Last week, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) celebrated its 50th anniversary! As many organizations recognize this milestone, Nutritional Development Services (NDS) also would like to pause to thank the many wonderful sites and individuals with which we partner on CACFP for the incredible work that they perform to provide nutritious meals to the children in their care. To quote the Food Research and Action Center, “CACFP provides funding for meals and snacks that meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutritional standards to children in child care centers, home day care, and Head Start programs; youth participating in afterschool programs; and children living in homeless and domestic violence shelters. The program also provides meals to older adults and adults with disabilities in participating facilities. CACFP contributes to children’s healthy growth and development, and encourages the development of good nutrition habits early in life. The program also plays an important role in improving the quality and sustainability of child care programs and making them more affordable for low-income parents.” NDS has been a sponsor of CACFP for more than 30 years and our office is privileged to now collaborate with 275 sites serving three million meals per year. God has truly Blessed our work! Thank you again to our many partners who work so closely with us to impact thousands of children on a daily basis and to keep our CACFP successful. We are very excited about the next chapter in the CACFP story!
Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance the last full week of April each year. The week was created to celebrate schools’ efforts nationwide in adopting holistic wellness environments. Schools celebrate the important connection between healthy eating habits, physical activity, and learning through games, activities, and educational lessons. This year, Nutritional Development Services partnered with St. Helena Incarnation School and the Philadelphia Flyers Community Relations team to celebrate the event. On Thursday, April 26, third and fourth graders from St. Helena Incarnation School participated in the Flyers Face-Off for Fitness program. Jason Tempesta, Flyers Community Relations Coordinator, stressed the importance of nutrition and physical activity in living a healthy lifestyle. “Mr. Jason” engaged the children about breakfast’s key role in providing an energizing start to the day. He also emphasized the significant difference that healthy snacks can make in our ability to stay focused throughout the day. Jason, Tempesta, Community Relations Coordinator for the Philadelphia Flyers, engages students about healthy eating Following the brief nutrition lesson, students were thrilled to be up and active! Nearly 100 students took on the challenge of sit-ups, push-ups, jump rope, and a relay race. Jason emphasized a key Philadelphia Flyer’s value: the importance of practice and persistence. Fourth grade students warm up before their physical activity challenges As would occur after a National Hockey League game, three “players” from each group were designated “Star Players of the Game.” Jason chose students based on their exceptional efforts and hard work. One of the Star Players expressed how much fun he had, even though he had never jumped rope before. All the students enjoyed the event and learned how important it is to be physically [...]
What better way to kick off the 17-18 school year than with Better Breakfast Month! While many people have heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we know this is especially true for our young learners. A nourishing meal at the start of the school day can help improve student academic performance and behavior. Additionally, studies have shown that children who eat breakfast have improved concentration, alertness, comprehension, memory and learning! (Check out http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/breakfastforlearning-1.pdf for more information). In addition to nourishing our children, breakfast at school aids in alleviating food insecurities in the home. For many children, school breakfast and lunch are the main, most nutritious meals they receive during the day. NDS proudly offers universal free breakfast to all participating schools in the 5-county Philadelphia region. Every day of the school year, NDS offers well-balanced meals with a variety of whole-grain rich items, fruit and 100% fruit juice, and low-fat milk options. The menu is limited in sodium, calories, saturated fats, and trans fats, and are tailored to meet the nutrient requirements of specific age grade groups. This year, NDS will provide a variety of options for children that are both palatable and nutritious. We are excited to offer a few new items on the menu including: A Trix Cereal Bar, Eggo Blueberry Pancakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Bar, and French Toast Sticks! When students have access to a healthy school breakfast, they have access to the nutrition they need to learn, grow, and succeed. Help us celebrate this month as well as Better Breakfast Day on Tuesday, September 26th by sharing pictures of your students fueling up for a successful day!