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Resources to Support Nutrition and Wellness

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Action Required, Beneficial Information

To: Child and Adult Care Food Program Child Care Agencies

Number: NSD-CACFP-06-2013

Attention: Business Official

Date: May 2013

Subject: Resources to Support Nutrition and Wellness for Child Care in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Reference: Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 226.6(a)(2) and 226.15(d)(2)

The California Department of Education (CDE), Nutrition Services Division (NSD), is pleased to update you on key activities that will foster improved education and training of Child and Adult Day Care Food Program (CACFP) personnel in your agencies, as well as provide a list of resources that can enhance the nutrition and physical activity environments in your CACFP.

Training and Needs Assessment Advisory Committee

The NSD will convene a Training and Education Needs Assessment (TENA) Advisory Committee in 2013 to identify training needs and resources to: (1) support the implementation of the New Meal Pattern, and (2) develop a three to five year strategic plan to promote the professional growth of all CACFP personnel, ensuring a healthy eating and active living environment for children, youth, and adults. Committee members will have an opportunity to participate through an application process. The NSD will send out more information on this exciting opportunity by July 2013.

Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise Activities

In response to the rising childhood obesity epidemic and the research identifying early childhood as one of the critical time periods in establishing lifelong healthy habits, the NSD is introducing the Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE) Program. Focused on nutrition and physical activity, Preschools SHINE is a statewide recognition program that identifies CACFP agencies demonstrating optimal policies and practices to support children’s health and readiness to learn. Exemplary activities include serving meals and snacks family style, limiting screen time, and providing opportunities for physical activity. The NSD will provide more information about this opportunity for your agency to “shine” in a separate Management Bulletin (MB) in fall 2013.

To encourage and support agencies that are continuously working on quality improvement, the NSD has several Preschools SHINE activities that agencies will find useful in their efforts to provide a healthier environment for young children to thrive.

  • Preschools SHINE Forums: The forum demonstrates how to integrate nutrition education, edible gardens, and physical activity into child care center classrooms and day care homes. The NSD has one forum remaining—June 8 in Ontario. The forum provides a generous number of tools and resources that can be used immediately in home or center classrooms. It also provides a platform to express challenges and develop solutions to support active living and healthy eating environments. To register, please visit the CDE Preschools SHINE Web page at
  • Preschools SHINE Coaching Program: The NSD is developing a coaching program that will assist early care and development programs in improving their nutrition and physical activity environments. Nutrition coaches will be placed in selected Superintendent of Instruction regions within county offices of education. More information regarding accessing a coach will be in the fall 2013 MB mentioned earlier.

Additional resources to support your efforts to continually improve in the area of nutrition and physical activity are:

  • Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services, this handbook helps CACFP child care providers create healthier environments for the children in their care. The handbook’s tip sheets focus on specific nutrition, screen time, and physical activity topics. Each topic area includes practical application sections to help providers apply the tips to their child care programs. By using the sheets when planning meals and activities for children ages two to six years old, providers can incorporate key recommendations and best practices into menus and daily schedules.

You can download the handbook from the USDA Team Nutrition Resource Library Web page at Hard copies of the handbook will be available from the USDA in summer 2013. The NSD will provide CACFP sponsors with ordering information when it is available. In addition, the NSD will integrate the handbook's resources and information throughout the trainings offered in 2013–14.

  • Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition

The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC) has recently announced the release of Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition (SS3). SS3 presents 138 essential standards intended to reduce the rate of morbidity and mortality in child care and early education settings. You may access and download this document from the NRC SS3 Web page at

  • USDA Core Nutrition Messages on Child Feeding

The USDA has developed messages, tips, advice, and tools to help those who work with mothers of children two to five years old to put these resources into practice. Intended to be integrated into nutrition education efforts, the resources help children develop healthy eating habits for life.

Consumer testing showed mothers found these messages relevant, realistic, and motivating. Find out more on the USDA FNS Core Nutrition Messages Web page at

  • Dietary Guidelines for Americans Policy
Key wellness recommendations can be found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Policy Document, available on the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion Web page at
  • Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs

Additional wellness standards for nutrition, physical activity and screen time can be referenced in Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs (PCO) which can be downloaded from the NRC PCO Web page at


If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Mary Smith by phone at 916-445-9127 or by e-mail at You may also contact your Field Services Unit Child Nutrition Consultant.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, October 2, 2015

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