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groups and variety of key subgroups offered for all meals and snacks and on the nutrition quality of all foods served through food specifications.

By convening a panel of expert CACFP sponsors, providers, state administrators, and CACFP associations (see Appendix M), and trainers, it is possible that USDA could identify a process for phasing in some of the more complex new elements with the goal of supporting the recommended Meal Requirements.

Meal Requirement Recommendation 3: USDA should give CACFP providers the option of serving one enhanced snack in the afternoon in place of a smaller snack in both the morning and the afternoon. The enhanced snack option (shown in Table 7-6) would be particularly appropriate for at-risk children in afterschool programs and for older adults because their access to nutritious foods may be limited at home. The enhanced snack would have the same requirements as two of the smaller snacks. Providers would specify in advance which snack option they were choosing, and would serve the same type of snack to all participants in their care.

Recommendations for Implementation Strategies

In order to bring the Meal Requirements into alignment with the best available guidance and improve their consistency with the nutritional requirements of other programs of the FNS, the committee makes the following recommendations.

Implementation Strategy Recommendation 1: USDA, working together with state agencies and health and professional organizations, should provide extensive technical assistance to CACFP providers to implement the recommended Meal Requirements. Key aspects of new technical assistance to providers include measures to continuously improve menu planning (including variety in vegetable servings and snack offerings across the week), purchasing, food preparation, and record keeping. Such assistance will be essential to enable providers to meet the Meal Requirements while controlling cost and maintaining quality. Many potential partners and resources are available that USDA could tap to assist with developing training materials and/or provide the training. Some of these are listed in Appendix M.

Implementation Strategy Recommendation 2: USDA should work strategically with the CACFP administering state agencies, CACFP associations, and other stakeholders to reevaluate and streamline the system for monitoring and reimbursing CACFP meals and snacks. The CACFP National Professional Association and the Child and Adult Care Food Program Sponsor’s Association would be key partners. Several aspects of the existing monitoring and reimbursement processes will need to be revised to enable states to efficiently administer the CACFP program with the new recommended Meal Requirements in place. The procedures would be expected

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