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Meal Patterns - What does that mean?
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  • The meal patterns provided in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are designed to make it easy for child care providers to offer balanced nutrition in adequate amounts for infants and children.
  • Meal patterns are provided for Breakfast, Supplement (Snack), and Lunch or Supper, in serving sizes proportional to the child's age. There are special meal patterns for infants, with different requirements for birth through 3 months, 4 months through 7 months, and 8 months through 11 months.
  • Following the CACFP Meal Pattern Requirements insures that the child care provider can claim a reimbursable meal featuring all of the required components in the right amounts to offer good nutrition for young children.
Teaching Meal Pattern Requirements
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If you are in the place to provide instruction for the CACFP Meal Pattern Requirements, this will be of use to you!
Meal Pattern Lesson Plan Overview
Here is the video for the plan! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fwiFsbxRnc
Infant Meal Pattern - Breakfast
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Infant Meal Pattern
Breakfast
 

Birth through
3 Months

4 through
7 Months

8 through
11 Months

4-6 fluid ounces of formula1or breastmilk2,3

4-8 fluid ounces of formula1 or breastmilk2,3

0-3 tablespoons of infant cereal1,4  

6-8 fluid ounces of formula1 or breastmilk2,3; and

2-4 tablespoons of infant cereal1; and

1-4 tablespoons of fruit or vegetable or both

1 Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron-fortified.
2 Breastmilk or formula, or portions of both, may be served; however, it is recommended that breastmilk be served in place of formula from birth through 11 months.
3 For some breastfed infants who regularly consume less than the minimum amount of breastmilk per feeding, a serving of less than the minimum amount of breastmilk may be offered, with additional breastmilk offered if the infant is still hungry.
4 A serving of this component is required when the infant is developmentally ready to accept it.

  
Infant Meal Pattern - Lunch or Supper (Dinner)
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Infant Meal Pattern
Lunch or Supper
 

Birth through
3 Months
4 through
7 Months
8 through
11 Months
4-6 fluid ounces of formula1 or breast milk2,3 4-8 fluid ounces of formula1 or breast milk2,3

0-3 tablespoons of infant cereal1,4 ; and

0-3 tablespoons of fruit or vegetable or both  

6-8 fluid ounces of formula1 or breast milk2,3

2-4 tablespoons of infant cereal; and/or

1-4 tablespoons of meat, fish, poultry, egg yolk, cooked dry beans or peas; or

½-2 ounces of cheese; or

1-4 ounces (volume) of cottage cheese; or

1-4 ounces (weight) of cheese food or cheese spread; and

1-4 tablespoons of fruit or vegetable or both   

1 Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron-fortified.
2 Breastmilk or formula, or portions of both, may be served; however, it is recommended that breast milk be served in place of formula from birth through 11 months.
3 For some breastfed infants who regularly consume less than the minimum amount of breast milk per feeding, a serving of less than the minimum amount of breast milk may be offered, with additional breast milk offered if the infant is still hungry.
4 A serving of this component is required when the infant is developmentally ready to accept it.

  
Infant Meal Pattern - Snack
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Infant Meal Pattern
Snack
 

Birth through
3 Months
4 through
7 Months
8 through
11 Months
4-6 fluid ounces of formula1or breast milk2,3 4-6 fluid ounces of formula1or breast milk2,3 2-4 fluid ounces of formula1or breast milk2,3, or fruit juice5; and

0-½ bread4, 6 or

0-2 crackers4, 6

1 Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron-fortified.
2 Breastmilk or formula, or portions of both, may be served; however, it is recommended that breast milk be served in place of formula from birth through 11 months.
3 For some breastfed infants who regularly consume less than the minimum amount of breast milk per feeding, a serving of less than the minimum amount of breast milk may be offered, with additional breast milk offered if the infant is still hungry.
4 A serving of this component is required when the infant is developmentally ready to accept it.
5 Fruit juice must be full-strength.
6 A serving of this component must be made from whole-grain or enriched meal or flour.

  
Child Meal Pattern - Breakfast
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Child Meal Pattern
Breakfast

Select All Three Components for a Reimbursable Meal

Food Components Ages 1-2 Ages 3-5 Ages 6-121
1 milk
   fluid milk
1/2 cup 3/4 cup 1 cup
1 fruit/vegetable
   juice,2  fruit and/or vegetable
1/4 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 cup
1 grains/bread
   bread or 

   cornbread or biscuit or roll or muffin or

   cold dry cereal or

   hot cooked cereal or

   pasta or noodles or grains
1/2 slice

1/2 serving

1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1/4 cup
1/2 slice

1/2 serving

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

1/4 cup
1 slice

1 serving

3/4 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup
1 Children age 12 and older may be served larger portions based on their greater food needs.
  They may not be served less than the minimum quantities listed in this column.
2 Fruit or vegetable juice must be full-strength.
3 Breads and grains must be made from whole-grain or enriched meal or flour. Cereal must be
  whole-grain or enriched or fortified.

  
Child Meal Pattern - Lunch or Supper (Dinner)
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Child Meal Pattern
Lunch or Supper
 

Food Components Ages 1-2 Ages 3-5 Ages 6-121
1 milk
   fluid milk
1/2 cup 3/4 cup 1 cup
2 fruits/vegetables
   juice,2 fruit and/or vegetable
1/4 cup 1/2 cup 3/4 cup
1 grains/bread
   bread or

   cornbread or biscuit or roll or muffin or

   cold dry cereal or

   hot cooked cereal or

   pasta or noodles or grains

1/2 slice

1/2 serving

1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1/2 slice

1/2 serving

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1 slice

1 serving

3/4 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1 meat/meat alternate
   meat or poultry or fish4 or

  alternate protein product or

  cheese or

  egg or

  cooked dry beans or peas or

  peanut or other nut or seed butters or

  nuts and/or seeds5 or

  yogurt6  

1 ounce
 

1 ounce

1 ounce

1/2 egg

1/4 cup
 

2 Tbsp.
 

1/2 ounce

4 ounces

1 1/2 ounces
 

1 1/2 ounces

1 1/2 ounces

3/4 egg

3/8 cup
 

3 Tbsp.
 

3/4 ounce

6 ounces

2 ounces
 

2 ounces

2 ounces

1 egg

1/2 cup
 

4 Tbsp.
 

1 ounce

8 ounces

1 Children age 12 and older may be served larger portions based on their greater food needs.
  They may not be served less than the minimum quantities listed in this column.
2 Fruit or vegetable juice must be full-strength.
3 Breads and grains must be made from whole-grain or enriched meal or flour. Cereal must be
   whole-grain or enriched or fortified.
4 A serving consists of the edible portion of cooked lean meat or poultry or fish.
5 Nuts and seeds may meet only one-half of the total meat/meat alternate serving and must be
  combined with another meat/meat alternate to fulfill the lunch or supper requirement.
6 Yogurt may be plain or flavored, unsweetened or sweetened.


 

  
Child Meal Pattern - Snack
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Child Meal Pattern
Snack

Select Two of the Four Components for a Reimbursable Snack

Food Components Ages 1-2 Ages 3-5 Ages 6-121
1 milk
   fluid milk
1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1 cup
1 fruit/vegetable
   juice,2 fruit and/or vegetable
1/2 cup 1/2 cup 3/4 cup
1 grains/bread
   bread or

   cornbread or biscuit or roll or muffin or

   cold dry cereal or

   hot cooked cereal or

   pasta or noodles or grains

1/2 slice

1/2 serving

1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1/2 slice

1/2 serving

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1 slice

1 serving

3/4 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1 meat/meat alternate
   meat or poultry or fish4 or

  alternate protein product or

  cheese or

  egg5 or

  cooked dry beans or peas or

  peanut or other nut or seed butters or

  nuts and/or seeds or

  yogurt6  


1/2 ounce

1/2 ounce

1/2 ounce

1/2 egg


1/8 cup

1 Tbsp.


1/2 ounce

2 ounces


1/2 ounce

1/2 ounce

1/2 ounce

1/2 egg


1/8 cup

1 Tbsp.


1/2 ounce

2 ounces


1 ounce

1 ounce

1 ounce

1/2 egg


1/4 cup

2 Tbsp.


1 ounce

4 ounces

1 Children age 12 and older may be served larger portions based on their greater food needs.
  They may not be served less than the minimum quantities listed in this column.
2 Fruit or vegetable juice must be full-strength.  Juice cannot be served when milk is the only other
   snack component. 
3 Breads and grains must be made from whole-grain or enriched meal or flour. Cereal must be
   whole-grain or enriched or fortified.
4 A serving consists of the edible portion of cooked lean meat or poultry or fish.
5 One-half egg meets the required minimum amount (one ounce or less) of meat alternate.
6 Yogurt may be plain or flavored, unsweetened or sweetened.