Child Care Provider Training

Learn about healthy, affordable food choices and physical activities you can offer for children in your care. Topics available related to nutrition, literacy, and family life.

Intended audience: Early childhood professionals
Format: 2-hour classes; several topics available
Certification: Iowa Health and Human Services (IHHS) Child Care Professional Development Credit and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) approved


  • Building Resilience with Storybooks *offered as two, 2-hour classes*
    Reading with children supports their development, especially when using a technique called dialogic (or interactive) reading. Learn how to use books to help children understand their experiences, talk about their feelings, and develop problem-solving and coping skills to use in stressful situations.
  • Eliminating the Barriers of Difficult Interactions with Parents
    A tricky question – “Who is in charge of the threshold when parents leave their children at child care programs?” Learn about the common barriers child care program staff experience as they work to create productive relationships with parents.
  • Food Safety Escape Challenge - Are you up for the challenge? Explore topics like potentially hazardous foods, cross contamination, cleaning, and temperature to help your team solve the food safety puzzle.
  • Gardening with Children - Can digging in the dirt be good for children? Yes, when it encourages children to taste new vegetables that they’ve helped to grow. Gardening with children promotes a healthy lifestyle, early learning experiences, social development, and environmental stewardship. You’ll engage in experiential-learning gardening activities through crafts, literacy, container gardening, and taste testing.
  • I Only Want a Peanut Butter Sandwich! - Worried about the child who only wants to eat one food? Is this healthy? It can be frustrating when all a child wants to eat is a peanut butter sandwich. You’ll learn about eating habits that are normal for young children, strategies that promote healthy eating habits, and how to foster pleasant mealtime experiences—all while taste testing new foods.
  • Linking Literacy with Food: Read, Learn, Eat! - Mix books with food experiences to introduce literacy to children. Early reading and language development help children be “school ready,” which increases their opportunities for academic success. You’ll experience new ways to connect with children as you incorporate food-related activities in lessons with well-loved children’s books.
  • Meal Planning Magic (currently unavailable) - If only we could wave a wand and nutritious, convenient meals would suddenly appear! Since that won’t happen, instead you’ll learn best practices for planning and serving meals, physical activity, and health and safety for children under your care. Meal and snack planning will be discussed and demonstrated, and you’ll enjoy samples.
  • Safe Food for a Healthy Future - How do we protect children from foodborne illnesses? Assess your current food safety practices and develop action plans to improve using the FightBac! messages to fight foodborne illness.
  • Spend Smart and Eat Smart in the Child Care Business - Good nutrition does not have to be expensive. Children in your care can “eat smart” when you practice strategies to save money while incorporating new ideas into menu planning and food shopping.

Popular Publications

Non-food Alternatives for School Rewards and Fundraising - ideas for elementary, middle, and high school students

Upcoming Events

- more events -

Contact Us

Find a Human Sciences specialist serving your county.

Locate your county extension office.

ask an expert