Adequate nutrition during early childhood is essential for proper growth, development and learning. For many low-income and food insecure families, this may be hard to achieve. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal nutrition program that provides funding for a variety of healthy foods provided by programs serving these communities. CACFP is overseen by the USDA, and offers cash reimbursements to qualifying programs such as Early Learn, Head Start, child care, after-school, and senior centers. In addition to the adoption of healthy and balanced meals, programs receiving CACFP funding establish positive meal-time environments through family style dining, where the development of healthy behaviors are supported through shared meals and role modeling.
Together, these practices have shown to reduce the likelihood of a child being overweight or obese by increasing children’s intake of dairy, fruits, and vegetables and decreasing their consumption of sweetened beverages and other high-fat and high-sugar foods.
NYEG is a National Industry Partner of the National CACFP Association (NCA). Our Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists provide their expertise to promote CACFP goals, using evidence-based practices to carry out its mission. We work with programs to create nutritious menus, working closely with kitchen staff to create healthy dishes using local, seasonal and culturally diverse foods. In addition, we guide program implementation of family-style dining practices, to ensure that an environment exists that supports the development of healthy eating behaviors.
Salome Pemberton, RD, CDN, CCNP
Salome is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist working with Early Childhood Programs throughout New York City. She is passionate about encouraging nutritious foods at a young age and she believes that the early childhood phase is critical in developing long-term healthy eating behaviors. Salome is also very passionate about healthy eating through a multicultural lens. She has a variety of experiences advising programs on CACFP-creditable meals and counseling families on nutritionally adequate diets for children who require special diets such as food allergy/intolerance, gluten-free, and vegetarian/vegan diets. Salome is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Health as she is very interested in improving population health through evidence-based data. She is actively engaged in formative research studying Emergency Food Assistance Systems and the Social Determinants of Health that influence food access and nutrition-related behaviors.
Food Allergies & Special Diets
Leah Galitzdorfer, RD, CCNP
Leah advocates for the development of healthy eating behaviors through the celebration of culture and the establishment of strong community connections, with the ultimate goal of reducing the health disparities commonly seen among the city's most underserved populations. She has contributed to research efforts aiming to achieve this by using human-centered and culturally sensitive approaches. Her most recent research addresses the dietary needs of Hispanic men with Type 2 Diabetes, as perceived by health professionals. As a nutrition consultant for child care centers located in NYC, Leah provides program support for CACFP implementation through monitoring, evaluations and staff trainings. In addition, Leah continuously works to increase awareness of CACFP among program participants, offering cooking demonstrations, workshops, and educational resources.
Extending CACFP Beyond the Classroom