Meal Pattern Requirements

IMPORTANT - The Meal Patterns will be changing starting October 1, 2017.

Up until October 1, 2017, the meal patterns are:

Starting October 2, 2017, the meal patterns are changing to:

Here is a quick summary of the main changes to the Meal Patterns:

  • Infant Meal Pattern
    • Only two age groups
    • Encourages and supports breastfeeding
    • Emphasis on introducing solid foods only when the child is developmentally ready
    • Will be able to serve yogurts and whole eggs
    • Will not be able to serve juice, cheese food, or cheese spread
  • Child Meal Pattern
    • Fruits and Vegetables will be separate components
    • At least one serving of grains per day must be whole grain-rich
    • Meat/meat alternates can replace the entire grains component at breakfast up to three times per week
    • Juice is limited to once per day
    • Breakfast cereal can contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce
    • Yogurt can contain no more than 23 grams of sugar per 6 ounces
    • Tofu and soy yogurt can be serve as a meat alternate
    • Grain based desserts will not be allowable (such as granola bars, cereal bars, graham crackers, animal crackers, cookies, toaster pastries, brownies, etc.)
    • No flavored milk for kids under 6 years

Both DPI and USDA continue to develop many great resources around the New Meal Pattern. Below are links to what has been created so far:

Milk Component

Meat/Meat Alternate Component

Fruit & Vegetable Components

Feeding Infants

Grains Component

Choosing Yogurts That Are Lower in Added Sugars.

Serving Yogurt in CACFP: Methods to Determine Sugar Amounts

Choosing Breakfast Cereals That Lower in Added Sugars

Serving Milk in the CACFP

CACFP Approved Cereal Chart

Serving Tofu and Soy

Tofu Recipes

USDA Sample Menus