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