Meal Patterns for CACFP Child Care Programs

Overview

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Meals and snacks served to children in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) must comply with the CACFP meal patterns. The new CACFP meal patterns for children began on October 1, 2017, as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) final rule, Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  Effective October 1, 2021, the required amounts for the grains component change to the ounce equivalents in Grain Ounce Equivalents for the CACFP.

The final rule requires more whole grains and a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, and reduces the amount of added sugars and solid fats in CACFP meals. It also better aligns the CACFP with other Child Nutrition Programs.

The CACFP meal patterns for children apply to: 

  • children ages 1-12; 
  • children through age 18 in at-risk afterschool care centers and emergency shelters; 
  • children of any age with disabilities; and 
  • children ages 15 and younger of migrant workers. 

CACFP Meal Patterns for Children (Through September 30, 2019)

Go to the Documents/Forms section in the left navigation bar to access the menu forms and production records for the CACFP.