Secondary menu

Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

Last Published: 10/24/2016

Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition ProgramsThe Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs has all of the current information in one manual to help you and your purchasing agent 1) buy the right amount of food and the appropriate type of food for your program(s), and 2) determine the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements. You can print the entire manual, individual sections, or just updated pages to insert into your 2001 print copy.

The Food Buying Guide is being updated in phases to include resources for the new Nutrition Standards for School Meals. The Food Buying Guide for School Meal Programs includes an introduction, appendixes, and information on Meat/Meat Alternates, Vegetables/Fruits, Grains/Breads, Milk, and Other Foods.

CACFP has updated meal patterns that go into effect no later than October 1, 2017. Under these new requirements, grain-based desserts can no longer count towards the grains component in a reimbursable meal or snack. Grain-based desserts are defined using the Exhibit A in the memorandum CACFP 02-2017 “Grain Requirements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program; Questions and Answers” ( When transitioning to the updated meal patterns, CACFP operators should refer to the Exhibit A in CACFP 02-2017, not the Exhibit A found in the Food Buying Guide below. Exhibit A in CACFP 02-2017 was slightly revised to be more consistent with the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program.

Printed: November 2001

Revised: January 2008

Available: only in PDF

Also available: Online Food Buying Guide Calculator for Child Nutrition Programs