Grain Requirements in the CACFP: Questions and Answers
This memorandum explains the grain requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) established in the final rule, “Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” This revision further clarifies how to determine if a grain product meets the whole grain-rich criteria. It also includes updated Questions and Answers in Attachment 3. This memorandum supersedes CACFP 01-2018, Grain Requirements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program; Questions and Answers, October 19, 2017.
This memorandum provides information on whole grain-rich foods, grain-based desserts, and the breakfast cereal sugar limit. Although FNS’ goal is to streamline guidance and align Child Nutrition Programs, the agency recognizes that CACFP operates differently than the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). Therefore, there are some instances when the CACFP guidance is different from the School Meal Programs. For more information on the preschool meal pattern requirements for NSLP and SBP, see SP 01-2018, Updated Infant and Preschool Meal Patterns in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program; Questions and Answers (https://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/updated-infant-and-preschool-meal-patterns-national-schoollunch-program-and-school-breakfast).
The final rule requires that grains be credited using ounce equivalents (oz eq) instead of “servings,” as credited under the previous meal pattern requirements. This change is consistent with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines), which provide grain recommendations in oz eq. In recognizing that this requires a significant operational change for centers and day care homes, FNS is delaying the implementation of oz eq until October 1, 2019. FNS will issue additional guidance on crediting oz eq in the future.