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Crediting Grains Using Ounce Equivalents

Guidance to assist Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Operators serving children and adults to comply with the requirement to credit grains as ounce equivalents (oz eq).

Overview

The California Department of Education (CDE) developed the guidance on this web page to assist CACFP Operators serving children and adults to understand how to credit grains as oz eq to ensure they are providing the grain component in the minimum quantities required to meet the CACFP meal pattern requirements for each age group for all meals and snacks.

Guidance to assist CACFP Operators serving infants on crediting grains as oz eq is available on the CDE Crediting Grains Using Oz Eq for Infants web page.

Background

The final rule, CACFP: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 External link opens in new window or tab., published in the Federal Register on April 25, 2016, specified that grains served as part of reimbursable meals and snacks must be credited as oz eq in the CACFP, effective October 1, 2019.

On July 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed delaying the crediting of grains as oz eq in the CACFP until October 1, 2021.

The final rule, Delayed Implementation of Grains Oz Eq in the CACFP External link opens in new window or tab., officially delayed the crediting of grains as oz eq in the CACFP until October 1, 2021.

On October 1, 2021, grains served as part of reimbursable meals and snacks must be credited as oz eq in the CACFP. CACFP Operators must ensure that they are offering the minimum required serving size of creditable grains in oz eq for each age group for each meal and snack served.

Prior to October 1, 2021, CACFP Operators credited grains as slices and servings, where 14.75 grams of creditable grain equals 1 slice or serving.

Effective October 1, 2021, when crediting grains as oz eq, 16 grams of creditable grain equals 1 oz eq. Therefore, a larger amount of a grain product must be served to meet the minimum serving size listed in the CACFP meal patterns charts with the conversion from using slices and servings to oz eq.

The CACFP Meal Patterns

CACFP Operators must provide all required components in the minimum serving sizes listed for each age group for each meal and snack served, and meet all other CACFP meal pattern requirements, to claim the meals and snacks for reimbursement. This section includes links to CDE-developed web pages of the USDA CACFP meal patterns charts with grains listed in oz eq (instead of servings and slices) and volumes (such as cups and tablespoons) for some grain products.

Crediting Grains as Oz Eq

Select the links below to determine how to calculate grains oz eq for the various types of products served in the CACFP.

  • Access the CDE Calculating Grains Oz Eq: Nutrition Facts Labels web page for step-by-step instructions on crediting grains as oz eq for commercially-prepared grain products with a Nutrition Facts label on the package. Examples: Bread, crackers, and tortillas purchased at a grocery store or through a distributor.

  • Access the CDE Calculating Grains Oz Eq: CN-Labeled Products web page for step-by-step instructions on crediting grains as oz eq for commercially-prepared combination main dish products that contain grains and have a Child Nutrition (CN) Label on the package. Examples: Commercially prepared burritos, pizza, and chicken nuggets.

  • Access the CDE Calculating Grains Oz Eq: PFSs web page for step-by-step instructions on crediting grains as oz eq for commercially-prepared products containing grains that do not have a CN Label or a Nutrition Facts label on the package. Examples: Breads, rolls, and pizza purchased from a local bakery.

  • Access the CDE Calculating Grains Oz Eq: Recipes web page for step-by-step instructions on crediting grains as oz eq for grain products made using a recipe. Examples: Muffins, waffles, cornbread, dinner rolls, breaded chicken strips, and casseroles.

Compliance with the Grains Oz Eq Requirement

Guidance on the CDE review process for meal pattern compliance for the administrative review (AR) is available on the CDE CACFP Administrative Manual Section 16.1 web page for the month of the AR and the CDE CACFP Administrative Manual Section 16.2 web page for the day of the AR.

Resources

Training Worksheets (English and Spanish)

USDA TN Presentation Slides with Notes

Digital Tools

Recorded Webinars

Policy Documents

Other Resources

Questions:   CACFP Meal Patterns Team | CACFPMealPatterns@cde.ca.gov | 800-952-5609 option 5
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 19, 2021
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