North CarolinaDepartment of Health and Human Services
Division of Public Health; Women's & Children's Health Section
1914 Mail Service Center; Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1914
Tel 919-733-2973 Fax 919-733-1384
Michael F. Easley, Governor
Carmen Hooker Buell, Secretary
March 31, 2000
CACFP 00-04
TO: All Child and Adult Care Food Program Institutions

Alice Lenihan, RD, MPH, LDN
Chief, Nutrition Services Branch

SUBJECT: Commercial Infant and Other Foods Reimbursable As Meal Components in the Infant Meal Pattern in Child Nutrition Programs

This memo is to clarify issues that have been raised concerning commercial infant and other foods that are reimbursable in the Infant Meal Pattern for the Child Nutrition Programs. The clarifications are as follows by food category:

Fruits and Vegetables:

1. Commercial Baby Foods Which Are Reimbursable

Commercial baby food fruits and vegetables which are reimbursable include those which list fruit or vegetable as the first ingredient in the ingredient listing on the label or those which contain multiple fruits or multiple vegetables and list fruit or vegetable as the first ingredient in the ingredient listing on the label. Providers are encouraged to check with parents to be certain that an infant has not had an allergic reaction to baby food products containing multiple fruits or vegetables and other ingredients before serving them.

2. Commercial Baby Foods Which are Not Reimbursable

Commercial baby food dinners which list fruit or vegetable as the first ingredient are not reimbursable as meal components in the Infant Meal Pattern. Furthermore, commercial baby foods in the jarred cereal with fruit category are not reimbursable. Commercial baby food in the dessert category (those generally have "dessert" or "pudding" as part of the product name on the front of the label) which list fruit as the first ingredient in their ingredient listing are not reimbursable.

Meat/Meat Alternates

1. Commercial Baby Foods which are Reimbursable

Commercial plain strained baby food meats (including those with beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, veal, and ham) are reimbursable as a meal component in the meat/meat alternate category in the Infant Meal Pattern. Gerber 2nd FoodsTM and baby food meat products (Beef and Beef gravy, Chicken and Chicken gravy, Ham and Ham Gravy, Lamb and Lamb Gravy, turkey and Turkey Gravy, and Veal and Veal Gravy) are reimbursable even if they contain additional ingredients, such as corn starch, or lemon juice concentrate.

2. Commercial Foods and Baby Foods which are not Reimbursable

Commercial Foods and Baby Foods which are not reimbursable as a meal component in the Infant Meal Pattern include baby food combination dinners, meat sticks or "finger sticks", commercial fish sticks, other commercial breaded or battered fish or seafood products, canned fish with bones, hot dogs, and sausages. Additionally, yogurt, nuts, seeds and nuts and/or seed butters are not reimbursable.

Bread and Crackers, and Infant Cereal

Bread and Cracker-Type Products that are Reimbursable

  • Breads (white, wheat, whole wheat, French, Italian, and similar breads, all without nuts, seeds, or hard pieces of whole grain kernels)
  • Biscuits
  • Bagels (made without nuts, seeds, or hard pieces of whole grain kernels)
  • English muffins
  • Pita bread (white, wheat, whole wheat)
  • Rolls (white, wheat, whole wheat, potato, all without nuts, seeds, or hard pieces or whole grain kernels)
  • Soft tortillas (wheat or corn)
  • Crackers-saltines or snack crackers made without nuts, seeds, or hard pieces of whole grain kernels; matzo crackers, animal crackers, graham crackers made without honey.
  • Zwieback
  • Teething biscuits


1. Cereal that is Reimbursable

Cereal that is reimbursable includes any iron-fortified dry cereal specially formulated for and generally recognized as cereal for infants that is routinely mixed with breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula prior to consumption.

2. Cereal that is not Reimbursable

  • Cereal that is not reimbursable include iron-fortified dry infant cereals containing fruit
  • Commercial jarred baby food cereals which are wet
  • Ready to eat breakfast cereal (cold dry) and breakfast cereals (cooked) are not considered iron-fortified dry infant cereal and are not reimbursable

Fruit Juice

Full-strength fruit juice is the only type of juice product which qualifies for reimbursement. Vegetable juices and fruit juices with yogurt are not reimbursable.

Table 1 provides a summary of food items that are reimbursable and not reimbursable as part of the Infant Meal pattern.

Providers should request that parents furnish a statement signed by a recognized medical authority if their infant is allergic to and should not be fed certain foods and ingredients. The statement must be signed by a licensed physician if the allergy is severe and life-threatening.

Also, please remember to complete the Meal Production Record for Infants (CAC 3). When completing this form, write down exactly what you serve as it is written on the label. For example, if you are serving iron fortified (infant) oatmeal, on the meal production record, write iron-fortified (infant) oatmeal instead of infant cereal.

If you have questions about this memo, please contact Arnette Cowan at (919) 715-1926 or your regional Special Nutrition Program Consultant.

cc: SNP Staff

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Table 1 [PDF]

CAC 3 -- Meal Production Record For Infants[PDF]

([PDF] in .pdf format -- requires the FREE Acrobat Reader. )