Hawaii Child Care Nutrition Program

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division (CDPHPD) promotes wellness and improves the quality and years of life for Hawaii’s people through effective prevention, detection, and management of chronic diseases. The CDPHPD works to promote health and reduce the burden of chronic disease for the people of Hawaii by creating environments that encourage healthy lifestyle choices. The CDPHPD works in a variety of sectors, including Early Childhood Care and Education (ECE) settings, to support healthy eating habits in all stages of life.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has contracted with CDPHPD to establish services to improve the nutrition that children in licensed child care facilities receive. Child care facilities are required to either enroll in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) or have their menus reviewed by a qualified nutrition consultant to ensure the nutritional needs of children are addressed.

As part of this agreement, CDPHPD is responsible for ensuring that Child Care Facilities (CCF) that are not enrolled in the CACFP are able to meet the licensing requirements in the area of nutrition for the meals and snacks they serve by:

  1. Providing assistance, support and consultation to child care providers in meeting licensing requirements with regards to nutrition.
  2. Providing food and nutrition education, training, technical assistance and resources for licensed child care providers.
  3. Providing nutrition training and technical assistance for child care licensing staff.
  4. Collaborating and partnering with agencies, projects and programs to promote the goal of quality nutrition services provided by licensed child care providers.

DHS Licensing Workers

Hawaii State Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division’s Child Care Regulations Program Office strives to promote high quality, developmentally appropriate programs for children and their families. The Department is committed to the health and safety of children enrolled in licensed child care facilities that include quality nutrition.

The Hawaii Child Care Nutrition Program will work with licensing workers in reviewing meal or snack menus from child care providers and consulting on special needs cases. Nutrition training and technical assistance will also be provided.

Caterers/Vendors

As food costs and labor expenses rise, child care providers are tending to contract caterers or vendors to provide meals for their children. Children should be provided with a nutritious, balanced meal, with foods from different food groups and appropriate serving size for age.

The Hawaii Child Care Nutrition Program will work with caterers/vendors to ensure meals and foods provided are age/developmentally appropriate and meet nutrient needs based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards. Nutrition training and technical assistance will also be provided.

Preschools/Before and After School Care/Infant Toddler Centers

Meals and snacks provided by child care providers are required to meet guidelines set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is necessary for child care providers to have their menus reviewed by a qualified nutrition consultant or as part of their participation in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.

The Hawaii Child Care Nutrition Program will work with child care providers in reviewing meal or snack menus. Nutrition training and technical assistance will also be provided.

Family Child Care Providers

Family Child Care Providers may have their menus reviewed by a qualified nutrition consultant, or as part of their participation in the USDA Child Care Food Program through People Attentive to Children (PATCH). The Hawaii Child Care Nutrition Program will work with providers to have their menus reviewed in order to help ensure nutritious meals and snacks are provided to our children. Nutrition training and technical assistance will also be provided.

Nutrition Consultants

Child care providers are required to have their menus reviewed by a qualified nutrition consultant, or as part of their participation in the United States Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Program. As the number and access to qualified nutrition consultant resources decrease, child care facilities have difficulty in meeting nutrition requirements for licensing. The Hawaii Child Care Nutrition Program will work to increase the capacity of Nutrition Consultants to provide training and review provider menus as part of the state licensing requirement.

Resources and Templates

These resources can help Early Childhood Care and Education (ECE) providers develop nutritiously balanced meals and snacks for the keiki they serve. The links below include ready-to-use templates and nutrition requirement information that will facilitate menu planning. You can use the Menu Toolkit as an all encompassing reference manual or the table below for more specific information.

Menu Templates Sample Menus Instructions for Menus Nutrition Requirements
Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Child Meal Pattern
Lunch Lunch Lunch Grains & Breads
Snack Snack Snack Veggies & Fruits

Menu Review Request Form

Frequently Asked Questions: Menu Review

Brand Name List

The Menu Toolkit: Encompasses All Resources.