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CACFP Meal Pattern

Includes new meal pattern (NMP) information, trainings and registration instructions, upcoming conference information, Webinars, resources, and policy guidance for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors.


On April 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the final rule for the CACFP NMP. The NMP aligns with the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, reflects evidence-based nutrition science, and includes stakeholder comments to the proposed rule. The NMP standards are effective October 1, 2017. This Web page was updated as of February 2017 to include information on the CACFP NMP workshops for sponsors, the 9th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference, three Webinars on NMP requirements, technical assistance for early implementation flyers, and USDA policies.

State Agency Contact Information

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) CACFP team by e-mail at

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

New Meal Pattern

USDA Nutrition Standards for CACFP Meals and Snacks External link opens in new window or tab.
This Web page includes NMP information, fact sheets, charts comparing the current meal pattern and NMP, the final rule, and much more.


In-person Workshops

The NSD is offering in-person workshops in 2017 on the CACFP NMP. Attendees will learn about the many updates to the CACFP NMP requirements, including information on nutrition, portion sizes, appropriate crediting, and early implementation options. The intended audience for the workshops are sponsors participating in the CACFP. Sponsors should register for only one session in the location of their choice. Registration is limited to two attendees per sponsor. The scheduled CACFP NMP workshop locations and dates are listed below.

To register for a CACFP NMP workshop, please use the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Training Registration External link opens in new window or tab. Web page. Instructions for registration can be found on the CDE CNIPS Training Registration Web page. The NSD will continuously update this section as new trainings become available.

Locations Dates
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Baldwin Park
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Baldwin Park
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
San Diego
(National City)
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
San Diego
(National City)
Thursday, June 15, 2017
San Bernardino
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
San Bernardino
Thursday, June 29, 2017

For assistance with online registration or if you are unable to attend and need to cancel, please contact the CNIPS Help Desk weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by phone at 800-952-5609, Option 6, or by e-mail at If possible, please provide your registration confirmation number when cancelling your registration.

Upcoming Conferences

9th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference External link opens in new window or tab.
This conference includes workshops on childhood obesity and research on intervention models, community nutrition, and physical activity. The conference is May 30, 2017, to June 2, 2017 in San Diego, California. For additional information, visit the 9th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference External link opens in new window or tab. Web site.


The CDE NMP Recorded Webinar Series

Provides specific requirements of the CACFP NMP for each age group.

The CDE NMP Milk Requirements Webinars

Reviews topics related to milk requirements, including the type and amount of milk that is allowable, the nutritional value of different types of milk, allowable nondairy milk substitutes, medical statements, and changes in the NMP related to milk.

Food and Research Action Center Webinar External link opens in new window or tab.
Provides information on the updated CACFP NMP requirements for infants, children, and adults.


Technical Assistance for Early Implementation Flyers

Provides CACFP agencies with information on the early implementation of breast feeding onsite, tofu and soy yogurt as meat/meat alternates, and yogurt as a milk replacement for adults.


The USDA has issued the following policy memoranda related to the CACFP NMP. Below is a brief summary of each memorandum and related CDE management bulletins (MB).

  • Early Implementation of the CACFP NMP Requirements, SP42-CACFP-14-2016 External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides guidance on implementation of the CACFP NMP requirements and the new infant and preschool meal pattern requirements for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. Until the CDE issues an MB with specific early implementation policies, agencies must continue to follow the existing CACFP meal patterns.
  • Infant Feeding in the CACFP, CACFP-06-2017 External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides guidance on infant feeding and mealtimes, including the length of time refrigerated breast milk may be stored, updates on creditable infant formulas, allowable infant foods containing docosahexaenoic acid, known as DHA, and frequently asked questions.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division |
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 27, 2017
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