Colorado food assistance program raises nutrition standards

Mark Salley| 303-692-2013|
A state health department food assistance program has implemented changes to 30-year-old nutrition standards to provide healthier meals for Colorado children and adults who participate.
“Many low-income Coloradans depend on the nutrition services we provide,” said Brittney Rodgers, nutrition consultant for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We want to make sure they get the healthy food they need.”
The Child and Adult Care Food program plays a critical role in supporting the health and wellness of 43,800 Coloradans each day. The new, healthier meal standards implemented October 2017 are based on Dietary Guidelines for Americans, National Academy of Medicine recommendations and input from program participants.
These new meal patterns provide a wider variety of vegetables and fruits, more whole grains, and fewer added sugars and saturated fats. New standards eliminate sweetened grains, such as cookies, pastries and breakfast bars, and limit sugar in breakfast cereal and yogurt.
Program changes also support breastfeeding and allow parents of infants to gradually introduce solid foods, as developmentally appropriate.
CACFP released a series of webinars and conducted in-person training to ensure participants have the tools and resources necessary to implement the changes. The program teamed up with the Cooking up Healthy Options with Plants (CHOP) program to create new menu templates.
CHOP provides support for participating child care programs with on-site gardens, teaching children about growing and consuming fresh food and training staff on food preparation. 

More about the Child and Adult Care Food Program
The CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The program provides reimbursement for nutritious meals and snacks served to eligible child care centers, preschools, Head Start programs, adult day care centers, homeless and domestic violence shelters, at-risk afterschool programs, and family day care homes. Access current eligibility guidelines on the USDA website.
If your child or adult care program would benefit from participating in the CACFP, share this information with staff members and encourage them to learn more by contacting the program at 303-692-2330 or visit the CACFP web pages.
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA; its agencies, offices and employees; and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
People with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866-632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: 202-690-7442; or (3) email: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.