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CACFP Meal Pattern Changes

CACFP Meal Pattern Changes

Changes to the Infant Meal Pattern

  • A vegetable, fruit or both are required to be served at snack.
  • At breakfast, meat/meat alternates may be served instead of infant cereal.
  • The new Infant Meal Pattern is divided into two age groups instead of three.
    Birth through 3 monthsBirth through 5 months
    4 through 7 months
    6 months to 1st birthday
    8 months to 1st birthday

Changes within the Food Components

  • Breast milk or iron-fortified formula – providers may claim meals for infants who are breastfed by their mother at the child care center or family child care home.
  • Vegetables/fruits – juice is no longer allowed as part of a reimbursable infant meal.
  • Grains/bread – breakfast cereals (adult) that have 6 grams of sugar or less per dry ounce may be served at snack.
  • Meat/meat alternate – yogurt has been added but it cannot contain more than 23 grams of sugar per 6 oz.; whole eggs have replaced egg yolks.

Changes to the Child Meal Pattern

  • Breakfast meal patterns – a meat/meat alternate can now be served in place of the grain component, up to three times a week.
  • Lunch and Supper meal patterns – the vegetable/fruit component has been divided into two separate components, one for just vegetables and another for just fruits. Each has its own quantity requirements as shown in the chart below:
    Ages 1-2Ages 3-5Ages 6-12
    Milk1/2 cup3/4 cup1 cup
    Vegetable1/4 cup1/8 cup1/2 cup1/4 cup3/4 cup1/2 cup
    Vegetable or Fruit1/8 cup1/4 cup1/4 cup
    Grains/Bread1/2 serving1/2 serving1 serving
    Meat/Meat Alternate1 oz.1-1/2 oz.2 oz.
  • Snack meal patterns – two components must be served at snack. With the vegetable and fruit components separated for lunch, supper and snack, there are now 5 components to choose from for snack. Also, snack can now consist of both a vegetable and a fruit.

Changes within the Food Components

  • Vegetables/fruits – one vegetable and one fruit or two different vegetables must be served at lunch and supper.
  • Grains/bread – grain-based desserts, homemade or commercially prepared, are not creditable for any meal or snack. These include sweet piecrust, fruit turnovers, doughnuts, toaster pastries, granola bars, sweet crackers including graham and animal, sweet rolls and brownies.
    • Breakfast cereals cannot contain more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce.
    • At least one serving of grains per day must be whole-grain rich. The menu must indicate which item is whole grain.
  • Meat/meat alternate – tofu is credible as a meat/meat alternate; yogurt cannot contain more than 23 grams of sugar per 6 oz.
  • Other – deep fat frying is not allowed as a way of preparing food on site. Sautéing and stir-frying are allowed.
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