The Child Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern requirements are intended to promote the development of good eating habits and nutrition education by using a well balanced diet with a wide variety of foods. This chart is here to help you plan meals that meet the USDA requirements for reimbursement and are nutritious, fun, and delicious.
The Meal Pattern design consists of approvable foods that are grouped for service at breakfast, lunch, snack and supper. The USDA pays you based on meals served; not for individual foods. But, it’s important for you to understand how to assign individual foods to the make-up of each meal you plan to serve. To be reimbursed, you cannot deviate from the meal pattern. You may enhance the meal pattern with additions of approvable foods for extra calories/vitamins/protein/appeal, etc. An example would be to add an egg (meat substitute) to the otherwise required components for breakfast.