CACFP Meal Pattern
    USDA Strengthens CACFP Child Nutrition with New Meal Pattern

    New Resources from USDA below:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published the final rule for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This rule is effective June 24, 2016. Compliance with the provisions of this rule must begin October 1, 2017.

    The final rule strengthens nutrition standards for food and beverages served to young children and others in day care settings. CACFP meals will now offer more whole grains, a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, and less added sugars and solid fats. The science-based standards introduced in this final rule will elevate the nutritional quality of meals and snacks provided under CACFP to better align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to be consistent with the meals children receive as part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).

    USDA has issued a press release with additional details. Also USDA has a new web page that includes the following information about the nutrition standards for CACFP Meals and Snacks:

    • One-Page Summaries of the New Meal Standards
    • New Meal Standards Charts
    • Previous Meal Standards Charts
    • Guidance and Technical Assistance

    The new USDA web page is located at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/meals-and-snacks.

    The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and regional Education Service Centers are preparing to offer training and technical assistance to ensure contracting entities (CE) have the resources needed to successfully incorporate the new meal pattern revisions into their programs. Look for additional information and resources from TDA at www.squaremeals.org/cacfpmealpattern. CEs are also encouraged to attend TDA’s annual CACFP Conference July 5-7, 2017 in Austin.

    CACFP Meal Pattern Early Implementation - Downloadable Resources
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established a new meal pattern for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). All CACFP Contracting Entities (CE) must be in compliance with the meal pattern by October 1, 2017. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is exercising the option to allow early implementation of certain meal pattern changes as allowed by USDA regulation. TDA recognizes the nutritional benefits of these meal pattern options and the greater flexibility they represent to providers. The allowances listed below are not in compliance with current CACFP meal patterns. However, CEs may begin implementing these five allowances on October 1, 2016, and meals that include these allowances may be claimed as a reimbursable meal. The documents below provide information about the five allowances and were developed for CEs. An online training module is available here.
    For more information, please contact your local ESC.

    Click on links below to open each Early Allowance Overview and One Pager:
           Overview of the 5 Early Implementation Allowances       
           1. Breastfeeding On-Site
           2. Nutrient-Rich Foods for Infants

           3. Meat/Meat Alternates in Place of Grains
           4. Tofu and Soy Yogurt Products Allowed as Meat Alternates

           5. Yogurt in Place of Milk for Adults         
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    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

     (1) mail: 
    U.S. Department of Agriculture 
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
    (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
     (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

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