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Farm to ECE

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Early Childhood Nutrition Education Chart

Power Panther Preschool Implementation Manual

 Eight child care lessons that encourage fruit and vegetable consumption and increased physical activity.

Healthy Snacks and Physical Activities for Early Childhood Program

Healthy snack ideas, fun physical activities, and suggested books to incorporate into lessons in the early childhood setting.


More Than Mud Pies

This nutrition education curriculum provides both staff and children with enjoyable activities that encourage positive ideas about nutrition and foods.  The 54 lessons are built around the seasons of the year.  Children will use these age-appropriate activities to learn about growth, nutrition and preparation of foods.


Preschooler MyPlate Mini-Poster

An at-a-glance guide to healthy eating for preschoolers.


MODEL Health! Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity in Children

Lessons for early childhood educators on nutrition and physical activity, with an emphasis on role modeling.


Color Me Healthy: Preschoolers Moving and Eating Healthy

Healthy eating and exercise program for 4 and 5-year-olds in the preschool classroom. The curriculum includes recipes, songs, and parent newsletters.

Discover MyPlate: Nutrition Education for Kindergarten

Discover MyPlate is fun and inquiry-based nutrition education that fosters the development of healthy food choices and physically active lifestyles during a critical developmental and learning period for children.

Nutrition Education Program: NEP School Enrichment Kits

 Due to special grant funding, this FREE program is only available to elementary schools where 50% or more of the students participate in the free and reduced-price school lunch program.

   Create a Classroom That Moves! 

Classroom-based physical activities are instructional tools teachers can use to improve mood, energy levels, and facilitate student learning. Activity can be introduced into existing routines and transitions, into academic lessons, or introduced as a ‘brain break.’ This kit consists of three core classroom tools: Grade-level nutrition lessons; Physical activity breaks; My Classroom Physical Activity Pyramid.


Michigan Team Nutrition Booklist

An annotated list of over 400 books with positive food, nutrition and physical activity messages for children in grades K-2.


Nutrition Education of Texas

Multidisciplinary nutrition lesson plans for grades pre-Kindergarten through High School that align with Texas education standards.


Team Nutrition Resources Chart

Team Nutrition

Team Nutrition, an initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, supports national efforts to promote lifelong healthy food choices and physical activity by improving the nutrition practices of the Child Nutrition Programs. They provide resources to schools, child care settings, and summer meal sites that participate in these programs.

CACFP Nutrition Education Resources

Teach children about healthy eating that will last them a lifetime. CACFP has resources and publications that will help you put together great tasting, nutritious meals and snacks that children will enjoy.

CACFP Meal Pattern Training Worksheets

These colorful and engaging materials can be used to empower Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) providers and operators with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to implement the updated CACFP meal pattern requirements. These tools are designed train providers, operators, menu planners, and other staff in meeting CACFP nutrition standards that include a greater variety of vegetables, more whole grains, and less added sugars and saturated fat.


MyPlate is the current nutrition guide published by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, a food circle (i.e. a pie chart) depicting a place setting with a plate and glass divided into five food groups. MyPlate is a reminder to find a healthy eating style and maintain it throughout the life cycle.

Institute of Child Nutrition

The Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) is the only federally funded national center dedicated to applied research, education and training, and technical assistance for child nutrition programs. The Institute’s mission is to provide information and services that promote the continuous improvement of child nutrition programs.

USDA Healthy Meals Menu Planning Tools

USDA Menu Planning Toolkit includes nutrient analysis, meal buying guide, samples menus, and training for food service providers



Farm to Preschool

Farm to Preschool is an extension of the national Farm to School movement that started with school gardening and connecting farms to schools. Farm to Preschool includes early childhood programs, preschools, Head Start programs, and center based programs serving local foods, and providing hands-on educational activities. Farm to preschool works to connect early child care and education settings to local food producers with the objectives of serving locally-grown, healthy foods, providing related nutrition education, and improving child nutrition. Farm to preschool activities can increase children’s willingness to try new foods and help them become familiar with the local foods that they will see in school.


Ways to Participate:

  1. Grow edible gardens in your center
  2. Cook with kids using locally sourced produce
  3. Take field trips to local farms
  4. Offer taste tests of regional produce in seasoCollaborate with local growers to offer foods during meal time

Helpful Links:

Nebraska Department of Education Resources:

USDA Community Food Systems Resources:

National Farm to School Network:

Find a Local Farmer’s Market

Center for Rural Affairs Farm to School Guide:





What is Go NAP SACC?

From mealtime, to playtime, to story time, children have many opportunities each day to learn and practice healthy habits. Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (Go NAP SACC) is a trusted process that helps child care centers and homes go the extra mile to support children’s healthy eating and physical activity.

The 5 key elements of Go NAP SACC include the following:

  1. Complete a Pre Self-Assessment
  2. Attend a Go NAP SACC training
    ü FREE State Approved In-service hours
  3. Develop an Action Plan
  4. Reach Your Goals
  5. Complete a Post Self-Assessment & Feedback Survey

Go NAP SACC focuses on 5 main health areas: breastfeeding & infant feeding, child nutrition, infant & child physical activity, outdoor play & learning and screen time.  It is designed for providers that care for children from the ages of birth to 5 years old.

How can Go NAP SACC help child care providers?

  • FREE State Approved In-service hours
  • Earn points for Step Up to Quality
  • Receive FREE Incentives upon completion
  • FREE Nutrition & Physical Activity
    ü Resources for use in your child care program and for parent education
  • FREE One-on-One Mentoring and Support from a Go NAP SACC trainer
  • Promote Healthy Child Development
  • Continuing Education Opportunities

 How does Go NAP SACC fit into Step Up to Quality?

Go NAP SACC is required in Step 2 of Step Up to Quality:

  • View the Go NAP SACC orientation video*
  • Complete the Go NAP SACC pre self-assessment*

Additional points (up to 14) may be earned with Go NAP SACC in Steps 3-5 of Step Up to Quality by:

  • Attending a Go NAP SACC training (6 hour minimum)
    • Visit the NE Go NAP SACC website to view the training calendar
  • Submit a Go NAP SACC Action Planning Document*
    • Ongoing support is available
  • Complete the post self-assessment* and receive points for the number of best practices met  
  • Incorporate a nutrition and/or physical activity curriculum

*Available online at the NE Go NAP SACC website:

Emily Hulse, MS
Community Program Coordinator
NE Go NAP SACC Coordinator
Center for the Child & Community

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center
2021 Transformation Drive, Suite 1200
Lincoln, NE  68508

We know children. •








Menu Planning and Recipes

USDA Healthy Meals Menu Planning Tools

 USDA Menu Planning Toolkit includes nutrient analysis, meal buying guide, samples menus, and training for food service providers

CACFP Recipes

  • Child and Adult Care Food Program Recipes provided by USDA in both family size quantities and larger servings for centers.

USDA What’s Cooking?

  • The What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl is an interactive tool to help with healthy meal planning, cooking, and grocery shopping. The site features a searchable database of healthy recipes, options to build a cookbook, print recipe cards, and share recipes via social media.

Recipes for Healthy Kids: Cookbook for Child Care Centers

  • The recipes in this cookbook feature foods both children and adults should consume more of: dark green and orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, and whole grains. All of these healthy recipes are low in total fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

Recipes for Healthy Kids: Cookbook for Homes

  • This is the same set of recipes mentioned above but offered in smaller quantities for home settings.

Choose MyPlate Recipes, Cookbooks, and Menus

  • This site links to a variety of cookbooks and sample menus based off of the recommended daily calories. Printable infographics and strategies for shopping in season and reducing food waste are provided here also.

Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

  • The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs has all of the current information in one manual to help provider and their purchasing agent 1) buy the right amount of food and the appropriate type of food for their program(s), and 2) determine the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements.

Healthy Meals Resource System

  • Healthy Meals is a website sponsored by USDA that offers links to menu planning, recipes, shopping lists, best practices for feeding, and tool and activities for children.

Resources for Child Care Providers

CACFP Menu Planning Guide (Wisconsin)

Sixteen weeks of cycle menus, recipes that are CACFP creditable shopping lists to go with menus, and guidance regarding choking hazards and allergies.

Setting the Stage for Eating Well: The Nutrition Environment (Missouri)

Presentation introduces preschool teachers and food service staff to the benefits of family-style meals.


Eat Smart, Child Care (Missouri)

Set of nutrition related recommendations and support materials for child care facilities.



 Mealtime Minutes – Inspiring Success: Illinois Child Care Wellness Team Nutrition Training Sub-grants

This bonus Mealtime Minutes highlights Work Plans submitted by child care facilities that received an Illinois Child Care Wellness— Team Nutrition Training Sub-grant. It provides many great examples of nutrition and wellness education activities and may be used as a resource to enhance health and wellness efforts at your own child care facilities.


 Mealtime Assessment for Child Care Centers (Minnesota) 

The Child Care Mealtime Assessment is a tool for evaluating the meal environment in a child care center. To complete the assessment, centers examine the serving and dining spaces where children eat meals and indicate whether each statement is true by checking the corresponding box. Unchecked boxes are areas to consider for future implementation to improve the meal environment.


 Leap of Taste: Child Care Nutrition Standards (West Virginia)

Child care nutrition standards, divided into four key components: Beverages, Fruits and Vegetables, Grains and Bread, and Meat/Meat Alternates. Materials include food prep videos, administrative tools, menu planning, menus and recipes, and more.


  Family Fun, Food, and Fitness Event Planning Guide (Kansas)

Guidebook provides instructions for planning and promoting a health-centered, family-friendly, school or child care center sponsored event, and includes specific instructions detailing both nutrition and fitness activities.


 Rainy Day Physical Activity Ideas (Georgia)

Child care providers can use these ideas to help children in their care to be physically active indoors. From the Caregivers Promoting Health Habits (link is external) program.


  Wellness in Alaska Child Care: Best Practices

Best practices for healthy eating and physical activity in the child care setting.


 The First Years in the First State Toolkit: Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Quality in Delaware Child Care

A guide for child care providers to meet Delaware nutrition and physical activity requirements. Includes 16 weeks of approved menu cycles and recipes, shopping lists and tips, age-appropriate physical activities, and ideas for engaging children, staff, parents and the community.


Flavor Shakers (Iowa)

Chef Deanna Olson created these low-sodium herb/seasoning mixtures to be utilized in child care and schools to decrease sodium consumption.

 Snacks from A to Z (Iowa)

A handout for child care centers, home childcares, and preschools that lists snack ideas according to letter.

Action Guide for Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies (Connecticut)

The action guide is intended to help local and community child care, early education and afterschool programs establish and implement policies and practices that encourage healthy lifestyles in children.

No- to Low-Cost Ways to Promote Physical Activity in the Child Care Setting

This card set provides fun and interactive physical activities for young children that can be done without costly equipment.

Iowa CACFP Healthier Menu Toolkit

These materials are part of the Healthier Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Award in Iowa. Healthier CACFP is a recognition system that supports the wellness efforts of child care centers and homes participating in CACFP.