Celebrate National Nutrition Month with a recipe from our spoonFULL kitchens!

March is National Nutrition Month, and Child Care Services Association is celebrating by promoting the healthy, nutritious food offered by spoonFULL, our meal services program. True to our name, spoonFULL produces Fresh, Unique, Liked and Local meals to young toddlers, preschoolers and some school-age children. Our commitment is to prepare foods that are:

  • Fresh — we buy what is in season and serve those foods in a variety of ways. Right now, greens are in season, so our menu includes greens with our homemade beef and macaroni one day and our green salad as another day’s vegetable.
  • Unique — we make our meals from scratch. Our morning muffins are homemade, as are our award-winning Fagioli Bowls, which we created the recipe for in our own kitchens.
  • Liked — is the stamp of approval from the children and programs that value our service and ask for seconds of their favorite foods. And finally,
  • Local — we purchase from area farmers and vendors for meat and produce when available, which also supports our local agricultural economy.

National Nutrition Month encourages all of us to be mindful of what we eat and how our diet impacts our health and general well-being. Eat Right has a wealth of information related to food, nutrition, fitness and the dietary needs of children, adults and seniors, including recipes, shopping ideas and cooking tips. At spoonFULL, we consistently follow the guidelines for healthy eating. Below is a recipe for you to have your own special spoonFULL meal.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili with Ground Beef


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium-size sweet potato, diced
  • ½ cup ground beef
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained


  1. Brown ground beef and drain excess fat.
  2. Sautee onions in olive oil until starting to soften.
  3. Add water and diced sweet potatoes and cook 20 minutes, stirring often. Add more water if needed.
  4. Add seasonings, tomatoes and molasses.
  5. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in drained beans, heat thoroughly. Adjust seasonings if necessary.