Early Childhood Nutrition

We believe regular, balanced nutrition is especially crucial for our youngest children's brain development. We work with child care providers to help them gain the skills they need to be able to offer meals and snacks to children in their care, teaching healthy eating habits and social skills during mealtime.



We help child care providers:

  • Establish early childhood nutrition meal and snack programs 
  • Navigate the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) which allows child care providers to get federal reimbursements for meals served
  • Plan menus and utilize recipes that are enjoyable for children, adapt to children with special health needs, and satisfy federal guidelines
  • Improve food quality by training on best practices for increasing participation and connecting with farm to school resources

Child care providers and personnel looking for detailed information and resources can visit our early childhood nutrition resource hub here:


WE Work in Coalition to Advocate for improved policies and systems that improve nutrition in child care

Some initiatives that have made an impact on early childhood nutrition programs: 

  • In 2015, partnered with YMCA's Eat Well, Play More, Vermont Afterschool, Building Bright Futures, and State agencies to organize and lead Vermont's first Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HELPA) Summit, bringing together over 100 key leaders from a range of sectors to pledge their commitment to taking specific actions to improve health and learning outcomes for Vermont children by implementing the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards.
  • Worked with Let's Grow Kids to define "high-quality child care" as including balanced nutrition. Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing Hi-Quality, Affordable Child Care report included findings on how crucial nutrition is to young children's developing brains.