With summer here, many family child care providers are serving more food to day care children outside of their normal meal patterns.
This may include serving fun food such as ice cream, popsicles, and other frozen treats. It may also involve eating out more at fast food restaurants and going on picnics or field trips.
Whether you are doing this a little or a lot, it’s important to keep track of all the meals or snacks you are serving.
This includes keeping track of all meals and snacks you serve that are not reimbursed by the Food Program. IRS rules allow all child care providers to deduct meals and snacks even if they don’t meet the nutrition standards of the Food Program. So, you can count a popsicle, ice cream, cookies, etc. as a snack.
I’m not telling you to serve junk food!
I am saying that if you do, you can deduct it. Using the Standard Meal Allowance rule you can claim $.74 for each snack you serve (in Hawaii it’s $.86 and in Alaska it’s $1.20). These are 2016 rates.
You need to keep a daily record to claim all the summer meals and snacks you serve that aren’t reimbursed by the Food Program. You don’t need a food receipt, a menu or any record of what food you serve. Instead, all you need is a notation that shows which children ate how many meals and snacks each day.
For example, let’s say that Sally, Rebecca and Maria were served a treat (popsicle, ice cream, or pudding) each afternoon for a week. These snacks were not reimbursed by the Food Program. Here’s what you can record on a calendar or somewhere else:
Monday pm snack – Sally, Rebecca, Maria
Tuesday pm snack – Sally, Rebecca, Maria
Wednesday pm snack – Sally, Rebecca, Maria
Thursday pm snack – Sally, Rebecca, Maria
Friday pm snack – Sally, Rebecca, Maria
If you use the Minute Menu Kids Pro software (now called KidKare) you can track all un-reimbursed meals and snacks.
The Redleaf Calendar-Keeper has a chart to track un-reimbursed meals/snacks that you can download for free here. Click on “Web Components.”
Recording un-reimbursed snacks is well worth your time. One snack for one child a day for a year is worth a business deduction of $192.40. ($.74 x 5 days a week x 52 weeks).
What is a popsicle worth to you? Plenty!
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/heartaftergod/
For more information, see my book Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide.