CACFP: Kids Eat Smart Move More

Kids Eat Smart Move More

Did you know that children who learn to eat nutritious food and be active are more likely to continue those healthy habits as adults? Kids Eat Smart Move More (KESMM) was created to support healthy meals and environments in North Carolina child care settings. Don’t know where to start? Use the resources on this page to help.

KESMM Online Nutrition Resource

Kids Eat Smart – Move More is an interactive way for childcare providers to meet the nutrition and physical activity recommendations and standards of CACFP, and encourage parents to learn about healthy eating and physical activity too!

Resources for Healthy Child Care

Healthier Cereal Choices for use in the North Carolina Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) (PDF, 414 KB) - This handy document lists NC WIC approved cereals that are lower in sugar, higher in whole grain and can make it easy for you to meet CACFP best practices when it comes to better cereal options.

The following resources were gathered from North Carolina and beyond to give child care providers like you access to the best wellness resources around.

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 Bulletin Boards

 Comprehensive Nutrition and Physical Activity Resources

Comprehensive Nutrition and Physical Activity Resources

  • Arizona Department of Health Services, Staff Training Videos: This website contains four videos that can be used to train staff. Topics are: 1) Family style meals in the childcare setting; 2) Breastfeeding in the childcare setting; 3) Physical activity in the childcare setting; and, 4) Infant nutrition in the childcare setting.
  • Let’s Move! Child Care: Let’s Move! Child Care contains comprehensive information designed to empower and encourage day care providers to do their part in ending childhood obesity. Let’s Move! Child Care is a joint effort between the government, private, and non-profit communities.
  • MyPlate for Preschoolers: This section of the website is for parents and caregivers of children 2 through 5 years of age.
  • Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs: This document includes selected standards from Caring For Our Children, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education.
  • UNC–Chapel Hill, GO NAP SACC: Download and use the Go NAP SACC Self-Assessments to see how your program can improve. Already used NAP SACC? The revised and expanded self-assessments cover five areas for children ages birth to 5.
  • USDA, CACFP Wellness Resources for Child Care Providers: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 encourages child care providers to promote health and wellness in child care through nutrition, physical activity and limited electronic media use. This Web site is dedicated to helping CACFP providers find the resources they need to meet recommendations in these areas.
  • USDA, Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program: Need creative ideas for meal planning, shopping, and food preparation? Or fun suggestions for active play? This handbook was developed to help CACFP child care providers create healthier environments for the children in their care. It includes a series of tip sheets on healthy foods and activity.

 Curriculum Resources

  • Active Play: This book includes 52 fun physical activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Activities are easy to lead and use easy-to-find, inexpensive equipment.
  • Be Active Kids: Be Active Kids is an innovative, interactive physical activity, nutrition, and food safety curriculum for North Carolina preschoolers ages four and five. Be Active Kids uses colorful characters, interactive hands-on lessons and bright visuals to teach children that physical activity, healthy eating, and food safety can be fun!
  • CATCH Early Childhood: CATCH Early Childhood (CEC) is designed to nurture a love of healthy eating habits and exercise in children ages 3–5. CEC helps provide an environment where physical activity, health education, and proper nutrition are valued and encouraged.
  • Color Me Healthy: Color Me Healthy is a program developed to reach children ages four and five with fun, interactive learning opportunities on physical activity and healthy eating. It is designed to stimulate all of the senses of young children: touch, smell, sight, sound, and, of course, taste. Through the use of color, music, and exploration of the senses, Color Me Healthy teaches children that healthy food and physical activity are fun.
  • Exploring Food Together: Exploring Food Together is a toolkit of simple activities that adults who work with young children can use, in the classroom or in the home, to help kids learn about new foods and start building the skills to make healthy food choices. All of the toolkit activities were designed to integrate with overall curriculum objectives in early childhood education settings.
  • Healthy Habits for Life: The kit from Sesame Street helps you incorporate healthy physical activity and nutrition habits into your everyday routines. This 100-page guide — available in both English and Spanish — has three sections: Get Moving, Food & Drink to Grow On, and Every Day Is a Healthy Day. Each section contains group poems and songs, posters, activities and reproducibles, and family newsletters.
  • More Than Mud Pies (5th edition): A Nutrition Curriculum Guide for Preschool Children: The More Than Mud Pies nutrition education curriculum is designed to provide both staff and children with enjoyable activities that encourage positive ideas about nutrition and foods.
  • Rainbow in my Tummy: I have a Rainbow in My Tummy is a creative nutrition-enrichment program that provides early care and education centers the comprehensive, innovative, and accessible resources needed to inspire and support sweeping change in local food policy and food service programs.

For more education materials visit the nutrition education resources page.

 Family Resources

 Gardening and Farm to Preschool

  • Cooperative Extension: Use this link to locate the Cooperative Extension office in your county. An agent there can be of assistance with gardening or purchasing local food.
  • Early Sprouts: Children learn to grow, harvest, and prepare nutritious seasonal produce in this seed-to-table curriculum centered around a working garden. Its aim is to increase preschool children’s food preferences for and consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Farm-to-Preschool: Farm to Preschool is a natural expansion of the national farm to school model and serves the full spectrum of child care delivery: preschools, Head Start, center-based, programs in K-12 school districts, nurseries and family home care facilities. Program components can include: sourcing local foods in school snacks and meals; promoting and increasing access to local foods for providers and families; offering nutrition and/or garden-based curricula; school gardening; in-class food preparation and taste testing; field trips to farms, farmers’ markets and community gardens; parent workshops; implementing preschool wellness policies which address Farm to Preschool principles; and influencing policies at the local, state or national level.
  • Farm to Preschool Toolkit: This comprehensive guide from ASAP’s (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s) Growing Mind Program is an essential resource for early childhood programs interested in Farm to Preschool. The Toolkit includes preK lesson plans, “This Week in the Garden” activity guides, and “Farm to School Goes Home” weekly newsletters. It also includes sourcing guidance, tips for cooking with young children, and more!
  • Got Dirt?, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: Never gardened? The Got Dirt? Garden toolkit is designed to provide simple, step-by-step plans for starting a garden. The Got Dirt? program is designed to assist with the implementation of school, community, and child care gardens.
  • Got Veggies?, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: Got Veggies? is a garden-based nutrition education curriculum with the goal of getting children to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Got Veggies? was developed for 2nd and 3rd grade students and for use in a garden learning environment. Lessons can be easily adapted for younger and older children, and for use in the classroom, if you do not have a garden.
  • Grow It, Try It, Like It! Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables, USDA: Grow It, Try It, Like It! is a garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to three fruits: peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables - spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash.
  • Growing Minds, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP): Look to this farm to preschool program for lesson plans, activities, and curriculum ideas related to school gardens, farms, and local food.
  • Harvest of the Month Curriculum, Occidental College: This farm-to-preschool curriculum includes lessons on tomatoes, peppers, persimmons, and more.
  • North Carolina Farm Fresh: Follow this link to find a North Carolina farm, farmers market, or garden center. This site is maintained by the NC Department of Agriculture.
  • Reach for the Stars with Farm to Preschool: This resource was designed to help child care centers and family child care homes integrate Farm to Preschool activities into their curriculum while addressing the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS). Farm to preschool activities are listed along with the ECERS subscale, items and indicators. See how star ratings can be enhanced through farm to preschool programming!
  • USDA’s National Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Enterprise Directory: A CSA is a farm or network of multiple farms that offer consumers regular deliveries of locally-grown farm products during harvest season on a subscription or membership basis.
  • USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory: Farmers Markets feature two or more farm vendors selling agricultural products directly to customers at a common, recurrent physical location.
  • USDA’s National Food Hub Directory: A Food Hub is a business that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of food products to multiple buyers from multiple producers, to strengthen the ability of these producers to satisfy local and regional wholesale, retail and institutional demand.
  • USDA’s National On-Farm Market Directory: A On-Farm Market is a farm market managed by a single farm operator that sells agricultural products directly to consumers form a location on their farm property or on property adjacent to that farm.

 Nutrition and Meal Planning



Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Healthy Bites: A Wisconsin guide for improving childhood nutrition. Healthy Bites is a guide designed to help early care and education (ECE) professionals address childhood obesity by improving nutrition in the program. The guides can be used by ECE professionals in a variety of settings, including: group and family child care centers, after-school programs, Head Start centers and other CACFP facilities.

Training Videos and Webinars

University of Iowa, Feeding Young Children in Group Settings: Use this collection of training videos to refresh your own knowledge or train staff. Videos include topics such as introducing new foods, family-style meal service, and mealtime conversations.

 Physical Activity


  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Active Early: A Wisconsin Guide for Improving Physical Activity | Active Early Spanish Version: Active Early is a guide designed to help early care and education (ECE) professionals address childhood obesity by improving physical activity in the program. The guide can be used in a variety of settings, including: group and family child care centers, after-school programs, Head Start centers and other CACFP facilities.
  • Nemours, Best Practices for Physical Activity: A Guide To Help Children Grow Up Healthy: To help you promote and support quality physical activity in your setting, this guide provides: 1) Physical activity guidelines for children birth through 18 years of age; 2) Concrete examples you can use to support the guidelines; 3) Rationale for the guidelines; 4) Sample child care policies; 5) Office of Child Care Licensing Regulations for physical activity; 6) Sample school policies; and, 7) Parent and Family Tip Sheets.
  • Natural Learning Initiative: The mission of the Natural Learning Initiative is to help communities create stimulating places for play, learning, and environmental education — environments that recognize human dependence on the natural world. We collaborate with educators, play leaders, environmental educators, planners, politicians, and all professionals working for and with children.


 Tip Sheets


Last Modified: January 9, 2020