May 17, 2002
of Child Care Centers and Day Care Homes to Offer Infant Meals
in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
Child Nutrition Programs
clarifies that child care centers and family day care homes
participating in CACFP must offer program meals to all eligible
children who are enrolled for care in their facilities.
We are providing this explanation to ensure that all children,
including infants, who are enrolled for child care have access to
A facility may not
avoid this obligation by stating that the infants are not
“enrolled” in CACFP, or by citing some logistical or cost barrier
to offering an infant meal. Decisions
on offering program meals must be based on whether the child is
enrolled for care, not whether the child is enrolled for CACFP. Section 226.2 of the CACFP regulations defines an enrolled child as
“a child whose parent or guardian has submitted to an institution a
signed document which indicates that the child is enrolled for child
As long as the
infant is in care during the meal service period, the facility must
offer the infant a meal that complies with program requirements.
As with all children in CACFP facilities, an infant’s parent
or guardian may decline what is offered, and supply the infant’s
meals instead. The key factor
is that the infant must be provided access to CACFP meals.
are aware that there are States that are not currently following this
policy. Please advise State agencies to ensure that their CACFP
institutions and facilities come into compliance within a reasonable
amount of time. If you have
additional questions about this issue, please contact Melissa
Rothstein or Susan Ponemon.
STANLEY C. GARNETT
Child Nutrition Division
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