On April 25, 2016, USDA released the new Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern requirements. All CACFP programs must comply with the updated meal pattern requirements no later than October 1, 2017; however, there are many meal pattern changes that you may start implementing now.
The updated meal patterns strengthen the nutritional quality of meals served and address dietary needs of CACFP participants. DPI and USDA strongly support implementing the allowed portions of the updated meal patterns as soon as possible because it will greatly benefit CACFP participants and will help to phase in the new requirements.
Child care centers, Family Child Care homes, and public schools must all comply with the new meal pattern requirements. These guidelines ensure that nutritional meals are being served to benefit all children in their care.
Parents should get a menu from their child care center or family child care home provider weekly, bi-weekly or monthly to ensure nutritional meals are served in accordance with new guidelines. In addition, center and home providers will have guidelines regarding what outside foods are allowed into their establishments. For example, many will not allow the fast food meals because they are required to abide by the above guidelines.
Please click the highlighted link above to download PDF of the new meal patterns.
Comment below if your center has the updated guidelines.