School chefs being trained

Training & Technical Assistance 

The Office of School and Community Nutrition Programs (OSCNP) provides training and technical assistance to schools and participating community agencies to ensure that they understand and meet the nutritional standards and guidelines established by the United States Department of Agriculture.  For more information, or dates and locations contact 410-767-0199.   


​National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) - Public School Systems
Twice-annual Administrative Meetings to provide updates on USDA regulations and guidance and professional development.  Required for local public school systems.  
​NSLP and SBP – Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCI) and Nonprofit Private Schools (NPPS)
​Twice-annual Administrative Meeting to provide updates on USDA regulations and guidance and professional development. Required for RCCI and NPPS.
​Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) - Basics
​Monthly one-day training to provide orientation to major aspects of administering the CACFP at a Child Care Center Designed for new program operators, new staff at existing CACFP agencies, or participating agencies who need a refresher.
CACFP– Child Care Centers 
​Required annual administrative training to provide updates on USDA regulations and guidance, and professional development. 
CACFP – Adult Day Care Centers 
​Required annual administrative training to provide updates on USDA regulations and guidance, and professional development. 
CACFP – Family Child Care Sponsors 
​Required annual administrative training to provide updates on USDA regulations and guidance, and professional development.   
CACFP – At-Risk Afterschool Programs
Required annual administrative training to provide updates on USDA regulations and guidance, and professional development.
​Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
​Required annual training for participating agencies to provide updates on USDA regulations and guidance, and professional development. 
Food Safety Training for School Nutrition Professionals – ServSafe
​ServSafe Food Handler and Food Manager Training and review sessions utilizing the National Restaurant Association's ServSafe curricula and certification exam.  More information is available here.
Food Safety – Child Care Centers
Food Safety training tailored to child care centers to provide Core of Knowledge hours in Health, Safety, and Nutrition.  More information is available here.

USDA Team Nutrition Training Grants

Maryland has been a frequent grant recipient of USDA’s Team Nutrition training grants. To read more about each of the training grants Maryland has implemented, visit here.

Project SELECT

Project SELECT (Student Education, Lunchroom Environment, and Culinary Training) was Maryland’s Team Nutrition training grant, implemented from 2016 through 2019. Training and technical assistance in culinary and food service operations, Smarter Lunchrooms strategies, food tasting events, and nutrition education was targeted to middle schools in five school systems, Allegany, Baltimore City, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Wicomico. The goal was to increase students’ selection and consumption, and knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about vegetables and fruits. In addition, a family engagement wellness toolkit was developed to support implementation of wellness policy activities that engage families and parents. Partners in the grant activities included the five targeted school systems, University of Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education (FSNE) and University of Maryland Baltimore Division of Growth and Nutrition. 

CACFP Meal Service Training Grant

Maryland’s USDA CACFP Meal Service Training grant expands menu planning training to address meal pattern requirements, menu planning principles, creditable and non-creditable foods, standardized recipes, healthy food preparation methods, and culturally appropriate CACFP recipes.  USDA's Feeding Infants in the CACFP is offered to improve knowledge and skills about infant feeding, including breastfeeding, formula use, and safe food handling.  A peer advisory team was recently formed under this grant to help inform CACFP trainings and future programming.  For more information about this USDA grant visit here.

Training Resources


Content in the works.

School Meals​

Reimbursable Meals

The USDA sets guidelines for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to align school meals with the latest nutrition science.  Student meals that meet specific nutrient and food group standards are eligible to receive reimbursement by the USDA.

Point of Service

Point of Service is the final step in serving student meals where a determination is made whether a student has selected a meal that meets USDA standards, and is eligible for reimbursement.

This video provides practical information about this responsibility in school foodservice, and can be useful for training School Nutrition Professionals, especially those serving food and conducting Point of Service at a cash register, in the classroom, at a kiosk, or wherever Point of Service occurs.  Practice assessment included.

Smart Snacks

Since July 2014, the federal government requires Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP) to adopt Smart Snacks standards for all foods and beverages sold to students on the school campus during the school day. Compliance with these rules is embedded in every school systems’ Wellness Policy.

In addition to adopting the USDA Smart Snacks standard, Maryland schools have continued to uphold two beverage standards, which do not allow caffeinated beverages or diet sodas to be offered to students throughout the school day.  Some school districts have embraced more stringent rules than those of the USDA and Maryland Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools.

The following tools may be used to assess products’ compliance with USDA Smart Snack Standards.

​Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): Child Care

The Benefits of CACFP

Participation in the CACFP has many nutritional benefits for children, youth, adults, and the agencies that serve them. This video shares information about the key benefits of participating in CACFP from childcare center and State Agency staff. Key members of an organization or agency who are interested in joining the program should watch the video to learn more. This video can also be used as a training video for onboarding new staff about the benefits of CACFP.

The CACFP Meal Pattern

A meal pattern is used by the USDA to set the nutritional standards for meals and snacks in the CACFP. The CACFP meal pattern was last updated in 2016 and indicates that meals and snacks must meet certain food group standards, portion sizes, and sugar limits for yogurts and cereals. This video provides practical information for CACFP program operators, and menu planners who are expected to follow the meal pattern requirements. Practice assessments are also included.

The CACFP Mealtime Environment

Throughout the meal service, the CACFP has compliance requirements and best practices to assist with a smooth mealtime.  This video describes two different types of meal service, pre-plated and family-style dining, and discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and requirements for both.  In addition, the Point of Service (POS) is emphasized to ensure the meal meets all of the requirements to be claimed for reimbursement.  Program operators and all staff who participate in the CACFP meal service should view this training video.

Standardized Recipes in the CACFP

What is a Standardized Recipe?
Standardized recipes in CACFP are required in order to prove that a menu item or dish meets meal pattern requirements. This video provides all the information that CACFP program operators, menu planners, and cooks need to know about standardized recipes, including recipes that combine menu components.  A practice assessment is included.

How to Write a Standardized Recipe

This video describes the step by step process of writing a standardized recipe for one serving and multiple servings. CACFP program operators, menu planners, and cooks will find this video helpful as they write and standardize recipes. View ‘What is a Standardized Recipe?’ prior to viewing this video.