Nutrition

Food is important to children – and it is important for children’s health and development that they eat nutritious foods in accordance with the USDA and CACFP Guidelines and develop meals that meet 2/3 of the children’s nutritional needs healthy eating habits.

Head Start meals are prepared in a centralized kitchen that meets all standards for cleanliness and health safety.  Nutritious, satisfying, and tasty breakfast, lunch, and snacks are delivered daily to classrooms throughout Pittsburg.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack Programs:

  • Provide at least two-third’s of a child’s daily nutritional needs and meet the requirements of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.
  • Serve breakfast to children that are nutritious, offering a variety of food according to their cultural preferences.
  • Increase a child’s experience with food by introducing a variety of new foods.
  • Mealtimes are a time for learning and socializing in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Develop sound eating habits and help children learn about good nutrition.
  • Snacks are provided daily.

To achieve these goals:

  • The eating habits of families are surveyed to develop their nutritional needs.
  • The Food Service Staff surveys eating habits of Head Start families.
  • Children are encouraged to taste all foods, but not forced to eat.
  • Meals are served family style.
  • Children learn self help skills by setting tables, serving themselves, pouring milk, and cleaning their eating spaces, and by scraping and putting away their dishes.
  • Children learn about food and nutrition through cooking projects and nutrition lesson and activities.
  • Parents who volunteer in the classroom are invited to share in family style meals with the children.
  • Menus are posted in the classroom and sent home each month (in English and Spanish).  Arrangements are made if a child is allergic to a certain food or has other special needs or preferences.
  • Children with allergies or food preferences are given foods that meet their needs

School Lunch CACFP Guidelines for Children 3 – 4 Years Old

Meal Pattern is the minimum a child must receive.  Children are allowed seconds if they so choose.

Meat or meat alternative:

One serving of 1 ½ oz. of lean meat/poultry/fish, cheese, eggs, dried beans, peas, or peanut butter.

Vegetable and/or Fruit:

½ C of two or more servings of fruits and/or vegetables.

Bread or bread alternative:

One serving of bread, biscuit, roll, tortilla, rice, macaroni (pasta), or whole grain.

Milk:

One serving, ¾ cup.