You are here

Child Care Meal Quality Forums

 

preschool shines

The California Department of Education (CDE) is offering six 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 kitchen 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 child care homes and centers.

Table of Contents


Dates and Locations

Location Session Type Date   Time Address Registration
Encinitas Introductory MQ Forum Saturday, November 9, 2019
 
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Encinitas Unified School District (USD): Ocean Knoll Elementary School
910 Melba Rd.
Encinitas, CA 92024

Register here

RESCHEDULED/ TBA

Clovis

Introductory MQ Forum (January/February Date Coming Soon) 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Institute of Technology – Clovis
564 W. Herndon Ave
Clovis, CA 93612

Register here

San Diego

Advanced Skills MQ Forum* Friday, January 24th, 2020 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Dr.
San Diego, CA 92111
Register here

Sacramento

 

Advanced Skills MQ Forum* Saturday, February 1st,
2020
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Natomas USD: Discovery High School Café
3401 Fong Ranch Rd.
Sacramento, CA 9583
Register here

Pasadena**

 

Advanced Skills MQ Forum* Friday,
February 7th,
2020
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. New School of Cooking
525 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
Register here

Pasadena**

Advanced Skills MQ Forum* Saturday,
February 8th,
2020
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. New School of Cooking
525 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
Register here

* 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.

**This forum is being offered as part of a two-day event to provide those interested with the opportunity to register for both sessions back-to-back to complete the Meal Quality series in one year. Participants are not required to register for both sessions; either session may be attended independently. 
 

Agendas

Introductory MQ Forum

Time Agenda Item
8:00 a.m. Registration (light refreshments provided)
8:20 a.m.  Introduction and Welcome
8:40 a.m. CACFP Meal Pattern
9:30 a.m. Break (light refreshments provided)
9:45 a.m. Meal Planning and Production
11:30 a.m. Lunch (provided)
12:30 p.m. Produce Safety
12:40 p.m. Hands-on Culinary Techniques
2:30 p.m. Summary, Closing, and Evaluations
3:00 p.m. End of Forum

Advanced Skills MQ Forum

Time Agenda Item
8:00 a.m. Registration (light refreshments provided)
8:20 a.m. Welcome and Planning Basics
9:00 a.m. Recipes for Child Care
9:30 a.m. Break (light refreshments provided)
9:45 a.m. Recipe Standardization and Crediting
11:30 a.m. Lunch (provided)
12:30 p.m. Hands-on Cooking Lab
2:30 p.m. Eat, Think, and Evaluate
3:00 p.m. End of Forum


Session Descriptions

Introductory MQ Forum

CACFP Meal Pattern
The USDA CACFP Meal Patterns are the required structure for all meals served in programs participating in the CACFP and all licensed child care homes and centers. This session will provide an overview of the updated CACFP Meal Patterns, which became effective on October 1, 2017.

Meal Planning and Production
Meal planning does not have to be complicated! Planning meals in advance 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! Please bring a copy of the menu from your child care facility for use during this session.

Hands-on 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 culinary 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.

Advanced Skills MQ Forum

Menu Planning Basics
The USDA CACFP Meal Patterns are the required structure for all meals served in programs participating in the CACFP and all licensed child care homes and centers. This session will provide an overview of the updated CACFP Meal Patterns (which became effective on October 1, 2017), highlighting key changes and implications for menu planning. This session also provides an overview of food purchasing guidelines.

Recipes for Child Care
Reading a recipe does not have to be complicated! 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. In this session, participants will learn to credit the components in recipes to further enhance their ability to be 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 recipes 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.


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 Chef Ryan Douglas recently retired from his position as the Executive Chef and Catering Supervisor for the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) where he was involved in recipe development at the RUSD Culinary Center. He also worked previously as the culinary ambassador and professional expert chef for the FRESH Meals @ Schools project administered by the California Department of Education and California Department of Public Health. 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, child 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 work for a day care home sponsoring organization, you are encouraged to invite up to two providers plus a monitor to attend.

Professional Growth Hours and Certificate
 

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

Cost, Enrollment, and Registration

The cost to attend the forum is $25 and includes morning snacks, lunch, 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.

Encinitashttps://encinitas2019.eventbrite.com

Clovis: https://clovis2019.eventbrite.com

San Diegohttps://sandiego2020.eventbrite.com

Sacramento: https://sacramento2020.eventbrite.com

Pasadena (February 7, 2020) https://la02072020.eventbrite.com

Pasadena (Februaru 8, 2020) https://la02082020.eventbrite.com


Attire

To ensure your safety in the kitchen, dress comfortably and wear closed-toe shoes without slippery soles. Hair covers 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 registration or information regarding the forum program agenda, sending a replacement, or canceling, please contact Maria Lazaro by email at calpronet@wested.org or by phone at 805-465-4464 or 1- 800-770-6339.