Meal Patterns - What Does That Mean?

  • 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.

Resource: Care Connection for CACFP Providers 


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 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