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Child Care Introductory Meal Quality Forum - VIRTUAL

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, March 11 · 12:30 - 3:30pm PST



About this event

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 Virtual 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 Patterns and Menu Planning: This session will provide guidance on serving nutritious foods to preschoolers, include an overview of the CACFP meal patterns for children, share considerations and tools for meal planning and purchasing to promote serving high quality meals to preschoolers, and highlight the USDA online Food Buying Guide tools that will help to simplify menu planning and crediting. All attendees will receive a toolkit with resources to help them prepare a variety of nutritious meals that meet the CACFP meal patterns.

Kitchen Experience: Get ready to have fun as you learn new culinary skills! This interactive session will provide guidance on food safety and working safely in the kitchen, and will highlight beginning knife skills, such as cutting herbs and produce, in a virtual culinary activity. All attendees will receive a toolkit with produce safety resources and tools to assist with the culinary skills activities.

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

Fees: This forum is free to attend. Space is limited to the first 30 registrants. All attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a toolkit filled with sample menus, recipes, a chef’s knife, and other resources.

Time: The forum will begin promptly at 12:30pm, and will end at 3:30pm. PST

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


About the organizer
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