Creating Healthier Places

KinderCare Education

2018 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2018
Length of Commitment: 3 years

Committed to a number of changes involving center menus and nutrition programs, including removing all grain-based desserts from 100 percent of their centers, incorporating at least one culturally diverse dish each week a vegetarian entrée twice per week on their standard menu, ensuring healthy options are offered during all holiday events and celebrations, integrating parent education into the KinderCare Cooking Academy and developing a nutrition training curriculum for Center Directors and Cooks. Additionally, KinderCare plans to assess current garden offerings at centers, develop a package of new scalable indoor and outdoor gardening options and share best practices for gardening initiatives in early childhood education.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Remove all grain-based desserts from their menu in 100% of their center.
    • Progress To Date

      There was one grain-based dessert on KinderCare's five-week cycle menu from 2016 and no grain-based desserts on KinderCare's four-week cycle menu from 2018. Although sweet crackers such as graham and animal crackers are not currently classified as grain-based desserts for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service encourages limiting sweet crackers because of their higher added sugar content. KinderCare served sweet crackers four times in its 2016 five-week cycle menu and zero times in its 2018 four-week cycle menu.

    • Implementation Date

      May 2018
    • Reporting Date

      December 2019
    • Commitment Element

      Develop a Grow Happy Nutrition training curriculum for Center Directors and Cooks.
    • Progress To Date

      KinderCare developed a training series for staff on Grow Happy, KinderCare's approach to nutrition and wellness. The training series includes three modules addressing KinderCare's nutrition commitments, meal planning and meal service.

    • Implementation Date

      November 2018
    • Reporting Date

      December 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Complete an assessment of the current garden offerings at centers
    • Progress To Date

      KinderCare completed an assessment of current garden offerings in summer 2018. Of the 1,307 centers that completed the survey, 435 centers (33%) had an outdoor garden and 57 centers (4%) had an indoor garden.

    • Implementation Date

      November 2018
    • Reporting Date

      December 2018

Partner Statement

“KinderCare Education, including our KinderCare Learning Centers, KinderCare at Work, and Champions brands, is a proud partner of Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). As the nation’s largest provider of high quality early childhood education, our partnership with PHA reflects the leadership role we have in the industry and reinforces our longstanding commitment to using our voice to support young children and their families throughout our country. By removing juice and fried foods from our menus and serving well-balanced meals and snacks, serving food family-style, limiting screen time and emphasizing physical activity, we are able to teach and model healthy habits for the more than 185,000 children in our centers and sites. We continue to engage parents in meaningful conversations about the importance of nutrition and highlight seasonal recipes and tips for cooking at home for parents. In addition, our curriculum includes a section dedicated to healthy eating and physical activity. KinderCare Education’s relationship with PHA supports our Grow Happy initiative and inspires us to continually improve our programs, policies, and procedures to better serve our children, create lifelong learners, and support the development of healthy habits for life.”