healthy food

What is the Child and Adult Care Food Program?

The Nurturing Center sponsors the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in Northwest Montana, covering Lake, Lincoln, Sanders and Flathead counties. The CACFP is a federal program that provides funding for nutritious meals and snacks provided to children while they are enrolled in child care with a qualifying provider. The CACFP’s commitment is to help improve the health of children and adults throughout Montana. It is important to follow health guidelines for children and adults so they are able to get in their daily nutrients and vitamins for optimal health, that means that if they are deficient in something then they may require to have a supplement of some sort, e.g. a vitamin k supplement, to help them support their bodies in a proactive way.


• Offer a wide variety of nutritious foods and beverages, for optimal growth and development

• Encourage breastfeeding, serve iron fortified infant formula, and low-fat milk, with meals, to appropriate age groups, providing calcium for development, growth and strong bones

• Serve foods and meats low in fat, to reduce saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol intake

• Choose and prepare foods with little salt or added sugar, to maintain a healthy body weight and reduce risk of chronic disease

• Serve foods made with enriched or whole grains, to provide fiber and maintain a healthy body weight

• Serve foods with, at least, 1 good source of vitamin A every other day, for healthy eyesight, skin, hair and brain development

• Serve foods with, at least, 1 good source of vitamin C every day, as an antioxidant, aiding in the body’s absorption of Iron

• Serve foods with 3 to 4 good sources of Iron daily, to carry oxygen through the body, maintain energy levels and growth of cells

• To provide a Family Style meal service in order to encourage the growth of each child’s motor skills and social interaction skills

• Promote daily physical activity to encourage the lifelong habit of a healthy active lifestyle

• Practice food safety in order to ensure only the very best for the children in our communities

Qualifying Providers have a current registration or license with the State of Montana’s Early Childhood Services Bureau and operate a;

• Family child care facility whose ratio = 1 adult to 6 children

• Group child care facility whose ratio = 2 adults to 12 children

For more information please contact The Nurturing Center at 406-756-1414 ext *210 or to speak with our CACFP Specialist.

Please note: The Nurturing Center’s CACFP Program does not serve Center based child care facilities. For information on Center CACFP benefits, call 1-800-307-9333. In addition The Nurturing Center does not serve Drop-In child care facilities as they are not eligible for registration or license in the State of Montana.

• To maintain eligibility to receive benefits from this program, early care educators need a total of 4 hours of annual training. These 4 hours consist of 2 hours of program management education and 2 hours of nutrition or food safety training. The Nurturing Center offers a wide variety of low cost or free, fun, and interesting classes to help better serve and care for the children in your facilities.

• Your participation in a minimum of 3 yearly visits to your facility by a member of our CACFP staff in order to monitor your meal procedures and encourage education.

• Serve and track the healthy meals and foods that the CACFP requires

• Submit monthly attendance and menu claims via the online claims service provided through

• Meal reimbursement processed monthly through a check or direct deposit to the banking account of your choosing.

• Nutrition, food safety, and physical activity education at low to no cost to you for yourself and your facility employees.

• Education on Child Care administrative matters and how to better organize and promote your facility as a business


Link to USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF) or go to any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email Program Intake