By: Kitty Syster
Are you tired of making the same lunches over and over? If you participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), you know how important it is to provide nutritious, well balanced meals for the children in your care. But sometimes it can be difficult to create new lunch and snack ideas while meeting all the requirements through CACFP. Even if you’re not part of the CACFP but provide healthy lunch options for the children in your care, you might want some ideas of what to make. The USDA has a great resource for you; the “Child Nutrition Recipe Box” is an excellent source of recipes that meet the CACFP guidelines.
The Child Nutrition Recipe Box website is easy for any provider to use. It has different recipe sections for schools and childcare programs, and when you go into the childcare section you can choose if you are a center or a home provider. The center recipes are written to provide 25 to 50 servings and the family recipes are written to provide 6 servings each.
The website is regularly updated with new recipes. Additionally, in the Fall of 2020, the Recipe Box is planning to add features that will provide enhanced search features, allow users to create an account and save recipes to “your box” so you can quickly reference recipes you have saved, and allow you to create a shopping list from selected recipes.
So next time you’re looking for a new idea for breakfast or lunch, follow the link below to find some new ideas.
The Child Nutrition Recipe Box
(Institute of Child Nutrition, 2019)