Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Meal Pattern for Adults

Description of meal patterns for adult participants in the adult day care component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Adult Meal Pattern

Milk2

Type Breakfast Lunch or Supper Snack1
(choose 2 of the 4)
Fluid Milk 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) 1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
optional at supper
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)

Vegetables and/or Fruit(s)3

Type Breakfast Lunch or Supper Snack1
(choose 2 of the 4)
Vegetables(s) and/or fruit(s), OR 1/2 cup 1 cup total3
(serve 2 or more kinds of vegetables and/or fruits)
1/2 cup
Full-strength vegetable or fruit juice, OR 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz.) 1 cup total3
(serve 2 or more kinds of vegetables and/or fruits)
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz.)
An equivalent quantity of any combination vegetable(s), fruit(s), and juice 1/2 cup total 1 cup total3
(serve 2 or more kinds of vegetables and/or fruits)
1/2 cup total

Grains/Breads4

Type Breakfast Lunch or Supper Snack1
(choose 2 of the 4)
Bread 2 slices (1.8 oz. total) 2 slices (1.8 oz. total)

1 slice (0.9 oz. total)

Cornbread, biscuits, rolls, muffins, etc., OR 2 servings 2 servings 1 serving
Cold dry cereal 1.5 cups or 2 oz.5 1.5 cups or 2 oz.5 1.5 cups or 2 oz.5
Cooked cereal or cereal grains, OR 1 cup 1 cup 1/2 cup
Cooked pasta or noodle product, OR 1 cup 1 cup 1/2 cup
An equivalent quantity of any combination of bread/bread alternates 1 cup 1 cup 1/2 cup

Meat/Meat Alternatives6

Type Breakfast
(optional at breakfast)
Lunch or Supper Snack1
(choose 2 of the 4)
Lean meat, poultry, fish, OR 1 oz. 2 oz.

1 oz.

Cheese, OR 1 oz. 2 oz.

1 oz.

Cottage cheese, OR 1/4 cup 1/2 cup 1/4 cup
Eggs, OR 1/2 large egg 1 large egg 1/2 large egg
Cooked dry beans, peas, OR 1/4 cup 1/2 cup 1/4 cup
Peanut butter, soy nut butter, seed butters, other nut butters, OR 2 Tbsp. 4 Tbsp. 2 Tbsp.
Peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts, seeds, OR 1 oz. 1 oz. = 50 % 1 oz.
Yogurt, flavored, plain, sweetened , OR 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz.) 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz.)
An equivalent quantity of the above meat/ meat alternatives 1 oz. total 2 oz. total 1 oz. total

Notes:

  • For the purpose of this table, a cup means a standard measuring cup
  • oz. = ounce(s)

Meal Pattern Definitions

1Snacks

Serve from two of the four component food groups. Fruit/vegetable is considered a single component; thus a serving of fruit plus a serving of vegetable at the same supplemental meal will not meet the requirement. Juice (fruit or vegetable) may be served with milk in the same supplemental (snack) meal service to meet the requirement for two components.

2Milk

Serve 1 cup (8 oz) of fluid milk as a beverage or on cereal. Fluid milk is defined as pasteurized unflavored or flavored fat free or low-fat milk. Fat free or low-fat acidified milk, cultured buttermilk, lactose-reduced milk may also be served. All milk must be fortified with vitamins A and D and meet state and local standards. Milk is an optional food component at supper.

Other substitutions for milk must be medically prescribed. Frozen yogurt and other nonstandard yogurts are not creditable products and may not be used to satisfy any component requirement in a reimbursable meal.

3Vegetable/Fruit for Lunch or Supper

Serve 2 or more kinds of vegetable(s) and/or fruit(s) or a combination of both. Full-strength vegetable or fruit juice may be counted to meet only one of the two-item requirement.

4Grains/Breads

Grain products, pasta, noodles and cereal grains (such as rice, bulgur, oats, wheat or corn grits) shall be whole-grain or enriched; cornbread, biscuits, rolls, muffins, etc., shall be made with whole-grain or enriched meal or flour. Cereal, including wheat germ, wheat bran, oat bran, etc., shall be whole-grain, enriched or fortified.

A bread serving is 1 slice of bread, equivalent to 25 grams (0.9 to 1 oz.) in weight. Instructions for determining the appropriate serving sizes for grain products served as bread alternatives (crackers, pancakes, bulgur, etc.) are found in the Simplified Buying Guide or the Grains/breads Chart for Child Nutrition Programs.

5Quantity of Dry Cereal

To measure dry cereal, use either volume (cup) or weight (oz.) whichever is less.

6Meat/Meat Alternatives

The meat/meat alternate component group is an option at the breakfast meal. No more than 50 percent of the requirement shall be met with nuts or seeds. Nut or seed butter may satisfy 100 percent of the requirement. Whole nuts or seeds shall be combined with another meat/meat alternate to fulfill the requirement. When determining combinations, 1 oz. of nuts or seeds is equal to 1 oz. of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish; ¼ cup of cottage cheese is equal to 1 oz. of meat alternate; ½ cup of yogurt is equal to 1 oz. of meat/meat alternate.

Questions: Joseph Cormack | jcormack@cde.ca.gov | 916-324-7133 
Last Reviewed: Monday, September 12, 2016
Related Content
  • Meal Patterns & Menu Planning
    Information and resources on the federally mandated meal patterns, menu planning options, and meal documentation requirements for all child nutrition programs.
Recently Posted in Nutrition

  • Smart Snacks in School Final Rule (added 27-Oct-2016)
    Management Bulletin SNP-21-2016: Changes made to the Smart Snacks in School (SSIS) Final Rule.
  • Verification Reporting (added 25-Oct-2016)
    Instructions for local education agencies (LEAs) on submitting the verification collection report through the Child Nutrition and Information Payment System (CNIPS) using the verification report function.
  • CEP Application and Increasing ISP (added 24-Oct-2016)
    Management Bulletin SNP-19-2016, USDA FNS Policy Memo SP 15-2016: Community Eligibility Provision Application and Increasing Identified Student Percentage.