Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Interim Final Rule: NSLP, SBP and CACFP Amendments to the Infant Meal Pattern

Publication Date
Resource type
Interim Final Rule
Comment Period End Date

This rule amends the regulations for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program to eliminate the option of serving whole cow’s milk as part of reimbursable meals for infants under one year of age. Instead, schools and institutions are required to serve either breast milk or iron-fortified formula with all reimbursable meals served to those infants. This rule responds to scientific data demonstrating that infants who consume cow’s milk during their first year receive an inappropriate level of nutrients and experience more nutrition-related health problems than children who are fed breast milk or iron-fortified formula. This rule also amends the definition of ‘‘infant formula’’ currently in the Child and Adult Care Food Program regulations to conform to the definition of ‘‘infant formula’’ for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, because the latter definition more accurately describes the role of formula in infants’ diet. This rule further makes technical amendments to the regulations and charts outlining the Infant Meal Patterns to clarify the role of breast milk in these programs. Finally, this regulation authorizes reimbursement for meals containing only breast milk. These amendments support America’s breastfeeding promotion campaign and the Healthy People 2000 goal of increasing the incidence and duration of breastfeeding to at least 75 percent in the early postpartum period and 50 percent at 5 to 6 months and beyond, by increasing the incentive for day care providers to encourage breast feeding and will result in children receiving improved nutrition benefits during their first year of life.

Page updated: May 26, 2021