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Updated CACFP Meal Pattern Requirements

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: Child Nutrition Program Operators

Attention: Child Nutrition Program Operators

Number: CNP-06-2017

Date: September 2017

Reference: Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 226.2, 210.10, 220.8, and 225.16(f)(2).

Subject: Child and Adult Care Food Program New Meal Pattern Requirements, Compliance, and Resources

This Management Bulletin provides information on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) New Meal Pattern (NMP) compliance dates. The California Department of Education (CDE) CACFP NMP Web page contains resources, policies, training opportunities, and frequently asked questions to support program operations with the implementation of the NMP.


The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), Public Law 111-296, amended Section 17 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, Title 42 United States Code Section 1766, which requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update the CACFP meal pattern requirements to make them more consistent with the: (1) most recent version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, (2) current and relevant nutrition science, and (3) appropriate authoritative scientific agency and organization recommendations. On April 25, 2016, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service published the final rule—CACFP: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the HHFKA (81 Final Rule 24348)—to update the CACFP meal patterns in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 226.2. This final rule also revised the meal pattern requirements for infants and children ages one through four (preschool) in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) under 7 CFR, sections 210.10 and 220.8, respectively, and for Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) operators who choose to offer age appropriate meals to children under six years of age (7 CFR, Section 225.16[f][2]) to match the CACFP meal pattern requirements.


Those Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators participating in the CACFP, NSLP, SBP, and SFSP serving children under six years of age, must implement the NMP requirements no later than October 1, 2017.

Transition Period

In recognition of the challenges associated with conforming to the CACFP NMP requirements, CACFP institutions, including CACFP centers and day care homes, SFAs, and SFSP sites serving children under six years of age, will have a one year period to adjust to these updated requirements. During Fiscal Year 2018 (October 1, 2017–September 30, 2018), state agencies and sponsoring organizations must provide technical assistance in lieu of fiscal action when they observe violations related to the NMP requirements. As long as CNP operators are making a good faith effort to comply, meals cannot be disallowed and CNP operators cannot be found seriously deficient when meals fall short of the CACFP NMP and the updated School Meal Programs’ infant and preschool meal pattern requirements.

Note: As is currently required, state agencies and sponsoring organizations must continue to take immediate fiscal action if a meal is completely missing one or more of the required food components.

Policies and Resources

For a comprehensive and up-to-date listing of policy memoranda, 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, School Nutrition Programs (SNP), or SFSP Specialist.

  • CACFP: The CACFP Specialist list is available in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS), Form ID CACFP 00. 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.

  • SNP: The SNP Specialist list is available in the CNIPS Download Forms section, Form ID Caseload. You can also contact an SNP OT by phone at 916-322-3005 or 916-322-1450.

  • SFSP: The Summer Meals Unit specialist list is available in the CNIPS Download Forms section, Form ID SMU 01. You can also contact the Summer Meals Unit OT by phone at 916-322-8323.

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: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
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