This final rule updates the meal pattern requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program to better align them with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
This rule requires centers and day care homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program to serve more whole grains and a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, and reduces the amount of added sugars and solid fats in meals. In addition, this final rule supports mothers who breastfeed and improves consistency with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and with other child nutrition programs. Several of the changes are extended to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Special Milk Program.
These changes are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, science-based recommendations made by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies), cost and practical considerations, and stakeholder's input. This is the first major revision of the Child and Adult Care Food Program meal patterns since the Program's inception in 1968. These improvements to the meals served in the Child and Adult Care Food Program are expected to safeguard the health of young children by ensuring healthy eating habits are developed early, and improve the wellness of adult participants.