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Child & Adult Care Food Program

Child Caring Online - information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Grains/breads requirements

[NOTE: In 1996, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an instruction that affected all Child Nutrition programs. The elements affecting the CACFP are summarized below. These changes were a result of the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children and became effective July 1, 1996. Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture]

Grains/breads requirement in child nutrition programs

The traditional meal pattern for Child Nutrition Programs contains a grains/bread requirement. This instruction sets forth the foods that meet the grains/breads requirement of meals served in the programs, the criteria to be used to determine crediting, and the suggested equivalent minimum serving size for a wide variety of items that meet the grains/breads requirements. This Instruction applies to all Child Nutrition Programs.

Foods that qualify as grains/breads

Foods which qualify as grains/breads for the Child Nutrition Programs include but are not limited to:

  • whole-grain or enriched flour bread

  • whole-grain or enriched meal or flour biscuits, rolls, muffins, crackers, etc.

  • cooked whole-grain or enriched cereal grains such as rice, bulgur, oatmeal, corn grits or couscous

  • whole-grain, enriched or fortified breakfast cereal

  • whole-grain, enriched or fortified cereals or bread products which are used as an ingredient in another menu item (such as rice krispy treats or breading on meats)

  • cooked enriched or whole-grain macaroni or noodle products. Enriched macaroni-type products with fortified protein (as specified in Appendix A in program regulations) may be counted as meeting either the grains/breads requirement or the meat/meat alternate requirement of lunches but not both in the same meal.

  • pie crust from meat/meat alternate pies

  • snack products such as hard pretzels, hard bread sticks and chips made from whole-grain and/or enriched meal or flour.

read more

Criteria for Determining Acceptable Grains/Breads

Criteria for Determining Equivalent Minimum Weight of a Serving

Definition of Grains/Breads Terms


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