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Focus is on meal planning, caregiving in West Virginia

By Judy Hamilton

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Catholic Charities West Virginia's Child Care Food Program is celebrating National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week, March 16-22. The program educates and assists caregivers in meal planning and offers caregivers meal reimbursements according to the CACFP program of the United States Department of Agriculture. The program is funded by the USDA and is administered by the West Virginia Department of Education.

"West Virginia is currently ranked third in the nation's obesity epidemic. To combat the epidemic, we must teach our children to live healthy lifestyles from birth. Providing healthy nutritious food is part of loving, nurturing and quality in-home child care," Jane Rose, director Catholic Charities West Virginia's Child Care Food Program said.

The program is a West Virginia-based non-profit sponsor of the national program in 18 West Virginia counties.

The CACFP program is designed to encourage healthy meal choices in homes where childcare is occurring. Children cared for by providers participating in the CACFP benefit by being fed high quality nutritious USDA regulated meals.

The goal is for children to learn from early nutrition education that will help them establish positive eating habits to enrich the quality of their diet throughout their life.

"With proper nutrition, children are less likely to experience illness and fatigue and will develop at a normal physical and intellectual pace. Good nutrition is the recipe for an all-around happier child," said Tina High, Director of Public Information for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

Childcare providers receive nutrition education and support services from their CACFP sponsor to help them serve nutritious meals and create a positive eating environment for children.

For more information, contact Jane Rose, CCWVa Child Care Food Program Director, at jrose@ccwva.org or (304) 230-1280 ext. 2203 or visit www.ccwva.org.

Reach Judy E. Hamilton at judy.hamilton@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.


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