4 Ways to Demonstrate You Serve Nutritious Food

Living a healthy lifestyle is important for us all. Good health habits learned when young tend to stay for life. Early childhood professionals are in an unique position to influence the health of children during this crucial early period.

There are 4 ways to demonstrate that your program serves nutritious food to children.  Choose the option that best fits your program.

1.  Enrolled in a national food program.

Bright & Early will verify your participation with either the Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

2.  Provide Meals On-Site

Submit your menus from the past 2 months.  Menus need to include both the items served and the serving size.  Bright & Early will use the rubric below to  verify the quality and quantity of the food served in your program.

Infant-11 Months

Menu Review Rubric (PDF, 395 KB)

Sample Menu (PDF, 287 KB)

Optional Menu Template (Optional) (Word, 17 KB)

12 Months - 5+ Years

Menu Review Rubric (PDF, 323 KB)

Preschool Programs: Serve Snack Only Menu Review Rubric (PDF, 296 KB)

Sample Menu (PDF, 62 KB)

Optional Menu Template (Word, 17 KB)

3. Parents Provide Meals from Home

If parents provide the meals from home, submit evidence that you work with the parents to bring healthy foods.  Evidence may include:

  • policy in your parent handbook
  • policy in staff handbook
  • educational materials you've given to parents (sample newsletter with nutrition tips; handout with meal ideas, etc...)
  • other documentation showing how you support parents in making healthy food choices for their child(ren)

Bright & Early will use this rubric to review the evidence you submit. (PDF, 496 KB)

View a sample nutrition policy addressing meals brought from home. (Word, 27 KB)

4.  Combination:  Provide Meals On-Site & Parents Provide Meals from Home

If you do a combination of the above approaches, submit evidence for both.  For example, if you provide snack and breakfast and parents send lunch, you will submit your menus from the past 2 months for snack and breakfast.  Then, submit evidence that you work with the parents to bring healthy foods for lunch. 

Resources to Help with Nutrition

Child Care Aware ND: Best Practices for Nutrition

Let's Move Child Care

3 Common Objections to the Food Program

Crediting Handbook for the CACFP