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Child Care Meal Quality Forums

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Child Care Meal Quality Forum & Child Care Advanced Skills Meal Quality Forum

The California Department of Education (CDE) is offering four statewide meal quality (MQ) forum training sessions—the Child Care MQ Forum (two sessions) and the Child Care Advanced Skills MQ Forum (two sessions). Each forum will focus on enhancing the nutrition environment of early child care programs through improved food preparation and service using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meal Pattern.

The forums will highlight healthy meal planning, food purchasing, food preparation, culinary skills, recipe development, and safety. Participants will be exposed to a variety of recipes and techniques to assist with the creation of meals to bolster health and wellness.

These forums provide a unique platform where cooks from early child care programs will engage in culinary techniques in a professional kitchen environment. All attendees will receive a variety of tools and resources that can immediately be utilized in family day care homes and child care centers.

Table of Contents


Dates and Locations

Location Session Type Date   Time Address
Clovis MQ Forum Saturday, September 23, 2017 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Institute of Technology
564 W. Herndon Ave.
Clovis, CA 93612

Sacramento  MQ Forum Saturday, October 7, 2017 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Art Institute of California
2850 Gateway Oaks Dr. #100
Sacramento, CA 95833
Los Angeles (Pasadena) Advanced Skills MQ Forum* Saturday, February 10, 2018 8 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

New School of Cooking
525 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101

San Diego Advanced Skills MQ Forum* Saturday, February 24, 2018
 
8 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Art Institute of California
7650 Mission Valley Rd.
San Diego, CA 92108

*This forum is designed for staff who have previously attended a Child Care MQ Forum or those who have basic culinary skills and a desire to learn advanced meal planning and food preparation techniques.

Agendas

Time Agenda Items for the MQ Forum   Time Agenda Items for the Advanced Skills MQ Forum
10:00 a.m.  Registration (light refreshments provided)   8:00 a.m. Registration (light refreshments provided)
10:20 a.m  Introduction and Welcome   8:20 a.m. Welcome and Food Planning Basics
10:40 a.m.  CACFP Meal Pattern   9:00 a.m. Recipes for Child Care
11:30 a.m.  Break (light refreshments provided)   9:30 a.m. Break (light refreshments provided)
11:45 a.m. Meal Planning and Production   9:45 a.m. Recipe Standardization and Crediting
1:30 a.m. Lunch (provided)   11:30 a.m. Lunch (provided)
2:00 p.m. Hands-On Culinary Techniques   12:30 p.m. Hands-On Cooking Lab
4:00 p.m. Summary/Closing/Evaluations   2:30 p.m. Eat, Think, and Evaluate
4:30 p.m. End of Forum   3:00 p.m. End of Forum
      *Participants attending the forum in Sacramento will be provided with a complimentary on-site lunch courtesy of the Art Institute of California--Sacramento.

Session Descriptions

MQ Forum Advanced Skills MQ Forum

CACFP Meal Pattern
The USDA CACFP Meal Pattern is the required structure for all meals served in programs participating in the CACFP. This session will provide an overview of the current CACFP Meal Pattern, the updated CACFP Meal Pattern (effective October 1, 2017), and the USDA Crediting Handbook for the CACFP.

Meal Planning and Production
Meal planning does not have to be complicated! Planning meals requires a small investment of time, but can reap great rewards. This session will present a variety of topics including basic considerations for menu planning, using flavor profiles to enhance meals, incorporating Farm to Preschool into the child care program, proper food purchasing, and more! Be sure to bring a copy of the menu from your child care facility for use during this session.

Culinary Techniques
Calling all cooks! The kitchen is the place that provides endless opportunities to create healthy meals for young children. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook, you will learn something new in this session. Chef Ryan Douglas will feature several food items and demonstrate basic technical skills essential to working smarter, not harder, in the kitchen. With Chef Ryan’s guidance, participants will perfect their knife skills while using the freshest ingredients.

Food Planning Basics
The USDA CACFP Meal Pattern is the required structure for all meals served in programs participating in the CACFP. This session will provide an overview of the updated CACFP Meal Pattern (effective October 1, 2017), highlighting key shifts and implications for meal planning. Recent updates to purchasing guidelines will also be discussed.

Recipes for Child Care
Reading a recipe does not have to be complicated! Reading a recipe effectively requires a small investment of time, but can reap great rewards. This session will present key techniques to reading a recipe effectively and provide hands-on experiences to practice these skills. Participants will discover resources for finding new recipes to use in child care facilities.

Recipe Standardization and Crediting
Calling all experienced cooks and menu planners! The kitchen is the place that provides endless opportunities to create healthy meals for young children. Whether you are cooking for 12 or 120 children, sharpening your recipe standardization skills will give you confidence to provide a variety of healthy meals daily. In this session, participants will learn to credit the components in recipes to further enhance their ability to get creative in the kitchen.

Hands-On Cooking Lab
Chef Ryan Douglas will guide participants through a hands-on cooking lab where small teams will cook recipes from scratch while applying the classroom knowledge learned in the morning sessions. Several food items will be featured and the demonstration of moderate to advanced technical skills will emphasize working smarter, not harder, in the kitchen. With Chef Ryan’s guidance, participants will practice their skills while using fresh ingredients and recipes approved by the USDA.

Eat, Think, and Evaluate
Participants will have the opportunity to reap the rewards of their hard work in the kitchen by eating together while reflecting on the day and identifying how they will incorporate the new information and skills into their daily work.

Speakers

Jennifer McNeil, RDN, is the founder of LunchAssist, a project that is helping child nutrition programs throughout California manage the operations of their food programs.  She previously served as the Child Nutrition Director for Encinitas Union School District, as the Assistant Food Service Director for the Hemet Unified School District (HUSD), and as the Consulting Dietitian for the Hemet Preschool and Head Start's CACFP. Ms. McNeil helped the HUSD earn 13 Gold Awards of Distinction through the USDA’s HealthierUS Schools Challenge.

Chef Ryan Douglas is the Executive Chef and Catering Supervisor for the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) and is involved in recipe development at the RUSD Culinary Center. Chef Ryan has more than thirty years of institutional cooking, kitchen management, and senior administrative management experience.

Target Audience

Making changes or improving the meals served at an early learning site requires a team effort. Child care center cooks, family day care home providers, and all individuals involved in menu development and planning, food purchasing, or food preparation at the child care program are welcome at the MQ forums. We encourage child care centers to send a team of two who are involved in menu planning, food purchasing, or food preparation. If you are a day care home sponsoring organization, invite up to two providers plus a monitor to attend.

Professional Growth Hours and Certificate

The forums offer 6.0 professional growth hours which will help child care staff reach their professional developoment goals. 

Cost, Enrollment, and Registration

The cost to attend the forum is $25 and includes morning snacks, a printed certificate of completion, and a tote bag filled with sample menus, recipes, a chef's knife, and other resources.

Registration is completed through an online registration link. For help with registration, please see the Contact section below.

Clovishttps://mqclovis09232017.eventbrite.com

Sacramentohttps://mqsac10072017.eventbrite.com

Los Angeleshttps://mqla02102018.eventbrite.com

San Diegohttps://mqsandiego02242018.eventbrite.com

Attire

To ensure your safety in the kitchen, dress comfortably and wear closed-toe shoes without slippery soles. Hair nets will be provided at the forum.

Cancellation and Refunds

We regretfully cannot issue refunds for this event; however, a substitute participant may be sent in place of the original participant.  

Contact

For help with online registration, sending a replacement, or canceling, contact Maria Lazaro by phone at 805-465-4464 or 800-770-6339, or by e-mail at mlazaro@wested.org

For general information regarding the forum agenda, contact Courtney Hardoin, Nutrition Education Consultant at the CDE, by phone at 916-324-0578, or by email at chardoin@cde.ca.gov