Nutritious Meals Resources
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 a unique position to influence the health of children during this crucial early period.
There are four ways to demonstrate that your program serves nutritious food to children. Choose the option that best fits your program.
Option A) Program is enrolled in a national food program.
Bright & Early ND will verify your participation with either the Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
Option B) Program provides meals on-site.
The program must submit one month of menus as evidence. Bright & Early ND will randomly select one of the weeks to review.
Menus need to include both the items served and the serving size. Bright & Early ND will use the menu review rubric below to verify the quality and quantity of the food served in your program.
Infant to 11 Months
12 Months to 5+ Years
Option C) Parents in our program 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 ND will use the meals from home rubric (PDF, 292 KB) to verify the quality and quantity of the food served in your program.
View a sample nutrition policy (PDF, 166 KB) addressing meals brought from home.
Option D) Combination: Program provides meals on-site and 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 one month of menus for snack and breakfast. Then, submit evidence that you work with the parents to bring healthy foods for lunch.