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Nutrition General Statement


NOCAC Child Development will design and implement a nutrition program that meets the nutritional needs and feeding requirement of each child, including those with special dietary needs and children with disabilities. Parents and appropriate community agencies will be involved in planning, implementing, and evaluating the agencies’ nutritional services


  1. NOCAC Head Start centers will utilize funds from the USDA Food and Nutrition Services Child Nutrition Programs as the primary source of reimbursement for meals and snacks. With prior approval cost not allowed through USDA programs will be funded through Head Start. Meals and snacks will be individualized as necessary to accommodate children with special needs and those with special dietary requirements.
  2. All children in a part-day program will receive at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the child’s daily nutritional needs and all children in a full-day program will receive 1/2 to 2/3 of the child’s daily nutritional needs. Meal Patterns will follow USDA guidelines.
  3. Children enrolled in the morning program who have not received breakfast, will receive a nourishing breakfast when they arrive at Head Start.
  4. Servings for children 3-5 years of age will conform to USDA recommended serving sizes and minimum standards for meal patterns or nutrient standard menu planning requirements.
  5. Foods served for group experiences at center-based settings will be high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar, and salt. The Health/Safety Assistant will be available for consultation as needed to fulfill the following guideline:
    1. Children ages 3-5 years will be offered 1% milk.
    2. Additional sugar, fat, butter, and salt will not be place on tables during meal or snack time.
    3. 100% fruit or vegetable juice will be served rather than fruit drinks.
  6. Meals and snack periods will be appropriately scheduled and adjusted as necessary.
    1. Children with disabilities or special needs will be accommodated during meal and snack times in order to participate with classmates.
    2. Any concerns related to eating patterns will be referred to the Health/Safety Assistant or the Health/Nutrition Manager.
  7. Early Head Start will follow Infant meal pattern 0-5 month and 6-11 month, along with using parent preference for formula.
  8. The HS/EHS home-based programs will provide appropriate snacks and meals that meet CACFP requirements to each child during group socialization activities when meeting time exceeds 2 hours. The Health/Safety Assistant will be available for consultation by staff or parents.
    1. Alternatives to items high in sugar, fat, and salt will be offered.
    2. Nutrition education programs and information will be offered at group socializations.
    3. Parent input will be included in the planning process.
  9. NOCAC staff will promote effective dental hygiene among children in conjunction with meals.
    1. Staff will refer to the Tooth Brushing Policy for further guidance.
  10. Menus for meals and snacks will be sent home monthly and also posted at each facility in a location accessible to parents.
    1. Copies of the menus will be available for parents upon request.
  11. Parents will be invited to participate in the planning of nutrition activities through the Health Services Advisory Committee, Policy Council, and through Parent Committee Meetings.
  12. Parents will be involved in evaluating the nutritional services through the annual self-assessment, Policy Council, and parent surveys.


Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1302.44
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    


Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   9/30/20, 6/9/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    
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