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Calculating Grains Oz Eq: Recipes

Provides guidance for calculating grains ounce equivalencies (oz eq) in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for grain products made using a recipe.

Back to Crediting Grains Using Ounce Equivalents web page

Description

This web page provides step-by-step guidance on three methods to calculate grains oz eq for homemade grain recipes:

  1. Using online calculations
  2. Using a food scale
  3. Using hand calculations

Tip!: If a CACFP Operator is using a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standardized recipe with the grains contribution listed as oz eq, they are not required to calculate grain oz eq, because the calculation has already been determined. Links to the USDA standardized recipes are accessible on the USDA Team Nutrition (TN) Recipes web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Using Online Calculations

To determine crediting for homemade grain recipes, CACFP Operators can use the USDA Interactive Food Buying Guide (FBG) External link opens in new window or tab., which includes a Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW) tool. CACFP Operators must have a registered account and be logged into the USDA FBG to access the RAW tool. To create an account and for login instructions, see the Login Information section of the California Department of Education (CDE) FBG Calculator web page.

Note: To use this method, the grain product must be creditable. To determine if the product is a creditable grain, access the CDE Determining Creditable Grain Products in the CACFP web page.

Calculation Steps

  • Step 1: Select the RAW tab

    • Select the RAW tab on the home screen of the USDA FBG. This will open a new RAW screen.

  • Step 2: Select Create RAW

    • On the RAW screen, select Create RAW. A Create RAW screen will open.

  • Step 3: Enter information about the recipe

    • Enter information into the three required fields on the USDA FBG Create RAW screen: Recipe Name, Servings per Recipe, and Serving Size.

    • For example:

      • Recipe Name: Pourable Pizza Crust (USDA CACFP recipe)
      • Servings per Recipe: 25
      • Serving Size: 1 piece

  • Step 4: Enter first creditable grain ingredient

    • On the Create RAW screen, select the Grains–Method C tab and then select Add New Ingredient to enter the first creditable grain ingredient.

    • A table will appear on the Create RAW screen where the following information is entered: Description of Creditable Grain Ingredient, Quantity of Ingredient, and Measurement Unit (grams [g] or oz). For example:

      • Description of Creditable Grain Ingredient: Whole wheat flour
      • Quantity of Ingredient: 15
      • Measurement Unit: oz

    • Tips!:

  • Step 5: Enter additional creditable grain ingredients

    • While on the Create RAW screen, continue to select Add New Ingredient to enter additional creditable grain ingredients following the steps outlined in Step 4 of this section.

    • For example, the Pourable Pizza Crust recipe also includes enriched bread flour; therefore, the following information would be added to the recipe after selecting Add New Ingredient:

      • Description of Creditable Grain Ingredient: Enriched bread flour
      • Quantity of Ingredient: 14
      • Measurement Unit: oz

  • Step 6: Enter other creditable ingredients

    • If the recipe includes creditable ingredients from other components (fruits, vegetables, meats/meat alternates) or prepared grain products (such as tortillas and rice), follow the instructions to enter these ingredients outlined in slides 55–60 of the CDE Transcript: Using the USDA Food Buying Guide web page.
      .
    Tip!: CACFP Operators will only enter ingredients that credit as components in the CACFP into the RAW tool. There is no way to add ingredients, such as oil and sugar, into the RAW tool, as the RAW can only access creditable food items listed in the USDA FBG.

  • Step 7: View Crediting Statement

    • Select the Meal Pattern Contribution tab on the Create RAW screen to view the crediting statement for the recipe.

    • The tab includes crediting information for each component for one serving of the product. For example, one piece of the Pourable Pizza Crust recipe provides 2.0 oz eq grains.

    • Select Save to save the recipe to document the contribution to the meal pattern.

  • Step 8: Determine the required serving size

    • To determine the required serving size, refer to the minimum serving size for the grains component for the age group and meal or snack being served on page two in the USDA Updated CACFP Meal Patterns resource External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

    • For example, the minimum serving size for the grains component for adults at Lunch is 2.0 oz eq; therefore, the minimum serving size is one piece of pizza crust, which provides 2.0 oz eq.

Using a Food Scale

CACFP Operators can weigh a cooked grain product made using a standardized recipe, and then compare the weight of one serving of the grain product with the weights listed for that grain product in the USDA Exhibit A: Grain Requirements for Child Nutrition Programs chart External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) to determine grains oz eq for that grain product.

To use this method, all grain ingredients in the recipe must be creditable.

Calculation Steps

  • Step 1: Weigh the grain product on a scale

    • Weigh one serving of the cooked grain product to determine the weight of one serving of the grain product.

    • For example, a homemade piece of cornbread made using a standardized recipe weighs 20 grams.

  • Step 2: Compare the weight of one serving with the weight in the USDA Exhibit A chart

    • Find the appropriate food group for the grain product in the USDA Exhibit A chart External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) to determine how much the grain product weighs in oz eq.

    • For example cornbread is listed in Group C of the USDA Exhibit A chart External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF). Using the Exhibit A chart External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), the amount that cornbread (and all other grain products listed in Group C) must weigh to provide a minimum amount of grains oz eq are as follows:

      • To provide 1 oz eq, grain products in Group C must weigh 34 g (or 1.2 oz)
      • To provide ¾ oz eq, grain products in Group C must weigh 26 g (or 0.9 oz)
      • To provide ½ oz eq, grain products in Group C must weigh 17 g (or 0.6 oz)
      • To provide ¼ oz eq, grain products in Group C must weigh 9 g (or 0.3 oz)

    • In this example, one serving of the cornbread weighs 20 grams; therefore, it provides between ½ and ¾ grains oz eq.

  • Step 3: Round down

    • Determine how many oz eq are in one serving of the grain product by rounding down to the nearest 0.25 oz. For example, 20 g (weight of one serving of the cornbread) rounded down to the nearest 0.25 oz for Group C in Exhibit A is ½ oz eq per serving of cornbread.

    Tip!: This method can also be used for commercially prepared grain products that do not have a Nutrition Facts label, such as commercially prepared bagels purchased from a local grocery store, provided that all grains in the product are creditable . For guidance on determining grains oz eq for commercially prepared products with a Nutrition Facts label, see the CDE Calculating Grains Oz Eq: Nutrition Facts Labels web page.

  • Step 4: Determine the required serving size

    • To determine the required serving size, refer to the minimum serving size for the grains component for the age group and meal or snack being served on page two in the USDA Updated CACFP Meal Patterns resource External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

    • For example, the minimum serving size for the grains component for children ages 1–5 at Snack is ½ oz eq; therefore, the minimum serving size is one piece (serving) of cornbread, which provides ½ oz eq.

Using Hand Calculations

The USDA developed a resource, Determining Oz Eq of Grains in CACFP Recipes, English External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) and Determining Oz Eq of Grains in CACFP Recipes, Spanish External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), that provides guidance on calculating grains oz eq for one serving of a grain product made using a homemade recipe. Below is an overview of the steps included in this resource.

Calculation Steps

  • Step 1: Document the recipe name and all creditable grain ingredients

    • For example:

      • Recipe name: Blueberry Muffins
      • Creditable grain ingredients:

        • Whole wheat flour, 1½ cups
        • Enriched white flour, 1½ cups

  • Step 2: Document the amount of each creditable grain ingredient as a decimal

    • The ingredients in a recipe must be documented in decimals (not fractions) to perform the required calculations.

    • For example, the Blueberry Muffins recipe lists 1½ cups whole wheat flour and 1½ cups enriched white flour. Since the amount of the grain ingredients are listed as fractions, change the fractions to decimals using the conversions below.

      • 1/8 = 0.125
      • 1/4 = 0.25
      • 1/3 = 0.333
      • 3/8 = 0.375
      • 1/2 = 0.5
      • 5/8 = 0.625
      • 2/3 = 0.667
      • 3/4 = 0.75
      • 7/8 = 0.875

    • In this example, the ingredients convert from fractions to decimals as follows:

      • 1½ cups whole wheat flour = 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
      • 1½ cups enriched white flour = 1.5 cups enriched white flour

  • Step 3: Determine the conversion factor to document grains in grams

    • If the recipe lists the amount of grain ingredients in grams, skip to Step 5. If amounts are listed in cups, ounces, or pounds, determine the conversion factor, as listed in the chart below, to convert these measurements to grams. For a detailed, more specific, list of conversions, see page 5 of the USDA TN resource Determining Oz Eq of Grains in CACFP Recipes, English External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) and Determining Oz Eq of Grains in CACFP Recipes, Spanish External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

    • For example, the Blueberry Muffins recipe lists 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour and 1.5 cups of enriched white flour. The conversion factors are as follows:

      • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour x 120 g per cup
      • 1.5 cups enriched white flour x 125 g per cup
Conversion Factor to Multiply By
Number of pounds of ingredient 453.6 g
Number of ounces of ingredient 28.35 g
Number of cups of enriched white flour 125 g
Number of cups of regular rolled oats 81 g
Number of cups of quick-cooking oats 81 g
Number of cups of degermed, enriched cornmeal 138 g
Number of cups of wheat bran 58 g
Number of cups of wheat germ 115 g
Number of cups of whole wheat flour 120 g

  • Step 4: Convert the ingredients into grams

    • Using the conversion factors in Step 3, convert the ingredients into grams. For example:

      • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour x 120 g per cup = 180 g
      • 1.5 cups enriched white flour x 125 g per cup = 187.5 g

  • Step 5: Determine the total grams of creditable grains in the recipe

    • Add the grams provided by each creditable grain to determine the total grams of creditable grains in the entire recipe.

    • For example, 180 g whole wheat flour + 187.5 g enriched white flour = 367.5 g creditable grains in the entire recipe.

  • Step 6: Divide the total grams of creditable grains by the number of servings in the recipe

    • Divide the total grams of creditable grains in the recipe (Step 5) by the number of servings (yield) in the recipe to determine the amount of creditable grains per serving.

    • For example 367.5 g creditable grains ÷ 20 servings in the Blueberry Muffins recipe = 18.375 g creditable grains per serving.

  • Step 7: Divide the grams of creditable grains per serving by 16 grams

    • Divide the grams of creditable grains per serving (Step 6) by 16 grams (because the USDA has established that there are 16 g of creditable grain in 1 oz eq) to determine the amount of grains oz eq per serving.

    • For example 18.375 g creditable grains per serving (Step 6) ÷ 16 = 1.14 oz eq of grains per serving

  • Step 8: Round down

    • Round down to the nearest 0.25 oz eq.

    • For example, 1.14 oz eq (Step 7) rounded down to the nearest 0.25 oz eq = 1.0 grains oz eq in one muffin.

  • Step 9: Determine the required serving size

    • To determine the required serving size, refer to the minimum serving size for the grains component for the age group and meal or snack being served on page two in the USDA Updated CACFP Meal Patterns resource External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

    • For example, the minimum serving size for the grains component for children ages 6–12 at Breakfast is 1.0 oz eq; therefore, the minimum serving size is one muffin, which provides 1.0 oz eq.

Additional Resources

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