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Providers Choice - CACFP Meal Patterns

News & Events

November 21, 2017

New CACFP Meal Patterns

2017 Food Program Training Workshops are complete.

Click here for online training: Making Changes One Bite at a Time: New Meal Patterns.

Effective October 1st 2017 the Child and Adult Care Food Program’s (CACFP) New Meal Patterns go into effect. This is the first major change to the CACFP meal patterns since 1968.

The goal of changes is to increase variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, limit the amount of added sugars and saturated fats and align the CACFP standards with other Child Nutrition Programs.

Follow Providers Choice on Facebook for up to date information on the New Meal Patterns!


USDA CACFP Nutrition Standards for Meals and Snacks

One-Page Summaries of the New Meal Standards: Meal Patterns: Early Implementation

Growing a Healthier Future with the CACFP

Grains Component: Meat/Meat Alternate Component: Milk Component: Vegetable and Fruit Components: Infant Meal Pattern: Menu Planning:

FAQs on the new Meal Standards

If you don't find your answer below, submit a question and we will post the answer.

Will training be available on the new meal patterns?

Yes. Training has started during home visits in October. Each trimester your field representative will have handouts and a training topic to cover with you during their visit. The topic for Food Program training 2017 is the New Meal Patterns and will provide an in-depth look at all of the changes. We encourage all providers to sign up to attend this year’s training. You can click here to register for training.

Can I start claiming tofu as a creditable component at meals or snacks?

Yes. Firm tofu can be claimed as a meat/meat alternate at meals or snacks (for children over 1 year) as long as it is identifiable in the dish. For other changes that you can begin claiming now click here.

Can I still serve PopTarts, granola bars or other grain based desserts at breakfast or snack?

Yes, you can still claim these items until September 30, 2017. Starting October 1, 2017 these items will no longer count as a grain/bread at meals or snacks. They can be served as extras.

Since the meal patterns include a column for children age 13 – 18 does that mean we can claim meals for children up to age 18?

The 13 – 18 year old age group applies to the CACFP program that serve At Risk After School Meals. It does not apply to CACFP in family child care.

Under the new meal patterns can I serve two vegetables at lunch or do I need to serve a fruit and a vegetable?

Yes you can serve TWO vegetables at lunch. Most children do not consume enough vegetables in their diets so we want to encourage vegetables wherever we can! The vegetable and fruit component will be split effective October 1, 2017. This will allow providers to serve a vegetable AND a fruit together at snack without other components to be creditable.