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Meal Patterns for CACFP
CACFP meal patterns ensure participating children and adults have access to healthy, balanced meals, laying the foundation for a healthy eating pattern for children and adults in care.

Meal Pattern Charts:


This brochure outlines the steps contracting entities (CE) can take to meet CACFP meal patterns:
Meal Pattern Brochure
GRAIN OUNCE EQUIVALENTS
Beginning October 1, 2021, CACFP contracting entities will need to implement the new grain ounce equivalents to determine the amount of grains for meals and snacks.

Use the resources below to learn more:

You can view all of these documents, including the Spanish versions, on the USDA's website, which also features helpful tools including a PowerPoint on how to use grain ounce equivalents and a webinar on how to use the Food Buying Guide to calculate grain ounce equivalents.


MEAL PATTERN RESOURCES
FOR INFANTS
Crediting Store-Bought Combination Baby Foods Crediting Store-Bought Combination Baby Foods - These worksheets can be used to empower CACFP providers and operators with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to implement CACFP infant meal pattern requirements. *NEW*
Feeding Infants in the Child and Adult Care Food Program Feeding Infants in the Child and Adult Care Food Program - This guide supports Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) operators in implementing the CACFP infant meal pattern requirements and best practices for infant feeding, including information on CACFP infant meal pattern, developmental readiness for solid foods, hunger and fullness signs, handling and storing breastmilk and infant formula, creditable foods, and more! Click here for the Trainer’s Tools.
CREDITING
CACFP Crediting Handbook CACFP Crediting Handbook - A supplementary resource to the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs that contains additional information on creditable foods served in child and adult care centers.
Milk Flyer Milk Flyer - This one pager is available in both English and Spanish. Click the link to download the PDF file.
Serving Milk Bingo Serving Milk Bingo - This interactive bingo-style game is designed to reinforce CACFP operators’ knowledge of meal pattern requirements related to milk. This resource can be used as part of in-person or virtual trainings. *NEW*
MENU PLANNING
CACFP Menu Planning Guide CACFP Menu Planning Guide - This guide provides 16 weeks of menus, 120 recipes and 8 shopping lists for two week cycles that meet the CACFP Meal Pattern.
Snacks That Count Snacks that Count for Child Care Centers, Family Day Homes & Adult Daycare Centers - This cookbook contains recipes that comply with the CACFP Meal Pattern.
USDA MEAL PATTERN TOOLS
USDA TRAINING WORKSHEETS
The USDA Training Worksheets below include topics such as grains, whole grain-rich, meal planning, meat, sugar limits, vegetables to empower CACFP providers with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to implement CACFP meal pattern requirements.
Additional Worksheets:


Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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