Megan Pittsinger

“What is CACFP?” you may ask. CACFP is the Child and Adult Care Food Program. CACFP provides aid to programs for the provision of nutritious foods. For information on how to apply for CACFP please visit United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.

Current CACFP Guidelines (until October 1, 2017)

The CACFP meal guidelines include information about the mealtime, the components that are required to be served, and the serving size for each component based on the children’s ages.

What are the meals? The meals include breakfast, lunch or supper, and snack. The required components are different for each meal.

What are the components? The components are milk, fruit/vegetable, grain/bread, and meat/meat alternate.

  • For breakfast, one milk, one fruit/vegetable, and one grain/bread must be served.
  • For lunch or supper, one milk, two fruits/vegetables, one grain/bread, and one meat/meat alternative must be served.
  • For snack, you may choose two of the four components to serve.

Serving sizes for all meals are based on the age of the children. Additionally, the requirements for infants differ from the above. Click here for more information about serving sizes, meal planning, and food safety.

Updated CACFP Guidelines

The USDA has recently revised the CACFP meal guidelines. Providers who participate in CACFP must comply with the updated meal guidelines by October 1, 2017. The new meal guidelines include a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, more protein options, less added sugar, and a new age group to address the needs of older children ages 13 -18 years old. For more information about the Updated CACFP Meal Patterns for Children and Adults click here.


Additional Resources

CACFP Best Practices

Updated CACFP Meal Patterns for Infants


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