Meal Patterns and Nutrition Resources

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

USDA revised the CACFP meal patterns to ensure children and adults have access to healthy, balanced meals throughout the day. The changes made were based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, scientific recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine, stakeholder input, and cost and practical considerations. Under the revised meal patterns, meals served will include more whole grains, less saturated fat, a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, and less added sugar.

USDA has updated their CACFP Nutrition Standards web page with great resources on the current meal pattern.

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 Meal Patterns and Sample Menus

 Combination Foods

 Meal and Milk Calculators

 Meal Pattern Menu Checklists

 Menu Planning Tools

 Non-Dairy Beverage Milk Substitutions

 Nutrition Resources

 Seasonal Menus

The CACFP Seasonal Menus are designed to inspire programs to use seasonal, locally grown foods when possible. The menus are four-week cycle menus with a breakfast, lunch/supper, and snack. Menus are customizable and contain links to standardized recipes. Your institution can start implementing these healthy seasonal menus in your adult or childcare facility today!

The CACFP Seasonal Menus:

  • Meet the CACFP Meal Pattern Requirements
  • Provide healthy meal options
  • Offer seasonal and local foods
  • Promote NC agriculture
  • Utilize standardized recipes
  • Offer variety

CACFP Fall 4-Week Menus (PDF, 371 KB)

CACFP Winter 4-Week Menus (PDF, 344 KB)

CACFP Spring 4-Week Menus (PDF, 290 KB)

CACFP Summer 4-Week Menus (PDF, 321 KB)

CACFP 4-Week Menu Template (PDF, 514 KB)

NC Department of Agriculture’s What’s in Season? – this is a chart of fruits and vegetables grown in North Carolina and when they are in season

Fresh Produce Purchasing and Prep Guides

 Standardized Recipes

 USDA Policy Memos Related to the Meal Patterns

For additional Meal Pattern resources, visit our Resources page.

Last Modified: 07-13-2022