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Child Care Introductory Meal Quality Forum - Sacramento, CA

The Introductory MQ Forums are intended for newer cooks who are developing their culinary, menu planning, and meal service skills.


When and where

Date and time

Saturday, April 1 · 8am - 3pm PDT


Natomas Unified School District, Discovery High School Cafe 3401 Fong Ranch Rd Sacramento, CA 95833

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About this event

  • 7 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

Child Care Meal Quality Forums

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is offering six Meal Quality (MQ) Forums in 2023. The forums highlight ways to enhance the nutrition environment of early child care programs through improved food preparation and service using the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal patterns for children. The forums highlight healthy meal planning, food purchasing, food preparation, culinary skills, recipe development, and kitchen safety. Participants will be exposed to culinary techniques to assist with the creation of meals to bolster health and wellness. All attendees will receive a toolkit with a variety of resources that they can immediately utilize in child care centers and homes.

Introductory In-Person Forum

The Introductory MQ Forums are intended for newer cooks who are developing their culinary, menu planning, and meal service skills. There will be two in-person introductory forums and one virtual introductory forum offered.

CACFP Meal Pattern: The USDA CACFP Meal Pattern is the required structure for all meals served in programs participating in the CACFP. This session will provide an overview of the CACFP Meal Pattern and the USDA Crediting Handbook for the CACFP.

Meal Planning and Production: Meal planning does not have to be complicated! Planning meals requires a small investment of time but can reap great rewards. This session will present a variety of topics including basic considerations for menu planning, using flavor profiles to enhance meals, incorporating Farm to Preschool into the child care program, proper food purchasing, and more! Please bring a copy of the menu from your child care facility for use during this session.

Hands-on Culinary Techniques: Calling all cooks! The kitchen is the place that provides endless opportunities to create healthy meals for young children. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook, you will learn something new in this session. Our master chef will feature several food items and demonstrate basic technical skills essential to working smarter, not harder, in the kitchen. With the chef’s guidance, participants will perfect their knife skills while using the freshest ingredients.

Registration Type: The quantity will show as "1". Each person must register independently.

Fees: The cost to attend the forum is $35 and includes a morning snack, lunch, a printed Certificate of Completion, and a tote bag filled with sample menus, recipes, a chef's knife, and other resources.

Cancellation and Refunds: We regretfully cannot issue refunds for this event; however, a substitute participant may be sent in place of the original participant.

Time: The forum will begin promptly at 8:00am, and will end at 3:00pm. There will be a one-hour lunch break.

Confirmation: After completing the registration process, a confirmation notice will be issued by email.    

Contact Information: For help with registration or information regarding the forum program agenda, the Zoom platform (for virtual training sessions), sending a replacement, or canceling, please contact Maria Lazaro by email at or by phone at 805-465-4464 or 800-770-6339.

For questions about the content in the MQ Forums, contact Madison Fellenz, CDSS Nutrition Education Consultant, by email at


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