COLUMBIA, S.C. — Good eating habits start when you're young and can stay with you throughout your life. Making healthy food choices goes a long way in promoting overall wellness not only in oneself but can influence those around us.
The South Carolina Department of Social Services' (SCDSS) Division of Early Care and Education operates the federally-funded Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and this week, plans to celebrate healthy food and nutrition through March 17.
CACFP reimburses child care centers, adult care centers, child care homes, afterschool programs, and emergency shelters throughout the state for providing and encouraging better nutrition.
Between October 2021 and September 2022, CACFP reimbursed nearly $29 million to South Carolina’s child and adult care providers and served more than 15 million meals in participating child and adult care centers around the state.
To celebrate CACFP Week, providers have been presented daily challenges -- easy enough for you to follow at home -- and hashtags to use on social media: #CACFPWeek2023, #SCCACFP, and a corresponding hashtag for each day.
- Monday, March 13 was #AllAboutCommunity and urged providers to connect with local farmers to bring in locally-grown fruits and vegetables into one of their meals.
- Tuesday, March 14 was #StarStuddedChef, recognizing the individual program's chef or cook with a gold star and certificate.
- Wednesday, March 15 is #EatTheRainbow: create a snack reflecting the colors of the rainbow in a creative way and wear a colored shirt that matches the color of your favorite fruit or vegetable.
- Thursday, March 16 is #ExploreNewFoods: CACFP providers will taste test two or three CACFP creditable foods and track their reactions. Try this one at home with a new healthy recipe or order a dish you've never tried before in a restaurant.
- Friday, March 17 is #LettuceEatGreen: Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, wear green and show off your favorite green fruits and vegetable dishes.
The daily challenges will be highlighted on SCDSS Facebook and Twitter pages. The agency will also share testimonies from organizations about the positive impact CACFP has made in their programs. Show us you're participating at home by tagging us online at @WLTX.
To learn more about CACFP, visit our SC Child Care website. Eligible organizations can apply to participate in CACFP at cacfp-apps.dss.sc.gov