Shaping Early Palates

KinderCare Education

2019 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2018
Length of Commitment: 3 years
Select a Progress Report:

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.

Verified Results

  • Implementation Date

    July 2019

    Reporting Date

    December 2019

    Commitment Element

    Serve at least one culturally diverse dish each week

    Progress To Date

    In 2019, KinderCare centers were serving at least one culturally diverse dish each week.

  • Implementation Date

    July 2019

    Reporting Date

    December 2019

    Commitment Element

    Serve vegetarian entrees at least twice per week

    Progress To Date

    In 2019, KinderCare centers served at least two vegetarian entrées per week as the main entrée on 75% of menu weeks, up from 60% of menu weeks in 2017. On days the centers served meat-, poultry-, or seafood-based entrees, centers offered a vegetarian dish as an alternative entree 100% of the time.

  • Implementation Date

    November 2020

    Reporting Date

    December 2020

    Commitment Element

    Healthy options meet Grow Happy nutrition commitments for holiday events and celebrations

    Progress To Date

    KinderCare developed the Holiday & Seasonal Celebrations Guide, which provides healthy recipes and sample menus for holiday events and celebrations.

  • Implementation Date

    November 2019

    Reporting Date

    December 2019

    Commitment Element

    Cooking Academy aligns with KinderCare's nutrition commitments

    Progress To Date

    In 2019, KinderCare developed the Family and Community Recipes Teacher's Manual, part of its Cooking Academy Learning Adventures enrichment program. The program is designed to teach young children basic skills in preparing and cooking healthy food, as well as offer opportunities to learn about nutrition, food safety, food history, and food-related vocabulary.

  • Implementation Date

    November 2019

    Reporting Date

    December 2019

    Commitment Element

    Provide a company review of the meal ordering and planning at centers and highlight new additional nutritious options or less commonly ordered nutritious items, twice a year.

    Progress To Date

    KinderCare highlighted new additional nutritious options as well as new healthy recipes and menus for centers twice during 2019.

  • Implementation Date

    November 2019

    Reporting Date

    December 2019

    Commitment Element

    Integrate Grow Happy Nutrition training curriculum into onboarding for new Center Directors and staff.

    Progress To Date

    The Grow Happy Training Series is part of the first 100 day onboarding process for new KinderCare center directors and teachers.

  • Implementation Date

    November 2019

    Reporting Date

    December 2019

    Commitment Element

    Based upon assessment, develop a consistent package of new gardening materials that include scalable options for both indoor and outdoor gardens.

    Progress To Date

    In 2019, KinderCare released the Gardening Toolkit, a resource for its child care centers to use in planning gardening experiences for young children. The toolkit provides a how-guide to start and maintain indoor and outdoor gardens, as well as how to integrate a curriculum, engage families, and plan activities for children.

  • Implementation Date

    November 2019

    Reporting Date

    December 2020

    Commitment Element

    Provide resources developed for families at least twice a year encouraging implementation of standards at home.

    Progress To Date

    KinderCare provided resources for families that encouraged implementing healthy standards at home more than two times during 2019.

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. We’re proud to teach and model healthy habits for the more than 185,000 children in our centers and sites and help give them confidence for life. Whether families have children in our centers or are caring for their children at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to engage them in meaningful conversations about the importance of nutrition and physical fitness, including our commitment to deliver a whitepaper this year on the impact gardening has on nutrition and early childhood education. In addition, our classroom and at-home curricula help address the importance of 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.