In December our program became one of only three participants of the Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) nationally to be included as part of a research study called The Kid's Safe and Healthful Food Project. It was a tremendous honor to be included, considering that there are thousands of child care programs and school districts that offer CACFP!
A collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts made this research project possible. Our program was recommended by a member of the National CACFP Sponsors Association as a "best practice" site based on the quality of our state reviews as well as our reputation as a top performer.
The project examines the potential health and financial effects of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) proposed changes to the nutritional standards for meals served through the CACFP. Our program already meets or exceeds the new standards by serving more fresh fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, lean meats and whole grains to our Head Start children.
In mid- December, researchers from Washington came to Norwich to conduct focus groups involving staff, parents, and family day care providers. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our successes and best practices. We anticipate that within the next several months the results of the project will shared at the national level and will impact decision making regarding CACFP regulations.