Fruits and Veggies with the New Meal Pattern

It's Fruit and Veggie month!  So let's take a look at fruits and veggies in regard to the new meal pattern changes for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).


At snack time do you serve both fruits and veggies?  Beginning in October that is a reimbursable snack for participants of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). side note: Another upcoming change is having to serve one whole grain-rich food a day.  Snack might be the perfect time to meet this requirement.

The Association for Child Development (ACD) has created a resource with 34 healthy (uncomplicated) snack ideas to help you meet the new CACFP meal pattern requirements.

What is a Fruit - What is a Vegetable?

Now that vegetables and fruits are not interchangeable at lunch, supper and snack - we need to know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable.  Previously, I didn't think I would need to know this difference unless I wanted to win a light-hearted argument with my husband but now - it matters.  So, how do we do this?

Culinary definition defines fruits and vegetables by whether they’re typically used in sweet or savory foods.
— Fruits and Vegetables Guide - ACD

ACD tells us on page 2 of their "fruits and vegetables guide" that there are two definitions to go by 1) Botanical Plant Definition and 2) Culinary definition.  The culinary definition is the one that the CACFP typically uses.  When using this definition, "tomatos and avocados are considered vegetables and rhubarb is a fruit."  ACD directs us to the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs for clarification:


Juice is going to be a bit of a change for some of us.  Juice is no longer allowed to be claimed for infants.  It can only be served once a day for children older than 11 months.

Additional Resources

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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 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