Baby foods with DHA may not be served as part of reimbursable meal

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

Baby fruits or vegetables with DHA may not be served as part of a reimbursable meal

The Mountain-Plains regional office of the USDA has issued a clarification that certain baby foods containing DHA (docosahexaenoic) cannot be served as part of a reimbursable meal in child nutrition programs. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that may be added to commercially prepared fruits or vegetables. USDA Memo CACFP-687 states:

“The source of DHA in some lines of baby food products, such as Beech-Nut First Advantage Sweet Potato Soufflé or Tropical Blend, is egg yolk. These DHA-added products combine fruits or vegetables with dried egg yolk, heavy cream, rice flour, vanilla extract and other ingredients. They are not labeled or marketed as desserts, but they contain similar ingredients that may not be appropriate for an infant young than 8 months of age. Introducing these “dessert-like” ingredients into an infant’s diet at an earlier age could result in a food sensitivity or a food allergy.

“Although DHA-added products cannot contribute to the infant meal pattern, they may be served as additional foods to infants 8 months of age or older. Since they contain several ingredients, additives, or extenders that could cause allergic reactions, we recommend that the center, the provider or the school check with the infant’s parent or guardian before serving them.”

Updated August 22, 2017 7:08pm