Minimize Confusion, Maximize Time

Minimize Confusion Maximize Time Image

With all the recordkeeping requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), it can be really easy to make a mistake that could take substantial time to correct and could have real financial implications. Here are the best practices we have identified for minimizing confusion and maximizing time with the CACFP.
    1. “Only Show Me What I Need”
      We’ve found that if you give someone access to a button, they’re going to push it. It’s much easier to “hide” the buttons that someone is not supposed to push rather than ask them not to push them.
      That’s why My Food Program has sponsor-level users and three different types of site-level users. On the web app:

      • Sponsor-level users can see everything and process claims;
      • Site Manager/Directors have full functionality other than the ability to process claims;
      • Site Kitchen Staff can only see Menu, Meal Count, Attendance, and Participants & Roster (without the ability to view household income information), Closure/Field Trip, Expenses and Record Hours;
      • Site Staff can only see Meal Count, Attendance, and Participants & Roster (without the ability to view household income information) and Record Hours.


    1. “Don’t Let Me Make a Mistake in the First Place”
      Mistakes have their place. A mistake is proof that you are trying something new and mistakes help us all learn and improve. But CACFP recordkeeping is not the place for personal growth. That’s why we do everything we can to prevent a mistake in the first place rather than waiting until you’re processing a claim to flag a problem. Here are a few examples of how we prevent mistakes:

      • Worried that your menu won’t meet the new meal pattern requirements? Our menu planning feature won’t allow you to save a menu if it doesn’t comply. In addition, our food database only has creditable foods and each item has been reviewed and approved as creditable by a registered dietitian.
      • What if a child is transitioning between classrooms and I accidentally count their meal twice? It can’t happen in My Food Program. If a child is already checked in for a meal, it’s impossible to check them in twice.


  1. “Let me Customize to My Operations”
    No two programs are the same and no two states have exactly the same method of monitoring recordkeeping compliance. That’s why we allow sponsors to customize the software to meet their needs. Some examples include:

    • In/Out times for attendance or just a “present” option
    • Headcount or meal count by name
    • Meal shifts
    • Centers also operating At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program
    • Ability to mark a participant as non-CACFP but still include them in attendance records and claiming percentages

One customization we’re especially proud of is our mobile app. You can give staff access to one, two or three buttons on the mobile app depending on what you want them to see.