Family Child Care Resources
As a family child care (FCC) provider you are a powerful influence on the children in your care. You create an atmosphere in your home where children can thrive. Modeling healthy habits through your home environment, daily activities, and collaboration with families can make a huge impact on the well-being of the kids you care for.
Integrate best practices of the five healthy goals into your family child care home by:
- taking the self-assessment quiz to identify strengths and areas for improvement
- using hands-on activities and resources found below and throughout the site
We hope you find the following resources valuable in achieving healthy goals in your program and meeting CACFP meal pattern requirements.
- Nurture Healthy Eaters
Children form lifelong eating habits based on the kinds of foods served to them when they are young. Learn how to serve healthy food on a budget and find fun food-related activities for kids.
Administrative Resources and Recipes
Child and Adult Care Food Program: Using the Updated Meal Patterns to Lower Costs: The updated CACFP meal patterns lay the foundation for children to learn healthy habits that can last a lifetime. CACFP centers and day care homes can actually save money while implementing the updated, healthier meal patterns. Check out these examples and tips.
Grow It, Try It, Like It! Fun with Fruits and Vegetables at Family Child Care: Team Nutrition’s popular Grow It, Try It, Like It! nutrition education materials have been updated and customized for use by family child care homes. This resource is filled with garden-themed activities for children ages 3 through 5, with tips on how to include older children in the learning as well. In addition to activities, there are new posters, fruit and vegetable cards, and recipes to check out.
Local Food Procurement for Family Child Care Fact Sheet: Farm to preschool enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices in early care and education programs. Young children gain access to healthy, local foods as well as educational opportunities such as edible gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to preschool empowers young children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.
Making Mealtime in Child Care Pleasant, Easy and Appealing: Creating enjoyable mealtimes and snacks in a child care program will help young children learn health eating habits and develop positive attitudes toward food. This resource includes tips to make the meal experience positive for children in your child care program.
What’s Cooking II: A Collection of Recipes From Nebraska: The Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services has published What’s Cookin’ II—a free download with 171 new recipes, each with a suggested menu, child-tested and checked for nutrition quality, CACFP creditability, ease of preparation and cost. There are an additional 28 pages of cooking tips and helpful hints. Four weeks of sample menus with nutrient analysis are included. Directions are also given for increasing quantities so that centers can adapt these child care home-sized recipes to meet their needs.
» Good For Teeth (PDF)
» Seeds to Veggies (PDF)
» Who Eats Green? (PDF)
Find more information on nurturing healthy eaters.
- Serve Healthy Beverages
Children can learn to develop a preference for drinking water and should be in the habit of drinking milk during meals.
Find more tips on serving healthy beverages.
- Get Kids Moving
Physical activity habits learned in early childhood can last a lifetime. Learn how to incorporate more physical activity into your kids’ schedule, no matter what space you have to work with.
» Motion Moments (Videos)
» Musical Statues (PDF)
Learn more about the benefits and best practices of physical activity.
- Limit Screen Time
Screen time should be limited to no more than 30 minutes a week while in child care, and no screen time for children under age two. Here are some resources to get you started in reducing screen time:
Learn more about limiting screen time.
- Breastfeeding Support
Think about ways to support mothers who are breastfeeding. You can designate a small area for mothers to breastfeed, and work with mothers to create a customized feeding schedule.
Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding and best practices for child care providers.
- Success in the Food Program
With generous funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Success in the Food Program materials, resources, and webinars were created by the YMCA Childcare Resource Services in San Diego, California, with support from Nemours Children’s Health System.
With recommendations from local, state, and national partners training materials were created to support family child care home providers in meeting the new CACFP meal pattern requirements effective October 1, 2017. From March 1 through December 31, 2017, 30 family child care home providers in the South Bay area of San Diego piloted the Success in the Food Program training and provided feedback along the way to refine the materials and resources.
Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy
Document your family child care nutrition and physical activity policies. Educate parents on how you are creating a healthy environment.
Hundreds of Hands-On Activities
The eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care Database of Hands-On Activities has hundreds of activities which can be used in family child care homes.