It's Finally Here! USDA Releases Final CACFP Meal Pattern


5.3.2016 On April 22nd, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the release of new, healthier nutrition standards for foods and beverages served through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required USDA to update the CACFP meal pattern and better align it with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This is the first major update of the CACFP meal patterns since the program's inception in 1968.

Last year – after consulting with many local, state, and national partners – CFPA submitted comments that urged USDA to adopt a final meal pattern rule that ensured science-based, nutrition-focused, and feasible standards were put in place to safeguard and support the health of all CACFP participants. We are pleased to report that USDA adopted many of our recommendations. Young children in CACFP child care settings will now receive meals with more whole grains, a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, and less added sugars and solid fats. In a recent press release, USDA explains that "the science-based standards introduced in this final rule will elevate the nutritional quality of meals and snacks provided under the CACFP to better align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to be consistent with the meals children receive as part of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program."

The new meal patterns do not become effective until October 1, 2017. During this time, CFPA will work with the California Department of Education, the Child Care Food Program Roundtable, and other partners to develop implementation priorities that promote the new, healthier meal patterns and ensure sustained program participation.

Read CFPA's comments, submitted in April 2015. PDF
Register for the May 9, 10am (PDT) FRAC & USDA webinar. link
Get all the details - read USDA's submitted final rule. link
For many other materials, check out CFPA's CACFP meal pattern page.

Questions? Contact Elyse Homel Vitale at 510.433.1122 ext. 206