Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Revisions to Meal Patterns Consistent with the 2020 DGAs - Proposed Rule - CACFP & SFSP Impact

Resource type
Technical Assistance & Guidance

Written comments on the proposed rule should be received on or before May 10, 2023.

Provisions in the proposed rule that could impact CACFP and/or SFSP1

Click on a section for more information.

Added Sugars (Section 2)
Proposes changing product-based limits for breakfast cereals and yogurts from total sugars to added sugars to impact regulations at 7 CFR 226.20(a)(4)(ii) and 7 CFR 226.20(a)(5)(iii)(B).
Current Standards:
  • Breakfast cereal: must contain no more than 6 grams of total sugars per dry ounce.
  • Yogurt: must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6 ounces.
Proposed Standards:
  • Breakfast cereal: Must contain no more than 6 grams of added sugars per dry ounce.
  • Yogurt: must contain no more than 12 grams of added sugars per 6 ounces.


Back to top

Flavored Milk (Section 3)

No changes are proposed for milk standards in CACFP or SFSP; however, USDA is seeking public input on allowing unflavored milks only for children in grades K-8 or K-5, as applicable, in CACFP, if Alternative A is finalized with restrictions on flavored milk for grades K-8 or K-5 in NSLP and SBP.

For NSLP and SBP two alternative options for milk are proposed, with a proposed product-based added sugars limit for flavored milk served as part of school meals:

Alternative A
Proposes to allow flavored milks in high schools only (grades 9-12). Milk choices in grades K-8 would be limited to unflavored milks at school lunch and breakfast. Also requests public input on whether to allow flavored milk for children in grades 6-8 as well as high school children. Does not propose changes to CACFP but requests public input on the following:
  • If Alternative A is finalized, should USDA also pursue a similar change in the CACFP?
  • Are there any special considerations USDA should keep in mind for CACFP operators, given the differences in these programs compared to school meal program operators?
Alternative B
Proposes to maintain the current standard allowing all schools to offer both flavored and unflavored milk (low-fat and fat-free) at school lunch and breakfast.

Back to top

Fluid Milk Substitutes (Section 3)

While no changes are proposed to the current fluid milk substitute process, USDA requests public input on the following question:

USDA is especially interested in feedback from parents and guardians and program operators with firsthand experience requesting and processing a fluid milk substitute request.

Back to top

Whole Grains (Section 4)

Proposes to add a definition of “whole grain-rich” to CACFP regulations at 7 CFR 226.2.

  • Whole grain-rich is the term designated by FNS to indicate that the grain content of a product is between 50% and 100% whole grain with any remaining grains being enriched.

Back to top

Menu Planning Options for American Indian and Alaska Native Students (Section 6)

Proposes to allow institutions, facilities, or sponsors serving primarily American Indian or Alaska Native children to substitute vegetables for grains or bread. Regulations affected: 7 CFR 225.16(f)(3) and 7 CFR 226.20(f).

The institution, facility, or sponsor would be required to maintain documentation demonstrating that the site qualifies for this menu planning option. USDA requests public input on additional menu planning options that would improve the Child Nutrition Programs for American Indian and Alaska Native children

Back to top

Nuts and Seeds (Section 10)

Proposes to allow nuts and seeds to credit for the full meat/meat alternate (or protein source) component in all child nutrition programs and meals, including CACFP and SFSP.

Regulations affected: 7 CFR 225.16(e)(5) and 7 CFR 226.20(a)(5)(ii).

Back to top

Geographic Preference Expansion (Section 14)

Proposes to expand geographic preference options by allowing locally grown, raised, or caught as procurement specifications for unprocessed or minimally processed food items in the child nutrition programs.

Regulations affected: 7 CFR 226.22(n) and 7 CFR 225.17(e).

Back to top

Miscellaneous Changes: Terminology and Meal Pattern Table Revisions (Section 15)
Proposes to change the name of the “meat/meat alternate meal component” to “protein sources”.  
Proposes to update the protein sources row to use ounce equivalents and refer to protein sources generally, instead of listing specific foods within the category.  
Proposes to change the name of the “dry beans and peas (legumes) to “beans, peas and lentils”.  
Proposes to change references from “grains” to “grain items” in footnotes to meal pattern tables.  
Proposes to change references from “food components” to “meal components”.
Proposes to revise table footnotes so that related footnotes are grouped together.  

Back to top

Proposals from Prior USDA Rulemaking2 (Section 17)
Update meal modifications for disability and non-disability reasons.  
Change vitamin A and vitamin D for fluid milk substitutions from International Units (IU) to micrograms (mcg).

Back to top


1If provisions included in the Proposed Rule are included in the Final Rule, meal pattern tables at 7 CFR 225.16(d)(1), 7 CFR 225.16(d)(2), 7 CFR 225.16(d)(3), 7 CFR 226.20(b)(5), 7 CFR 226.20(c)(1), 7 CFR 226.20(c)(2), and 7 CFR 226.20(c)(3) will be updated accordingly.

2Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Programs, (85 FR 4094, Jan. 23, 2020).

Page updated: March 29, 2023