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Transcript: Using the CACFP Crediting Handbook

Text transcript of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meal Pattern Compliance-Part One: Using the Crediting Handbook for CACFP Operators online course.

The Nutrition Services Division is providing a text transcript of the CACFP Meal Pattern Compliance-Part One: Using the Crediting Handbook for CACFP Operators online course, which is available as a video file by accessing the 2020-21 CACFP Mandatory Training.

Slide 1: Title Slide

Welcome to the California Department of Education online course, Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Pattern Compliance, Part One–Using the Crediting Handbook for Child and Adult Care Food Program Operators, course number 458, recorded in October 2020.

My name is Courtney Hardoin, and I am a Nutrition Education Consultant in the Nutrition Services Division.

Slide 2: Acronyms

I will use several acronyms throughout this training on the slides and occasionally in the transcript. They are as follows:

  • California Department of Education: CDE
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program: CACFP
  • Child Nutrition Label: CN Label
  • Child Nutrition Program: CNP
  • Food Buying Guide: FBG
  • Meats/meat alternates: M/MA
  • Ounce: oz
  • Ounce equivalents: oz eq
  • Product formulation statement: PFS
  • Questions and answers: Q&A
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: USDA, and,
  • Whole grain-rich: WGR

Slide 3: CACFP Meal Pattern Compliance Series

CACFP Meal Pattern Compliance is a two-part series. After viewing this online course, which is Part One, please view CACFP Meal Pattern Compliance, Part Two–Using the USDA Online Food Buying Guide, course number 459. Part One and Part Two are complimentary online courses to provide CACFP Operators with the guidance they need to serve creditable meals in the CACFP.

Slide 4: Training Objectives

The training objectives of this online course are for CACFP Operators to:

  1. Understand the purpose of the USDA Team Nutrition Crediting Handbook for CACFP Operators and how it supplements the USDA Food Buying Guide for CNPs;

  2. Learn that the Crediting Handbook is organized into five sections and what each section entails; and,

  3. Recognize which foods included in the Crediting Handbook are creditable, not creditable, or may be creditable depending on supporting documentation.

Slide 5: Training Objective 1

The first training objective in this online course is to understand the purpose of the USDA Crediting Handbook for CACFP Operators and how it supplements the USDA Food Buying Guide for CNPs.

Slide 6: Crediting Handbook for CACFP Operators

The Crediting Handbook for CACFP Operators includes information on creditable foods served in child and adult care centers, which may be located in a variety of settings, such as schools, Head Start programs, nonprofit centers, outside-school-hours care centers, emergency shelters, at-risk afterschool programs, day care homes, or for-profit centers that serve low-income children.

The Crediting Handbook was updated in March 2020, to reflect the updated CACFP meal patterns requirements, which became effective October 2017.

Slide 7: Crediting Handbook—Supplement to FBG

The Crediting Handbook is a supplement to the Food Buying Guide.

The Crediting Handbook provides information on whether many food items and products are creditable toward the CACFP meal patterns; however, it does not include all foods that can be served in the CACFP or how to credit food items to the CACFP meal patterns. Therefore, the Crediting Handbook is a supplementary resource to the USDA Food Buying Guide for CNPs.

The Food Buying Guide, which is discussed in detail in CACFP Meal Pattern Compliance, Part Two–Using the USDA Online Food Buying Guide, course number 459, contains crediting information for over 2,100 food items and is the CACFP Operator’s primary resource to determine whether a food is creditable, how to credit food items to the meal patterns, and how much of a food item to purchase in order to provide the minimum serving size required for the number of participants served.

Links to the online Crediting Handbook, Food Buying Guide, and all other resources mentioned in this online course, are accessible in the Referenced Resources section, which is adjacent to this online course when your screen is minimized.

Slide 8: Infant Feeding Guidance

CACFP Operators who serve infants cannot use the Crediting Handbook for infant feeding guidance. The Crediting Handbook is a crediting guide for child and adult meals only. Therefore, the content shared in this online course is only for crediting toward the CACFP meal patterns for children 12 months of age and older and adults.

The infant meal patterns, creditable foods for infants, and additional information on feeding infants in the CACFP, is included in the USDA Team Nutrition Feeding Infants in the CACFP guide, accessible in the Referenced Resources section.

Slide 9: Test Your Knowledge—Question #1

It is time to test what you have learned with question number one!

True or False: The Crediting Handbook is the primary resource for CACFP Operators to determine whether foods are creditable in the CACFP?

  1. True, or
  2. False

Slide 10: Test Your Knowledge—Answer #1

The correct answer is b. False.

The USDA Food Buying Guide is the primary resource for identifying creditable foods in the CACFP. The Crediting Handbook is a supplementary resource to the USDA Food Buying Guide that contains information on whether many foods served in child and adult care centers are creditable to the CACFP meal patterns; however, the Crediting Handbook does not replace the Food Buying Guide, which includes crediting information for over 2,100 food items.

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Slide 11: Training Objective 2

The second training objective in this online course is to learn that the Crediting Handbook is organized into five sections and what each section entails.

Slide 12: Crediting Handbook Sections

The Crediting Handbook is divided into five sections. They include the following:

  1. Definitions and Explanations;
  2. CACFP Meal Patterns;
  3. Meal Components;
  4. Crediting in Action; and,
  5. Resources

Slide 13: #1: Definitions and Explanations

The first section of the Crediting Handbook provides definitions and explanations on:

  • Foods, and ingredients used to make foods, that are served in the CACFP, such as alternate protein products, home-canned foods, and whole grains;

  • Program guidance, such as which agencies must comply with the Buy American Provision requirement;

  • Documentation, such as CN Labels, product formulation statements, and medical exceptions; and,

  • Terminology used in the CACFP, such as reimbursement and serving size.

Slide 14: #2: CACFP Meal Patterns

The second section of the Crediting Handbook includes the CACFP meal patterns for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snack for children ages 1 through 18 years and adults. As mentioned previously, the infant meal patterns are included in the USDA Team Nutrition Feeding Infants in the CACFP guide.

Slide 15: #3 Meal Components

The third section, Meal Components, is the core of the Crediting Handbook. It includes:

  • Background information and federal guidance on serving each of the five components: Fluid milk, meats/meat alternates, vegetables, fruits, and grains;

  • A table for each component to help CACFP Operators identify foods that are creditable toward the meal pattern components. It includes:

    • The names of a variety of food items within each meal component

    • Whether each food item is creditable, not creditable, or may be creditable

    • An Additional Information column for each food item to provide clarification on the crediting designation and where to go to get more information, such as, the Food Buying Guide. For example, the Additional Information column clarifies that turkey bacon may be creditable if the product has a CN Label or a product formulation statement.

  • And the Meal Components section also includes, a Q&A section for each component.

Slide 16: #4 Crediting in Action

The fourth section of the Crediting Handbook, Crediting in Action, includes guidance on how to determine the meal pattern contribution for each meal component. This is an important step to ensure that meals served are nutritious and meet federal meal pattern requirements. This section:

  • Provides an overview of the Food Buying Guide to help CACFP Operators determine how much food to purchase and how each food credits toward the meal components;

  • Lists documentation required to demonstrate that the meal pattern requirements are met;

  • Provides guidance on crediting commercially processed foods and recipes; and,

  • Includes a detailed section on crediting grain items.

Slide 17: #5 Resources

The fifth and final section of the handbook includes resources to support each section of the handbook, such as:

  • USDA policy memos;
  • Documentation guidance;
  • Other resource manuals; and,
  • Contact information.

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Slide 18: Training Objective 3

The third training objective in this online course is to recognize which foods included in the Crediting Handbook are creditable, not creditable, or may be creditable depending on supporting documentation.

This is achieved by referencing the third section of the Crediting Handbook, Meal Components, which is the core of the Crediting Handbook. As I mentioned, it includes background information; federal guidance; a table detailing which food items are creditable; and a Q&A section.

Slide 19: Component #1–Fluid Milk

The first component in the Crediting Handbook is Fluid Milk.

Slide 20: Fluid Milk–Meal Service Requirements

This slide provides an overview of meal service requirements for fluid milk.

The CACFP regulations require that each participant’s breakfast, lunch, and supper include fluid milk, with a few exceptions:

  • From ages 0 through 12 months, breastmilk, iron-fortified formula, or a combination of both are provided to infant participants instead of fluid milk;

  • From ages 12 through 13 months, iron-fortified formula may be served while the child is transitioning to fluid whole milk;

  • Breastmilk is allowed at any age as a substitute for fluid milk;

  • Yogurt may be substituted for the fluid milk requirement for adults at one meal or snack per day; and,

  • Nondairy beverages may be substituted for fluid milk if accompanied by acceptable documentation.

Slide 21: Allowable Fluid Milk Types by Age Group

The type of milk that is allowed to be served depends on the age of the participants and the agency type.

  • For participants ages 12 through 23 months, only unflavored whole milk may be served;

  • For participants ages 24 through 25 months, unflavored whole, two percent, or various combinations of unflavored milk may be served as this group transitions to unflavored one percent or fat-free milk;

  • For participants ages 2 through 5, only unflavored one percent or fat-free milk may be served;

  • For participants ages 6 through 18, the California Healthy Beverages in Child Care Act limits serving flavored beverages to children of any age in licensed centers and homes. Therefore:

    • All licensed child care centers and homes may serve only unflavored one percent or fat-free milk; and,

    • Unlicensed child care centers and homes may serve only unflavored fat-free and one percent milk and flavored fat-free milk.

  • For adults, only unflavored fat-free and one percent milk and flavored fat-free milk may be served.

Slide 22: Fluid Milk Form

There are also requirements for the form of fluid milk that may be provided. At breakfast and snack, fluid milk must be provided as either a beverage, used on a cereal, or used in part as a beverage and on cereal. At lunch and supper, fluid milk must be provided as a beverage only.

Slide 23: Fluid Milk Served in Smoothies

Fluid milk used in smoothies can credit toward the fluid milk component if a serving includes a minimum of one-quarter cup, or two ounces, of fluid milk. Smoothies are the only example of a recipe made by CACFP Operators that can credit the fluid milk in the recipe. Fluid milk is not creditable when used in other recipes for foods such as cooked cereals, breads, custards, and puddings.

For more information on crediting smoothies in the CACFP, reference the USDA policy memo, Smoothies Offered in the CNPs, and the CDE Serving Smoothies in the CACFP web page, accessible in the Referenced Resources section.

Slide 24: Fluid Milk Substitutes–No Disability

This slide provides an overview of fluid milk substitutes served to participants who do not have a disability.

Nondairy beverages can be served in place of fluid milk for participants without disabilities who do not wish to consume fluid milk for religious, ethical, or other reasons. The nondairy beverage substitution must meet the fluid milk substitution nutrition requirements established in federal regulations.

In addition, the request for a nondairy beverage substitution must be submitted in writing by the parent, guardian, or participant to the CACFP Operator, and must state the reason for the request. CACFP Operators are encouraged but not required, to accommodate requests for a nondairy beverage substitute that is not due to a disability. CACFP Operators may ask the parent or guardian to provide the nondairy beverage substitute when participants do not have a disability.

Slide 25: Fluid Milk Substitutes–Disability

This slide provides an overview of fluid milk substitutes served to participants who do have a disability.

Nondairy beverages can also be served in place of fluid milk for participants with a disability that restricts their diet. The nondairy beverage substitution is not required to meet the fluid milk substitution nutrition requirements established in federal regulations if the participant submits a medical statement signed by a licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.

CACFP Operators must provide the fluid milk substitute at no extra cost unless the modification is so expensive that it would make continued operation of the program unfeasible or create a fundamental alteration in the nature of the child or adult care program.

Slide 26: Fluid Milk Substitutes Resources

To learn more about fluid milk substitutes, reference the following resources:

  • USDA Policy Memo CACFP 17-2016, Nutrition Requirements for Fluid Milk and Fluid Milk Substitutions in the CACFP, Q&As

  • CDE Management Bulletin (MB) CACFP 02-2020, Nutrition Requirements for Fluid Milk and Fluid Milk Substitutions in the CACFP

  • CDE Menu Modifications in the CACFP tip sheet, and,

  • CDE Milk Requirements in the CACFP online course.

Links to these resources are accessible in the Referenced Resources section.

Slide 27: Fluid Milk Products Tables Section

In the fluid milk products tables section, there are two tables. One table identifies creditable fluid milk and the other table identifies creditable dairy products other than fluid milk and nondairy milk substitutes. These are not all-inclusive lists.

Slide 28: Fluid Milk Products Table

The fluid milk products table includes crediting information for breastmilk and fluid milk products from hooved animals, like cows and goats. Each product listed in this table has a checkmark in one of three columns designating that it is creditable, may be creditable, or it is not creditable toward the fluid milk component.

Slide 29: Fluid Milk Products–Creditable

The fluid milk products that are creditable toward the milk component in this table for all CACFP participants are:

  • Pasteurized A2 milk, which is fluid milk that only contains the A2 form of protein instead of the A1, or B-casein, form of protein

  • Breastmilk

  • Lactose-free and lactose-reduced milk

  • One percent milk

  • Skim milk, and

  • Ultra-high temperature milk, which is also known as shelf-stable milk

Slide 30: Fluid Milk Products–May Be Creditable

The fluid milk products that may be creditable toward the fluid milk component in this table are:

  • Buttermilk
  • Cultured milk, such as:
    • Kefir
    • Acidified
    • Acidophilus
  • Flavored milk
  • Goat’s milk
  • Two percent milk, and
  • Whole milk

Slide 31: Fluid Milk Products–Not Creditable

The only fluid milk product that is not creditable toward the fluid milk component in this table is certified raw milk, because the federal CACFP regulations require milk to be pasteurized.

Slide 32: Additional Information Column–Fluid Milk Products

In the Additional Information column for each fluid milk product, CACFP Operators can find clarification on the crediting designation. For example:

  • Buttermilk may be creditable if it is fat free or one percent for participants two years of age and older and it is commercially prepared; and,

  • Two percent milk may be creditable only when served to children during the one-month transition period between 24 through 25 months of age or if there is a special medical need, in which case the participant needs to provide a signed medical statement to the CACFP Operator with sufficient documentation.

Slide 33: Dairy Products or Milk Substitutes Table (1)

The dairy products or milk substitutes table includes:

  • Dairy products other than fluid milk, and
  • Milk substitutes

Slide 34: Dairy Products or Milk Substitutes Table (2)

Most food items in the dairy products and milk substitutes table are not creditable as fluid milk. For example, cheese does not credit as fluid milk; it credits as a meat/meat alternate only. In addition, the following foods do not credit toward the fluid milk component, or toward any other component in the CACFP meal patterns:

  • Cream
  • Cream sauces and soup
  • Custard
  • Eggnog
  • Evaporated milk
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Half and half
  • Ice cream
  • Ice milk
  • Imitation milk
  • Pudding, and
  • Pudding pops

Slide 35: Additional Information Column–Dairy Products and Milk Substitutes

In the Additional Information column for dairy products and milk substitutes, CACFP Operators can find clarification on the crediting designation. For example:

  • Almond, coconut, rice, and soy beverages may be creditable if they meet the fluid milk substitution nutrition requirements; however, soy beverages are typically the only type of nondairy beverage that can meet these requirements.

  • Hot chocolate made with fluid milk is considered flavored milk and therefore may be creditable only for adults, and children over six in unlicensed centers and homes, provided that there is a minimum of one-quarter cup of allowable fluid milk in the hot chocolate.

  • Reconstituted dry milk may be creditable under certain conditions of limited fluid milk availability, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, with prior state agency approval.

Slide 36: Test Your Knowledge–Question #2

It is time to test what you have learned with question number two!

Question: CACFP Operators can claim meals that include a nondairy beverage in place of fluid milk that are served to participants who do not have a disability if which of the following conditions exist?

  1. The nondairy beverage meets the federal fluid milk substitution nutrition requirements.

  2. The request is accompanied with written documentation stating the reason for the request by the parent, guardian, or participant.

  3. Both a and b.

Slide 37: Test Your Knowledge–Answer #2

The correct answer is c. Both a and b.

Participants without a disability who do not wish to consume fluid milk for religious, ethical, or other reasons, can request a nondairy beverage substitution if it meets the federal fluid milk substitution nutrition requirements and is accompanied with adequate written documentation from the parent, guardian, or participant.

Slide 38: Test Your Knowledge–Question #3

Let’s test what you have learned with another question.

Question number three: True or False: CACFP Operators can credit the milk added to a macaroni and cheese recipe if a serving includes a minimum of one-quarter cup, or two ounces, of fluid milk?

  1. True
  2. False

Slide 39: Test Your Knowledge–Answer #3

The correct answer is b. False.

Fluid milk must be provided as either a beverage, used in cereal, or used in part for each purpose at both breakfast and snack. Fluid milk must be provided as a beverage only at lunch and supper. Smoothies are the only example of a recipe made by CACFP Operators that can credit the fluid milk in the recipe in any meal or snack.

Fluid milk is not creditable when used in other recipes for foods such as cooked cereals, puddings, and main dishes.

Slide 40: Q&A About Fluid Milk Section

The Q&A About Fluid Milk section includes seven Q&A on fluid milk and five Q&A on milk substitutes. For example, one of the fluid milk Q&A addresses that milk can be purchased directly from a farm, provided it is pasteurized fluid milk that meets state and local health standards, and includes vitamins A and D and other nutrients at levels consistent with state and local standards.

For additional guidance on serving fluid milk and fluid milk substitutes, reference the USDA Policy Memo CACFP 17-2016, Nutrition Requirements for Fluid Milk and Fluid Milk Substitutions in the CACFP, Q&As, accessible in the Referenced Resources section.

For questions not addressed in this section or in the USDA policy memo, send your question by email to the CDE CACFP Meal Patterns Team at CACFPMealPatterns@cde.ca.gov. We will respond within two business days.

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Slide 41: Component #2–Meats/Meat Alternates

The second component in the Crediting Handbook is Meats/Meat Alternates.

Slide 42: M/MA–Minimum Crediting Requirements

This slide provides an overview of minimum crediting requirements for the meat/meat alternate component.

For all meals and snacks, a menu item must provide at least one-quarter ounce equivalents of meat/meat alternate to credit towards the meat/meat alternate requirement. For example, the following menu items and amounts credit as one-quarter ounce equivalent meat/meat alternate:

  • Cooked dry beans or peas: one-sixteenth cup, or one tablespoon (or Tbsp)
  • Natural or processed cheese: one-quarter ounce
  • Eggs: one-eighth of a large egg
  • Lean meat, poultry, or fish: one-quarter ounce
  • Nut and seed butters: one-half tablespoon
  • Tofu, commercially prepared: one-sixteenth cup; and,
  • Yogurt: one-eighth cup, or one ounce

Slide 43: M/MA–Meal Service Requirements: Breakfast

This slide provides an overview of meal service requirements at breakfast for the meat/meat alternate component.

A meat/meat alternate is not required at breakfast; however, meats and meat alternates may be served to meet the entire grains component a maximum of three times per week at breakfast. For example, CACFP Operators could substitute a meat/meat alternate, such as scrambled eggs, for the entire grains component at breakfast a maximum of three times per week. A one-ounce serving of meat/meat alternate is equal to one ounce equivalents grains.

Slide 44: M/MA–Meal Service Requirements at Lunch/Supper

This slide provides an overview of meal service requirements at lunch and supper for the meat/meat alternate component.

The CACFP regulations require that lunch and supper meals contain a serving of meats or meat alternates. The meat/meat alternate for lunch and supper must be served in the main dish, or in the main dish together with another menu item. For example, serving one ounce chicken breast as the main dish, with one-eighth cup of pinto beans on the side, which is one-half ounce equivalent meat alternate, would meet the requirement of one and one-half ounce equivalent meat/meat alternate for children ages 3 through 5 at lunch.

Slide 45: Crediting Cooked, Dry Beans or Peas (M/MA)

This slide provides an overview of crediting cooked, dry beans or peas toward the meat/meat alternate component.

A serving of cooked, dry beans or peas, also known as legumes, cannot be credited as both a meat alternate and a vegetable in the same meal. However, if two different cooked, dry beans or peas are offered at a meal, the CACFP Operator may choose to credit one as a meat alternate and the other as a vegetable.

Slide 46: Crediting Yogurt

This slide provides an overview of crediting yogurt.

When yogurt is served in place of fluid milk to adults, which is allowed at one meal or snack per day, the yogurt cannot credit toward both the fluid milk and the meat/meat alternate component in the same meal. In addition, yogurt served in the CACFP cannot exceed 23 grams of sugar per 6 ounces for participants of all ages.

The USDA Team Nutrition CACFP Meal Pattern Training Worksheets web page includes a resource to assist CACFP Operators to determine whether a yogurt meets the sugar limit. A link to the Team Nutrition worksheets is accessible in the Referenced Resources section.

Slide 47: Crediting Foods Containing Alternate Protein Products

This slide provides an overview of crediting foods containing alternate protein products.

Alternate protein products, such as soy protein isolate or whey protein concentrate, are generally included as an added ingredient in processed meat and meat alternate products, such as a formed meat patty or vegetarian patty. Meat and meat alternates that contain alternate protein products must be accompanied by a CN Label or a product formulation statement.

Slide 48: Crediting Nuts, Seeds, and Nut and Seed Butters

This slide provides an overview of crediting nuts, seeds, and nut and seed butters.

Nuts and seeds may fulfill no more than one-half of the meat/meat alternate requirement for reimbursable meals. Nuts and seeds must be combined with another meat/meat alternate to meet the full requirement for a reimbursable meal. However, nut and seed butters may credit toward the entire meat/meat alternate component at snacks and meals.

When serving nuts, seeds, and nut and seed butters:

  • Some participants may have nut or seed intolerances or allergies. CACFP Operators are encouraged to make reasonable accommodations for participants with allergies to ensure that they are receiving safe and nutritious meals.

  • Nuts and seeds should be served with caution and butters spread thinly when provided to children under four years of age and some elderly participants, as they may cause choking.

  • CACFP Operators should always supervise participants during meals and snacks.

Slide 49: Creditable M/MA Products Table

Let’s move on to the creditable meat/meat alternate products table.

The meat/meat alternate products table is a guide to identify creditable meats and meat alternates and products that contain creditable meats and meat alternates. It is not an all-inclusive list. Each product listed in this table has a checkmark in one of three columns designating that it is creditable, may be creditable, or it is not creditable toward the meat/meat alternate component.

Slide 50: M/MA Products–Creditable

Some products that are listed as creditable toward the meats/meat alternates component in this table are:

  • Beans or peas, such as kidney, garbanzo, and black beans
  • Bean or pea soup that is commercially prepared; not homemade
  • Nuts and seeds and their butters
  • Hummus
  • Eggs
  • Canadian bacon
  • Frankfurters
  • Cheese foods and cheese food substitutes
  • Cheese spreads and cheese spread substitutes
  • Cottage and ricotta cheese
  • Natural and processed cheese
  • Fish, commercial only; meaning not home-caught
  • Shellfish
  • Surimi, and
  • Tempeh, commercial only

Slide 51: M/MA Products–May Be Creditable

Some products that may be creditable toward the meats/meat alternates component in this table are:

  • Turkey bacon
  • Bologna, hot dogs, and luncheon meats
  • Canned or frozen combination foods, such as stews, chili, macaroni, and pizza
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Corn dogs
  • Dried and semi-dried meat
  • Fish sticks
  • Noncommercial, or home-caught, fish
  • Pasta made from bean or pea flour
  • Dried pepperoni
  • Quiche
  • Salami
  • Commercial meat/meat alternate soups, other than bean or pea, which are creditable
  • Homemade meat/meat alternate soups, including bean or pea, and
  • Yogurt

Slide 52: M/MA Products–Not Creditable

Some products that are not creditable toward the meats/meat alternates component in this table are:

  • Acorns
  • Bacon, other than turkey bacon
  • Canned and pressed luncheon meats
  • Ceviche
  • Imitation cheese
  • Cheese “products”
  • Cream and Neufchatel cheese
  • Liquid egg substitutes
  • Egg whites or egg yolks only
  • Home-slaughtered meats and home-pickled fish
  • Nut flour
  • Peanut butter “spreads”
  • Pigs feet
  • Raw sushi
  • Liquid “yogurt”, and
  • Commercial yogurt products, such as frozen yogurt, yogurt bars, and yogurt-covered fruits and nuts

Slide 53: Creditable Cheese? Read the Label!

Determining which cheeses are creditable can be confusing. The key is to read the label. That is because federal regulations require the type of cheese to be listed on the product label.

Creditable “cheese foods” and “cheese spreads” have a federal standard of identity that specifies the moisture content and the amount of milkfat they must contain. Only cheese foods and cheese spreads that meet the federal standard of identify for moisture and milkfat may include the words “cheese food” or “cheese spread” on the label.

Noncreditable “cheese products” and “imitation cheese” do not have a federal standard of identity that specifies the moisture content and amount of milkfat they must contain. Cheese products and imitation cheeses are required to include the words “cheese product” or “imitation cheese” on the label, making them easy to identify.

Slide 54: Creditable: Cheese Foods and Spreads

This slide provides an overview of creditable cheese foods and spreads.

Cheese food is a variation of processed cheese that has additional milk ingredients added. An example of a cheese food is a block of cheese that is labeled, “processed cheese food”.

Cheese spread is a variation of cheese food that may include sweeteners and ingredients to prevent separation and is spreadable at 70 degrees. An example of a cheese spread is a plastic tub of cheese that is labeled, “spreadable cheese”.

Please note that cheese foods and cheese spread food items are never creditable for infants in the CACFP; only for children and adults. In addition, even though cream cheese is often labeled “cream cheese spread”, cream cheese and Neufchatel cheese are never creditable in the CACFP due to their low protein and high fat content.

Slide 55: Noncreditable–Cheese Products and Imitation Cheeses

This slide provides an overview on noncreditable cheese products and imitation cheeses.

Cheese products are processed cheeses that do not meet the moisture and/or milkfat federal standards. Examples of cheese products are loaves of cheese and cheese slices in individually wrapped plastic that are labeled, “cheese product”. If they do not include the words "cheese product" and instead only include the words "processed cheese", then they are a processed cheese which is creditable in the CACFP.

Imitation cheeses are made from vegetable oil, not milk, and do not have adequate nutrition to credit toward the meats/meat alternates component. For example, any cheese-type product with the word “imitation” on the label is not creditable. The image on the slide shows a product labeled “imitation pasteurized process cheese food”. Even though “cheese foods” are creditable, because the label includes the word “imitation”, the product is not a creditable cheese.

We hope that provides clarification on which types of cheeses are and are not creditable in the CACFP! Let’s move on to other information included in the meat/meat alternates products table.

Slide 56: Additional Information Column–M/MA Products

In the Additional Information column for each meat/meat alternate product, CACFP Operators can find clarification on the crediting designation. For example:

  • Bologna, hot dogs, and other luncheon meats may be creditable. Bologna, hot dogs, and turkey ham are listed in the Food Buying Guide as creditable meats/meat alternates; however, if these products contain byproducts, cereals, binders, or extenders, then the products may be creditable only if they are accompanied by either a CN Label or a product formulation statement. Most luncheon meats are not listed in the Food Buying Guide and will require a CN Label or a product formulation statement to credit towards the meal pattern.

  • Pasta made from beans or peas may be creditable if a serving provides at least one-quarter ounce equivalents toward the meat/meat alternate component, it is offered with an additional meat/meat alternate (such as tofu, cheese, or meat), and the product has either a CN Label or a product formulation statement.

Slide 57: Test Your Knowledge–Question #4

It is time to test what you have learned with question number four!

Question: Which of the following cheese food items are creditable in the CACFP? Select all that apply.

  1. Cheese foods and cheese food substitutes
  2. Cheese spreads and cheese spread substitutes
  3. Natural and processed cheese
  4. Imitation cheese
  5. Cheese products, and,
  6. Cream and Neufchatel cheese

Slide 58: Test Your Knowledge–Answer #4 (1)

The correct answers are:

  1. Cheese foods and cheese food substitutes
  2. Cheese spreads and cheese spread substitutes, and
  3. Natural and processed cheese

These products include a federal standard of identity, which establishes the amount of moisture and milkfat in the product.

Slide 59: Test Your Knowledge–Answer #4 (2)

Let’s review why the other products, imitation cheese, cheese products, cream cheese, and Neufchatel cheese, are not creditable. Imitation cheeses are primarily made with vegetable oil and contain no or very little protein. Cheese products, for example, cheese slices wrapped in plastic that include the words, cheese product, on the label do not meet federally required amounts of moisture and milkfat for cheese. And cream and Neufchatel cheeses are low in protein and high in fat compared with other cheeses.

Slide 60: Q&A About M/MAs Section

The Q&A About Meat/Meat Alternates section includes two Q&A on meats and 15 Q&A on meat alternates. For example, one of the Q&A addresses that meat, cheeses, or other meat alternates on pizza can be credited toward the meat/meat alternate component with appropriate documentation, which is a standardized recipe for homemade pizza, or either a CN Label or PFS for commercial pizza products. This section also includes a meat alternates Q&A that provides guidance on how to determine whether a yogurt meets the sugar limit in the CACFP.

For additional guidance on serving meats/meat alternates in the CACFP, reference the USDA Policy Memo CACFP 08-2017, Q&As on the Updated Meal Pattern Requirements for the CACFP. Additional USDA policy memos and CDE MBs related to serving meat/meat alternates, are included in the Policy tab of the CDE CACFP Meal Patterns web page. Links to these resources are accessible in the Referenced Resources section.

For questions not addressed in this section or in the USDA policy memos and CDE MBs, send your question by email to the CDE CACFP Meal Patterns Team at CACFPMealPatterns@cde.ca.gov.

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Slide 61: Components #3 and #4–Vegetables and Fruits

The third and fourth components, Vegetables and Fruits, are next in the Crediting Handbook.

Slide 62: Vegetables and Fruits–Meal Service Requirements

This slide provides an overview of meal service requirements for vegetables and fruits.

The CACFP meal patterns include a combined vegetables and fruits component at breakfast. The vegetables and fruits components are separate, however, at lunch, supper, and snack to help increase the variety of vegetables and fruits served and consumed by children and adults.

To allow CACFP Operators flexibility to offer a variety of vegetables, the meal patterns allow a second vegetable to be served in place of the fruits component at lunch and supper only, provided that two different vegetables are served. For example, broccoli and carrots are two different vegetables. One of these vegetables can be substituted at lunch or supper for the fruits component.

Please note, the same vegetable served in different forms, such as raw carrots and cooked carrots, counts as only one serving of vegetables.

Slide 63: Crediting Vegetables and Fruits

This slide provides an overview of crediting vegetables and fruits.

The smallest creditable portion for the vegetables and fruits components is one-eighth cup, or two tablespoons. Vegetables and fruits are credited based on their volume served. For example, one-quarter cup carrots credits as one-quarter cup vegetable and one-half cup sliced strawberries credits as one-half cup fruit. There are a few exceptions:

  • Dried fruits credit as twice the volume served. For example, one-quarter cup raisins credits as one-half cup fruit.

  • Raw, leafy greens credit as half of the volume served. For example, one-half cup spinach credits as one-quarter cup vegetable.

  • Tomato paste and tomato puree are unique in that they can be credited using the whole food equivalency (which is the volume of tomatoes prior to pureeing) rather than on the actual volume served. Therefore, one tablespoon of tomato paste provides one-quarter cup vegetable and two tablespoons of tomato puree provides one-quarter cup vegetable.

Slide 64: Vegetable and Fruit Purees

Vegetable and fruit purees, other than tomato paste and tomato puree, also credit based on the finished volume served. For example, if a CACFP Operator pureed three cups of whole raspberries, the pureed raspberries would only provide two cups fruit and would credit as 2 cups fruit. Therefore, one-quarter cup pureed raspberries credits as one quarter-cup fruit. Remember, vegetables and fruits are credited based on their volume served. In the case of pureed vegetables and fruits, the volume served is less than when the product is whole. The Food Buying Guide has yield information for raspberries and some other pureed fruits. Vegetable and fruit purees always credit as vegetables and fruits, not juice, unless they are served in a smoothie; then they credit as juice.

Slide 65: Crediting Vegetable and Fruit Juices

This slide provides an overview of crediting vegetable and fruit juices.

Pasteurized full-strength, 100 percent fresh, canned, frozen, or reconstituted with water from concentrated vegetable and fruit juice, and juice blends may count toward the entire vegetables or fruits component at one meal per day, including snack. However, when fluid milk is served as one of the components at snack, juice cannot be served to meet the vegetables or fruits component. The name of the full-strength juice on the label must include the word(s):

  • Juice
  • Full-strength juice
  • Single-strength juice
  • 100 percent juice
  • Reconstituted juice, or,
  • Juice from concentrate

Slide 66: Juice: Blends and Purees

Juice blends and purees that are mixtures of vegetables and fruits typically contribute to the vegetables or fruits component based on the highest quantity ingredient. For example, if the first ingredient listed on a product label is strawberry juice or puree, then the juice blend typically credits toward the fruit requirement. If the first ingredient on a product label is carrot juice or puree, then the juice blend typically credits toward the vegetable requirement.

All juice must be pasteurized. Unpasteurized juice may contain harmful bacteria that can place children and some older adults at risk of becoming ill. That is the reason why homemade juice, such as whole oranges pressed and served as juice, is not allowable to serve to participants in the CACFP.

An exception to this is that whole fruit can be blended, credited as juice, and served as a smoothie. Make sure to follow safe food handling procedures to prevent foodborne illnesses in this situation by thoroughly rinsing all raw fruits and vegetables under running water. As an added precaution, use a small brush to remove surface dirt and cut away damaged or bruised areas, since bacteria can thrive in these places.

Slide 67: Crediting Food Mixtures with Both Vegetables and Fruits

This slide provides an overview of crediting food mixtures that contain both vegetables and fruits.

Foods that contain a mixture of both vegetables and fruits, with known quantities of each component, must be credited separately in reimbursable lunches, suppers, and snacks. A serving of the mixture must contain a minimum of one-eighth cup of the component to credit toward the meal patterns. For example, a carrot-pineapple mixture that contains one-half cup carrots and one-quarter cup pineapple per serving would credit as one-half cup vegetables and one-quarter cup fruit to the meal pattern. Additional vegetables or fruits may need to be served to meet the minimum serving size for the meal or snack depending on the age range of the participants served.

Slide 68: Crediting Vegetable Mixtures

This slide provides an overview on crediting vegetable mixtures.

Mixtures of different types of vegetables, whose quantities are not known, such as mixed frozen carrots and peas, credit as one serving of vegetables. However, if the CACFP Operator has documentation from the manufacturer that provides information about the quantity of each vegetable in the mixture per serving, then the food may be credited as two servings of vegetables, provided the minimum serving amount of each vegetable offered is at least one-eighth cup.

Slide 69: Crediting Cooked, Dry Beans, or Peas (Vegetable)

This slide provides an overview of crediting cooked, dry bean or peas toward the vegetable component.

Cooked or roasted dry beans or peas, also known as legumes may be used to meet all or part of the vegetable component. Beans and peas may also count as a meat alternate, but not as both a vegetable and a meat alternate in the same meal. For example, if the CACFP Operator credits refried beans as a vegetable at lunch, they must also serve a meat/meat alternate. If the CACFP Operator credits the refried beans as a meat/meat alternate at lunch, they must also serve a vegetable.

Slide 70: Crediting Home-canned and Frozen Vegetable and Fruit Products

This slide provides an overview of crediting home-canned and frozen vegetable and fruit products.

Home-canned vegetable and fruit products are not allowed for service in the CACFP due to health and safety reasons. However, home freezing of vegetable and fruit products, such as freezing blueberries that are in season, to serve at a later date, is allowed.

Slide 71: Test Your Knowledge–Question #5

It is time to test what you have learned with question number five!

Question: Which of the following statements about the vegetables and fruits component is false?

  1. Raw, leafy greens credit as half of the volume served. For example, one-half cup spinach credits as one-quarter cup vegetable.

  2. Pureed vegetables and fruits always credit as vegetables and fruits, not juice.

  3. A second vegetable may be served in place of the fruits component at lunch and supper.

  4. The smallest creditable portion for the vegetables and fruits components is one-eighth cup, or two tablespoons.

Slide 72: Test Your Knowledge–Answer #5

The correct answer is b. Pureed vegetables and fruits always credit as vegetables and fruits, not juice.

This statement is false because, while pureed vegetables and fruits typically credit as vegetables and fruits, not juice, there is one exception. That exception is when pureed vegetables and fruits are served in a smoothie; then they credit as vegetable or fruit juice.

Slide 73: Vegetable Products Table

The vegetable products table is a guide to identify creditable vegetables and products that contain creditable vegetables. It is not an all-inclusive list. Each product listed in this table has a checkmark in one of three columns designating that it is creditable, may be creditable, or it is not creditable toward the vegetables component.

Slide 74: Vegetable Products–Creditable

Some vegetable products that are listed as creditable toward the vegetables component in this table are all varieties of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried (or dehydrated) vegetables, including:

  • Beans and peas, also known as legumes
  • Bean sprouts
  • Corn
  • All varieties of greens, such as mustard and collard
  • Hominy
  • 100 percent juice and juice blends
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Potatoes, including dehydrated potatoes and potato skins
  • Salsa
  • Commercial vegetable soups
  • Spaghetti sauce, and
  • Vegetable spirals

Slide 75: Vegetable Products–May Be Creditable

Some products that may be creditable toward the vegetables component in this table are:

  • Bean flour
  • Carrot and zucchini bread
  • Coleslaw
  • French-fried potatoes
  • Gelatin containing vegetables
  • Homemade vegetable soups
  • Macaroni and pasta salads containing vegetables
  • Onion rings
  • Pasta made from beans or peas
  • Sweet potato and pumpkin pie filling, and
  • Pizza sauce

Slide 76: Vegetable Products–Non Creditable

Some products that are not creditable toward the vegetables component in this table are:

  • Condiments, such as:
    • Barbecue sauce
    • Catsup
    • Pickle relish
    • Spices, and
    • Salad dressings
  • Corn syrup
  • Gravy base
  • Pumpkin bread; and
  • Fried chips, such as:
    • Corn chips
    • Potato chips, and
    • Vegetable straws

Slide 77: Additional Information Column–Vegetable Products

In the Additional Information column for vegetable products, CACFP Operators can find clarification on the crediting designation. For example:

  • Pizza sauce may be creditable if a minimum of one-eighth cup is provided and the CACFP Operator has a standardized recipe, CN Label, or a product formulation statement; and,

  • Carrot and zucchini breads may be creditable if they contain at least one-eighth cup of visible vegetable per serving and the CACFP Operator has a standardized recipe or product formulation statement.

  • Generally, vegetable breads contain an insufficient amount of visible vegetables per serving, which is why pumpkin bread is not creditable.

Slide 78: Fruit Products Table

The fruit products table is a guide to identify creditable fruits and products that contain creditable fruits. It is not an all-inclusive list. Each product listed in this table has a checkmark in one of three columns designating that it is creditable, may be creditable, or it is not creditable toward the fruits component.

Slide 79: Fruit Products–Creditable

Some fruit products that are listed as creditable toward the fruits component in this table are all varieties of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried (or dehydrated) fruits, such as:

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Peaches
  • Coconut, and
  • Raisins

Although 100 percent, pasteurized fruit and vegetable juices are not listed in these tables, they are creditable provided they meet the criteria previously shared.

Slide 80: Fruit Products–May Be Creditable

Fruit products that may be creditable toward the fruits component in this table are:

  • Apple cider
  • Apple fritters
  • Cakes, pies, and muffins containing fruit
  • Cranberry sauce and relish
  • Fruit cobblers and crisps
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Fruit sauces
  • Gelatin containing fruit or fruit juice
  • Fruit juice blends
  • Fruit nectar
  • Puddings containing fruit (that are homemade)
  • Commercial and homemade sorbet, and
  • Fruit added to commercial yogurt by the CACFP Operator

Slide 81: Fruit Products–Not Creditable

Some products that are not creditable toward the fruits component in this table are:

  • Fruit drinks (including –ade drinks, punch, and water)
  • Apple butter
  • Banana bread
  • Coconut flour
  • Cranberry juice cocktail
  • Fig bars
  • Frozen fruit-flavored bars and popsicles
  • Fruit juice bases
  • Fruit-flavored powders and syrups
  • Fruit snacks (such as fruit strips and leather)
  • Honey
  • Ice cream and sherbet
  • Jam, jelly, and preserves
  • Syrups
  • Puddings containing fruit that are commercially prepared
  • Fruit toaster pastries, and
  • Fruit included in commercial yogurt

Slide 82: Additional Information Column–Fruit Products

In the Additional Information column for each fruit product, CACFP Operators can find clarification on the crediting designation. For example:

  • Cakes, pies, and muffins containing fruit may be creditable if they contain at least one-eighth cup of visible fruit per serving and the CACFP Operator has a standardized recipe or a product formulation statement. Generally, these products contain an insufficient amount of fruit per serving. In addition, only muffins can credit toward the grains component, as they are not considered a grain-based dessert; however, cakes and pies are grain-based desserts and cannot credit toward the grains component.

  • Fruits added to commercial yogurt by the CACFP Operator may be creditable if it contains at least one-eighth cup of visible fruit per serving. The yogurt with added fruit should be accompanied by a standardized recipe to demonstrate the contribution of the fruit (and yogurt) per serving.

Slide 83: Test Your Knowledge–Question #6

It is time to test what you have learned with question number six!

Question: Which of the following food items is creditable toward the fruits or vegetables component in the CACFP?

  1. Fruit in a pie when there is at least one-eighth cup of visible fruit per serving
  2. Banana bread
  3. Corn chips, and,
  4. Cranberry juice cocktail

Slide 84: Test Your Knowledge–Answer #6

The correct answer is a. Fruit in a pie is creditable when there is at least one-eighth cup of visible fruit per serving. The grain in the crust is not creditable toward the grains component, however, because sweet pies are considered a grain-based dessert.

Banana bread does not include enough visible fruit in a serving to be creditable; Corn chips are classified as a grain, not a vegetable; and cranberry juice cocktail is not a creditable food item.

Slide 85: Q&A About Vegetables and Fruits Section

The Q&A About Vegetables and Fruits section includes 22 Q&A on vegetables and fruits.

For example, one of the Q&As addresses that CACFP Operators can identify if a juice is full-strength, 100 percent juice, if it is labeled with “Contains 100 Percent Juice.” Juices that have the words cocktail, beverage, or drink are not considered 100 percent juice. In addition, the statements “natural” or “organic” do not indicate that the juice is 100 percent juice.

The USDA Policy Memo, CACFP 09-2017, Vegetable and Fruit Requirements in the CACFP; Q&As, accessible in the Referenced Resources section, has additional guidance on serving vegetables and fruits in the CACFP.

For questions not addressed in this section or in the USDA policy memo, send your question by email to the CDE CACFP Meal Patterns Team at CACFPMealPatterns@cde.ca.gov.

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Slide 86: Component #5–Grains

The fifth component, Grains, is next in the Crediting Handbook.

Slide 87: Grains–Meal Service Requirements

This slide provides an overview of the meal service requirements for grains.

Grain is a required component at breakfast, lunch, and supper meals, and is an optional component at snack in the CACFP. At breakfast, CACFP Operators have the flexibility of serving a meat/meat alternate in place of the entire grains component a maximum of three times per week. All grain products served in the CACFP must be made with enriched or whole grain meal or flour, bran, or germ.

To emphasize the importance of whole grains, the CACFP meal patterns require at least one grains serving per day to be whole grain-rich for children (ages one year and older) and adults, provided that a grain is served that day. For example, a center serving only snacks is not required to serve grain as one of the two required components at snack. In that situation, there may not be a whole grain-rich item on the menu that day.

The whole grain-rich requirement does not apply to infants.

Slide 88: Crediting Grains

This slide provides an overview for crediting grains.

The grains section in the Crediting Handbook focuses on using ounce equivalents (instead of servings) to credit grains for all grain ingredients and products, and specifically how to use the Exhibit A: Grain Requirements for CNPs table (which I will refer to as the Exhibit A Table). The Exhibit A table provides the minimum portion sizes of grain products that are required to be served to meet the meal pattern requirements in ounce equivalents. A link to the online Exhibit A table is accessible in the Referenced Resources section and is also on pages 94 through 96 in the Crediting Handbook.

Lastly, when crediting grains, please note that the smallest creditable portion for the grains component is one-quarter ounce equivalents.

Slide 89: Grain-based Desserts

This slide provides an overview on grain-based desserts.

To better align the CACFP meal patterns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, grain-based desserts cannot count toward the grains requirement at any meal or snack. Grain-based desserts are those food items that have a superscript 3 and 4 in the Exhibit A table. For example, cookies, sweet pie crusts, cereal bars, breakfast bars, granola bars, toaster pastries, cakes, and brownies. Some grain food items, like cookies, do not have a Food and Drug Administration standard of identity, so a food manufacturer may come up with fanciful names that could be misleading. When determining whether a food is a grain-based dessert, consider whether the food is commonly thought of as a dessert or treat.

Additional guidance on grain-based desserts can be found in the USDA Policy Memo CACFP 16-2017, Grain-based Desserts in the CACFP and the Team Nutrition CACFP Training Worksheets web page, accessible in the Referenced Resources section.

CACFP Operators who are unsure of whether a food item is considered a grain-based dessert should work with their sponsoring organization or contact the CDE CACFP Meal Patterns Team at CACFPMealPatterns@cde.ca.gov.

Slide 90: Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast cereals (which include ready-to-eat, instant, and regular hot cereals) served to children and adults must meet the sugar limit of no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce of cereal and must either have a whole grain, enriched grain, bran, or germ as the first ingredient or be fortified (as indicated on the label, or as added vitamins and minerals in the ingredient list.)

The USDA Team Nutrition developed two resources to assist CACFP Operators to determine whether a cereal meets the sugar limit:

  • Choose Breakfast Cereals That Are Lower in Sugar, and,
  • Calculating Sugar Limits for Breakfast Cereals in the CACFP

A link to the Team Nutrition worksheets is accessible in the Referenced Resources section.

Slide 91: Grain Products Table

The grains products table is a guide to identify creditable grains and products that contain creditable grains. It is not an all-inclusive list. Each product listed in this table has a checkmark in one of three columns designating that it is creditable, may be creditable, or it is not creditable toward the grains component.

Slide 92: Grain Products–Creditable (1)

Some products that are listed as creditable toward the grains component in this table are:

  • Animal and graham crackers
  • Biscuits
  • Breading and batter
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Hamburger and hot dog buns
  • Chow Mein noodles
  • Cornbread
  • Croissants
  • Croutons
  • Egg roll skins
  • English muffins
  • French toast
  • Grain chips, such as:
    • Bagel chips
    • Corn chips, and
    • Wheat tortilla chips
  • Hominy grits

Slide 93: Grain Products–Creditable (2)

  • Muffins
  • Noodles
  • Pancakes
  • Pita bread
  • Pizza crust
  • Pretzels
  • Quick breads, such as:
    • Banana bread and
    • Carrot bread
  • Rice
  • Stuffing
  • Taco shells
  • Tortillas
  • Waffles
  • Whole grains, such as:
    • Amaranth
    • Oatmeal, and
    • Quinoa

Slide 94: Grain Products–May Be Creditable

Products that may be creditable toward the grains component in this table are:

  • Barley
  • Bread pudding
  • Cornmeal
  • Couscous
  • Farina
  • French and Italian bread
  • Grits
  • Hush puppies
  • Pie crust
  • Potato pancakes
  • Puff pastry
  • Rice flour, and
  • Turnover crust

Slide 95: Grain Products–Not Creditable

Products that are not creditable toward the grains component in this table are:

  • Bean pastas
  • Cream puff shells
  • Fig bars
  • Flour alternatives made from nongrain ingredients (such as bean, potato, and soy flour)
  • Ice cream cones
  • Potato chips
  • Rice pudding
  • Tapioca
  • Vanilla wafers, and
  • All grain-based desserts listed with a superscript 3 or 4 in the Exhibit A table

Slide 96: Additional Information Column–Grain Products

In the Additional Information column for each grain product, CACFP Operators can find clarification on the crediting designation. For example:

  • Rice flour may be creditable if it is enriched or whole-grain flour; and,

  • Pie crust may be creditable if it is a savory pie, such as beef or chicken pot pies. Pie crust from sweet pies is not creditable.

Slide 97: Q&A About Grains Section

The Q&A About Grains section includes 16 Q&A on grains and grain products.

For example, one of the Q&A addresses that CACFP Operators have the discretion to choose which meals will include a whole grain-rich food item, provided that they serve at least one whole grain-rich food per day over the course of all meals and snacks served.

For questions not addressed in this section or in the USDA and CDE grains guidance mentioned previously and accessible in the Referenced Resources section, send your question by email to the CDE CACFP Meal Patterns Team at CACFPMealPatterns@cde.ca.gov.

Slide 98: Test Your Knowledge–Question #7

It is time to test what you have learned with question number seven, which is the last question!

Question: Which of the following statements about the grains component is false?

  1. The CACFP meal patterns require at least one grains serving per day to be whole grain-rich for infants, children, and adults.

  2. At breakfast, meats/meat alternates can be served in place of the entire grains component a maximum of three times per week.

  3. Animal and graham crackers are creditable in the CACFP meal patterns. Or,

  4. All grain products served in the CACFP must be made with enriched or whole grain meal or flour, bran, or germ.

Slide 99: Test Your Knowledge–Answer #7

The correct answer is a. The CACFP meal patterns require at least one grains serving per day to be whole grain-rich for infants, children, and adults.

This statement is false. The requirement that at least one grains serving per day is whole grain-rich only applies to children and adult meal patterns. The whole grain-rich requirement does not pertain to the infant meal pattern.

Slide 100: Crediting Food Items Not Listed in the Crediting Handbook

Many CACFP Operators wonder how to credit food items that are not listed in the Crediting Handbook, since not every creditable food item is included in the Crediting Handbook, such as:

  • Common meats, such as ground beef and chicken,

  • Sliced bread, and

  • Grain ingredients used in recipes, such as cornmeal (when used as an ingredient, not a cooked cereal), flour, bran, and germ

To learn how to determine if foods that are not included in the Crediting Handbook are creditable in the CACFP, view the CDE online course, CACFP Meal Pattern Compliance, Part Two–Using the USDA Food Buying Guide, course number 459.

Slide 101: Resources

For links to guidance and resources referenced throughout this online course, see the Referenced Resource section adjacent to this online course.

Slide 102: Professional Standards Crediting

For program operators who must complete professional standards requirements, the professional standards crediting for this online course is:

  • Key Area: Nutrition (1000)

    • Training Topic: Menu Planning (1100)
      • Learning Objective: Plan menus that meet USDA nutrition requirements for reimbursable meals, including calculating meal components. (1110)

The total instructional time is one hour.

Slide 103: Contact Information

For questions regarding the content of this course, please contact the CACFP Meal Patterns Team by email at CACFPMealPatterns@cde.ca.gov or by phone at 800-952-5609, Option 5.

Slide 104: Conclusion

In conclusion, thank you for completing the CACFP Meal Pattern Compliance, Part One–Using the Crediting Handbook, course number 458. Please select Next in the online training screen for further instructions to complete the course and to submit your responses to the CDE. If you have maximized the video or accessed it on YouTube, you will need to return to the online training screen to select Next.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Referenced Resources

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Questions:   CACFP Meal Patterns Team | CACFPMealPatterns@cde.ca.gov | 800-952-5609 Option 5
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, December 22, 2020
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