Children’s Council Food Program Facilitates New USDA Nutrition Guidelines

By Franny Wong
Children’s Council Health & Nutrition Manager

The USDA recently revised the Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal patterns. Starting October 1, 2017, all child care providers who participate in our Food Program must follow these updated standards to receive CACFP reimbursement. The CACFP meal pattern, which was last updated in 1968, now allows for a wider variety of meat alternatives and calls for whole grains, more fruits and vegetables and lower sugar limits, while also promoting breastfeeding.

These new regulations are a great step forward. At Children’s Council, we are honored to support our child care provider community as they provide the children in their programs with nutritious meals, so they can live healthy and happy lives.

To download a PDF of our Food Program Provider Handbook, including the new guidelines, click here.

If you are a provider interested in joining our Food Program and receiving reimbursements for serving healthy meals, please contact Carmen Chan at

Concerned that this new meal pattern will mean an increase in costs? Here is a cost comparison chart showing how you can actually save money through implementing this new, healthier meal pattern.

Below is a snapshot of the new regulations.

Developmentally Appropriate Meals:

More Nutritious Meals:

More Protein Options:

Lower sugar limits:

Encourage and Support Breastfeeding:

For more details, click here for the infant meal pattern (Spanish, Chinese), or here for the child meal pattern (Spanish, Chinese).

If you want to learn more about the new meal pattern, check out the Association for Child Development website, which offers trainings, shopping guides and summaries. Another good resource is from Let’s Move Child Care. Curious to see where you are at with your transition? Take the new CACFP Meal Pattern Self-Assessment.

Children’s Council is here to help all providers in our Food Program through this transition. As always, we encourage you to reach out to us for support!

Comments are closed