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Clarification of Documenting Meals in the CACFP

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose:  Policy, Beneficial Information

To: Child and Adult Care Food Program Operators

Attention: Program Operators

Number: CACFP-07-2017

Date: October 2017

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memoranda CACFP
17-2017; Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 226.2 and 226.15

Subject: Clarification on Documenting Meals in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides clarification to Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) operators about the requirements for documenting meals in the CACFP to show compliance with the meal pattern requirements under Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 226.2.


On April 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the final rule CACFP: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (81 FR 24348) to update the CACFP meal pattern requirement in 7 CFR, Section 226.20. Although the final rule did not change the recordkeeping requirements in the CACFP, the USDA FNS provided additional clarification in policy memorandum CACFP 17-2017, Documenting Meals in the CACFP, published on June 30, 2017.

After Policy Memo CACFP 17-2017 was published, the California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division requested further clarification regarding the documentation of meal serving size and quantities required to demonstrate compliance with the meal pattern standards.

The USDA FNS confirmed the CDE has discretion to determine the records required to document compliance with the meal patterns. As stated in 7 CFR, Section 226.15(e)(10), centers and day care homes (DCH) must keep copies of menus and any other food service record required by the state agency.

Documentation Requirements

In order to show compliance with meal pattern requirements:

  • Centers must maintain menu production records (MPR). For your convenience, the CDE has an MPR template, Form ID CACFP 28, in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS).

Note: The use of the MPR template is strictly optional, but the requirement that centers maintain MPRs, with the same level of detail as found on the template, is mandatory. Emergency shelters, and program operators who participate only in the At-risk Afterschool Meals Component of the CACFP, are not required to maintain any records that document meal quantities served.

  • DCH providers must maintain menu records (not MPRs), electronic or otherwise, that document foods served. Although the CDE strongly encourages DCH providers to document meal quantities served, DCH providers are not required to do so.
  • Centers and DCH providers must document on these required records the type of milk served. This includes listing the fat content and if the milk is flavored.
Policies and Resources

For a comprehensive and up-to-date listing of policy memos, resources, and training opportunities related to the CACFP NMP, please visit the CDE CACFP NMP Web page at

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact your CACFP Specialist.

The CACFP Specialist list is available in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS, Form ID CACFP 01. You can also contact Nancy Charpentier, CACFP Unit Office Technician (OT), by phone at 916-327-2991 or 800-952-5609, Option 3, or by e-mail at, or Leslie Schar, Community Nutrition Programs Administration OT, by phone at 916-324-6153 or by e-mail at to be directed to your CACFP Specialist.

For specific NMP questions and questions related to the CACFP NMP Web page, contact the CACFP NMP team by e-mail at A response will be provided within two business days.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 12, 2017
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