and adult-to-child relationships. When you pay attention to children and encourage communication, you help them to create a positive view of themselves and the world in which they live. Mealtimes are no exception to great conversations. To show how, this resource discusses how preschoolers communicate, as well as benefits and strategies of engaging them in meaningful conversation.
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