Grain Ounce Equivalents

Grain Ounce Equivalent Image
Starting October 1, 2019
You need to measure grain amounts in “ounce equivalents” instead of “servings”.
The USDA is changing the way CACFP sites need to measure grain amounts so that the CACFP and the National School Lunch Program are all using the same method. The amount of grain is only slightly different:

Before October 1, 2019
You should review the products that you typically purchase and double-check that you are serving enough. Here’s how to do the math:

  1. Figure out the total WEIGHT of the package.
  2. Find out HOW MANY SERVINGS are in the package.
  3. Divide the WEIGHT by the NUMBER OF SERVINGS and refer to the chart above to make sure you’re serving enough.

Here are two examples:

  • A package of Eggo Homestyle Waffles is 12.3 oz and has 10 waffles inside. 12.3 oz/10 = 1.23 oz for each waffle. On the chart above, you can see that 1 ounce equivalent of waffles is 1.2 oz. So toddlers and preschoolers need ½ waffle and school agers need 1 waffle.
  • A bag of Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Mini Bagels is 17 oz and has 12 bagels inside. 17/12 = 1.4 oz for each bagel. On the chart above, you can see that 1 ounce equivalent of bagels is 1 oz. So toddlers and preschoolers need ½ mini bagel and school agers need 1 mini bagel.

Cereal: Flakes, Rounds, Puffed & Granola
As part of the transition to ounce equivalents, you need to serve different amounts of a cereal depending on how dense the cereal is. Puffed cereals need the highest volume while granola needs the least. Here’s a chart of all the cereals in each category. Remember: all cold cereals need to meet the sugar limit of 6 grams per dry ounce. If a whole grain is the first ingredient, the cereal counts as a whole grain rich food!

At My Food Program, we’re making the transition to ounce equivalents easy!
You don’t need to remember amounts or look at grain/bread charts if you don’t want to. When you add a grain food to your menu, you’ll see the amount (in ounces, lbs, cups or each) after each menu item. The amount that shows up on the menu is the amount that you are required to serve. For example, if you select the menu item “Muffins, enriched (in oz)” you’ll see this screen that reminds you to serve 1 oz of muffin at snack to a toddler or preschooler and 2 oz of muffin to older age groups:

If you select the menu item “Muffins, Betty Crocker, blueberry, enriched (each)” you’ll see this screen:

We’ve already done the math for you!

If you have an item that you want added to our food database, simply contact us and we’ll get it added right away in whichever units you prefer.

2 thoughts on “Grain Ounce Equivalents

  1. If we serve waffles to kids from preschool to 8th grade, how many waffles should they get? I live in MI

    1. Hello Lindsay!

      Thank you for reaching out to My Food Program. The number of waffles that a child gets depends on the size of the waffle. Children ages 1-5 need 0.6 ounces of waffle and children ages 6+ need 1.2 ounces of waffle. For context, an Eggo Homestyle waffle is exactly 1.2 ounces, so a child age 1-5 would need 1/2 waffle and children ages 6+ would get a full waffle.

      Please let us know if you need anything else.
      Thank you!

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