What Nutrients are Provided in Each of the Food Groups?

Variety is the key and the Child and Adult Care Food program (CACFP) meal pattern requirements help you attain that healthy aspect of menu planning.

There are four groups of the CACFP Meal Pattern Requirements, including what each group provides so we can have a better understanding of why each food group is an important part of our nutritional diet.

Milk Group

                Calcium
                Riboflavin
                Vitamins A and D
                Phosphorus
                Other Nutrients

Fruits and Vegetables Group

                Fiber
                Vitamins A and C
                Carbohydrates
                Potassium
                Other Nutrients

Grains and Bread Group

                Complex Carbohydrates
                Some B vitamins
                Iron
                Fiber, if it is whole grain

Meat and Meat Alternate Group

                Protein
                Iron
                B vitamins
                Other Nutrients such as fiber in Legumes, nuts and seeds

You can find the entire Nutrition Needs Grab and Go Lesson here.  The quick lesson further explains what the food groups are and provides some other tips regarding what to serve.

CARE Connection has some great resources regarding nutrition for your child care setting or even for parents wanting to learn more about child nutrition.  I will be profiling the materials they have provided throughout this blog and on other portions of ChildCareInfo.com.  Click here for more information on the CARE Connection and the National Food Service Management Institute.

Source: Using CACFP Meal Patterns for Good Nutrition, National Food Service Management Institute, http://www.nfsmi.org/Templates/TemplateDivision.aspx?qs=cElEPTI5.

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.