Meal time is a happy time here at Knox, meal time is a lot more than eating though. Meal time involves not only proper nutrition but encompasses basics like feeding yourself, table manners, and conversation. It’s a great opportunity for the teacher to sit down and find out about your child’s thoughts and feelings.
We provide three meals a day here at Knox: a morning snack, lunch and then an afternoon snack. Not only do we have guidelines for meal service provided by the Kansas Health Department, but also by the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Each meal must provide specific components. For example, we must serve for lunch for a three year-old ¼ cup of vegetables, ¼ cup of fruit, 1 ½ ounces of meet, a serving of bread and a fluid milk. We must make sure our menus include foods high in vitamin C daily and serve a food with iron weekly. Our menus offer a wide variety of foods including fresh fruits and vegetables and, of course, childhood basics like chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. When we serve our mac and cheese, children don’t get get 1 ½ ounces of protein from the cheese alone, so we always serve something like little smokies or “baby hot dogs” to add protein to the meal.
We participate with the Child and Adult Care Food Program which guides us in menu planning and nutritional needs for children as well as supplement our food costs with subsidies. The CACFP is much more than a way to get reimbursement. The CACFP provides us with nutrition and physical activity workshops several times a year at no cost. They provide us with educational programs such as Power Panther that we can implement with the children. Power Panther is an educational program that involves proper eating, physical activity with music, literature and art.
The infant room also utilizes the guidelines set by the CACFP. We provide food and formula for our infants. We provide formula for our infants, but encourage breastfeeding mothers as breast milk is the primary choice. We discourage mothers from switching to formula just because they are starting their infant in a child care setting.
We are fortunate that we have had a cook that has been here over 10 years. Our cook has training provided by the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Visit CACFP for more information.