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Infant Meal Pattern

United States Department of Agriculture requirements (for all Child Nutrition Programs*) for serving reimbursable meals to infants.
Meal Birth to 3 months Ages 4 to 7 months Ages 8 to 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 (100% juice) and offered from a cup, not a bottle, to prevent tooth decay.

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

*Child and Adult Care Food Program
*National School Lunch Program
*School Breakfast Program
*Summer Food Service Program
Questions: Kelley Knapp | kknapp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-6774 
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