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Infant Meal Pattern

Requirements (for all Child Nutrition Programs*) for serving reimbursable meals to infants.
Meal Birth through 3 months Ages 4 through 7 months Ages 8 through 11 months
Breakfast
  • 4 to 6 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3
    or formula1,4
  • 4 to 8 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3 or formula1,4
  • 0 to 3 Tbsp. infant cereal4,5
  • 6 to 8 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3 or formula1,4
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. infant cereal4
  • 1 to 4 Tbsp. fruit and/or vegetable
Lunch or Supper
  • 4 to 6 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3
    or formula1,4
  • 4 to 8 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3 or formula1,4
  • 0 to 3 Tbsp. infant cereal4,5
  • 0 to 3 Tbsp. fruit and/or vegetable5
  • 6 to 8 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3 or formula1,4
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. infant cereal4 and/or 1 to 4 Tbsp. lean meat, fish, poultry, egg yolk, cooked dry beans or peas
    or 0.5 to 2 oz. cheese
    or 1 to 4 oz. (volume) cottage cheese
    or 1 to 4 oz. (weight) cheese food or cheese spread
  • 1 to 4 Tbsp. fruit and/or vegetable
AM or PM snack
  • 4 to 6 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3
    or formula1,4
  • 4 to 6 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3 or formula1,4
  • 2 to 4 fl oz. breast milk1,2,3, formula1,4, or fruit juice6
  • 0 to 1/2 slice of bread5,7
    or 0 to 2 crackers5,7

1Breast milk or formula, or portions of both, may be served; however, it is recommended that breast milk be served in place of formula from birth through 11 months.

2For some breastfed infants who regularly consume less than the minimum amount of breast milk per feeding, a serving of less than the minimum amount of breast milk may be offered, with additional breast milk offered if the infant is still hungry.

3Only the infant's mother can provide breast milk.

4Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron fortified.

5A serving of this component is required only when the infant is developmentally ready to accept it.

6Fruit juice must be full strength.

7Must be made from whole grain or enriched meal or flour.

*Child and Adult Care Food Program
  • Child Care Center and Day Care Home Sponsors may claim reimbursement for up to two meals and one snack or two snacks and one meal per infant per day.
  • Homeless Shelter Sponsors may claim reimbursement for up to three meals or two meals and one snack per infant per day.
*National School Lunch Program
  • Sponsors may claim reimbursement for one lunch meal per infant per day. One snack may be claimed per infant per day if the sponsor is enrolled in and the infant participates in an after school care program.
*School Breakfast Program
  • Sponsors may claim reimbursement for one breakfast meal per infant per day.
*Summer Food Service Program
  • Sponsors may claim reimbursement for up to two meals per infant per day at open or enrolled sites. The meals may consist of either one lunch and one breakfast or one lunch and one snack. Migrant sites may serve up to three meals per infant per day or two meals and one snack per infant per day.
Questions: Kelley Knapp | kknapp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-6774 
Last Reviewed: Monday, July 20, 2015

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