3 Most Common Deductions in the CACFP and How to Avoid Them
Deductions directly cut into your payday. Here are the most common deductions and how to never have them again!
1. Not writing down what you served
Not writing down what you've served gives you a deduction since bookwork has to be completed during home visits. You've done the hard part of serving the food - don't miss out on your reimbursement by forgetting to write it down!
How to fix it:
Getting in a routine of jotting down what you've served is a best practice, of course. But, we're sure you know that this can be easily forgotten during meal clean-up and the rest of your day. Here are a few ways to easily avoid this issue:
- Take a photo - take a photo of a kids' plate before they eat and write it down asap when you remember
- Stick to a meal plan - get in the habit of serving what you planned to so you never have to question if you actually served what you wrote down!
- Put your paperwork in a place you can't miss - try putting your meal log on your fridge or bathroom mirror - someplace you KNOW you'll be looking right before or after a meal or snack is served
- Set an alarm - use your phone alarm to remind you after each meal and snack to write everything down.
2. Forgetting to serve a whole-grain-rich item
You're no stranger to the newer CACFP guidelines stipulating a whole grain rich (WGR) item has to be served once per day, but we know getting into the habit (and documenting it) can be a bit of a stretch. Below are a few ways to make serving WGR items a tad easier.
How to fix it:
- Find dupes - You kids likely have some favorite grains, do some one-time research to find similar whole grain options you can use as a substitute.
- Use naturally whole grains - grains like corn don't change much in flavor or texture when used as a whole grain. This is a good way to incorporate them into your diet if your kids are picky!
- Make it from scratch - use a whole grain blend of flour in any homemade recipe to make it creditable (here's a recipe for the super easy flour blend).
Not serving enough vegetables
You can serve two veggies, but not two fruits (even though most kids would prefer fruits over veg!).
How to fix it:
- Serve beans - If your kids aren't big on veggies, serve a legume (like beans) a couple of times a week in its place.
- Serve with a sauce - fun sauces are perfectly fine to serve with veggies to make them more attractive to kids. You can use your kids' favorite ones or try some new ones (hello, Pinterest)
- Serve as a dish (not a stand-alone) - Kids are still being exposed to the veggie even if they aren't eating it raw. Try preparing it a different way (slow-cooking, steaming, pan-frying), making it into a dish rather than a stand-alone (ex. cream cheese corn, green bean casserole, broccoli and cheese, etc.)
- Make it fun - make a craft out of it, serve it as finger foods, or help let them prepare it. All of these things make kids more likely to eat a certain food!