Over 470 childcare providers from throughout the state of Indiana attended 19 workshops during the month of June hosted by Purdue Extension and the Indiana Department of Education. Barb Mayfield, continuing lecturer in Foods and Nutrition was the creator of the workshops.
A review of Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) menus documented a need for an increase in the variety of: fruits and vegetables; whole-grain products; and lean meat/meat alternate selections. To meet this need, child care foodservice staff must have the necessary knowledge and skills for planning and preparing healthy and appealing meals and snacks.
Indiana received a USDA 2007 Team Nutrition Training Grant to implement a statewide plan to train child care food service staff on planning and preparing meals and snacks that comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid. The Indiana Department of Education partnered with Purdue University to address these needs. Resource materials and video-based trainings were created for use with the nineteen workshops, which were held throughout the state in June, 2009. Staff were motivated and inspired to create a total environment that recognizes the role of quality nutrition education and positive adult role modeling for children to build lifelong healthy beliefs and behaviors. Ideas were presented for encouraging children to consume more fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, and lean meat and lean meat alternatives.
Participants who attended the workshops enhanced their knowledge and skills in the areas of child nutrition, menu planning, recipes, food preparation and food safety. Over 35 Purdue Extension Consumer and Family Sciences Educators presented the workshops with assistance from the CACFP and Team Nutrition staff. Pre/Post workshop assessments are currently being analyzed by Purdue.
Initial comments from workshop participants have been positive and indicate goal-setting to improve their food service environment and menus. Video-based training resources will also be created that will be accessible across the country online for others to replicate these workshops.
Contact Barb Mayfield, firstname.lastname@example.org for more