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Updated Child and Adult Food Program Guidelines (CACFP) 2017

USDA recently revised the CACFP meal patterns to ensure children and adults have access to well balanced and nutritious meals. The USDA has made several guideline changes including reducing: the amount of sugar, and saturated fat content of meals. Also, meals are required to have a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as increased whole grain content. CACFP centers and adult day care homes must comply with the updated meal patterns by October 1st, 2017. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists must review CACFP centers to ensure they are meeting the USDA guidelines.

Updated Child and Adult Meal (CACFP) Meal Patterns

Adult Day Care Center Dietitians

Greater Variety of Vegetables and Fruits

  • The combined fruit and vegetable component is now a separate vegetable component and a separate fruit component

  • Juice is limited to once per day.

More Whole Grains

  • At least one serving of grains per day must be whole grain-rich;

  • Grain-based desserts no longer count towards the grain component

  • Ounce equivalents (oz eq) are used to determine the amount of creditable grains (starting October 1, 2019).

More Protein Options

  • Meat and meat alternates may be served in place of the entire grains component at breakfast a maximum of three times per week

  • Tofu counts as a meat alternate.

Age Appropriate Meals

  • A new age group to address the needs of older children 13 through 18 years old.

Less Added Sugar

  • Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of sugar per 6 ounces

  • Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce

Making Every Sip Count

  • Unflavored whole milk must be served to 1 year olds; unflavored low-fat or fat-free milk must be served to children 2 through 5 years old; and unflavored low-fat, unflavored fat-free, or flavored fat-free milk must be served to children 6 years old and older and adults;

  • Non-dairy milk substitutes that are nutritionally equivalent to milk may be served in place of milk to children or adults with medical or special dietary needs; and

  • Yogurt may be served in place of milk once per day for adults only.

Additional Improvements

  • Extends offer versus serve to at-risk after school programs

  • Frying is not allowed as a way of preparing foods on-site.

Child and Adult Food Program Guidelines and Meal Patterns. Registered Dietitian

RD Nutrition Consultants LLC, specializes in providing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist consulting services for child and adult daycare centers nationwide.



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