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.
Vitamins A and D
Fruits and Vegetables Group
Vitamins A and C
Grains and Bread Group
Some B vitamins
Fiber, if it is whole grain
Meat and Meat Alternate Group
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.