Mistakes to Avoid When Crediting Grains for the CACFP

Mistakes to Avoid When Crediting Grains for the CACFP Blog

Have you ever been walking down the cracker aisle and had a product label with the words “whole grain” catch your eye, only to find out later that it doesn’t meet the CACFP requirement for whole grain? If so, you are in good company! We hope this blog helps you understand the CACFP rules for crediting grains and identifying whole grain-rich foods.

Mistake #1: Flours and Ingredients that are not Creditable as Grains

There has been an increase in the number of products available that resemble crackers or chips but are made with vegetables, beans or seeds instead of grains. For example, you won’t find Veggie Straws in our food database because they are not made out of grains, they are made primarily out of potato starch and potato flour. That makes Veggie Straws more like a potato chip than a cracker.

Any flour or starch made from beans, legumes, nuts or vegetables do not count for the grain component for the CACFP. Here are some examples:

  • Chickpea Flour
  • Potato Flour
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • Flax Seed Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Cassava Flour

Mistake #2: Ingredients that are not Enriched or Whole Grain

The omission of a single word on an ingredient list can mean that a product is not creditable on the CACFP. Any grain ingredient that is present in significant amounts must be whole, enriched, bran or germ.



Enriched wheat flour
-wheat flour

Bromated flour
Durum flour
Wheat flour
White flour
Stone ground flour

Enriched corn flour
Enriched yellow corn flour
Whole-grain cornmeal
Whole cornmeal

Corn flour
Degerminated cornmeal

Whole barley
Whole-grain barley flour

Barley malt
Malted barley flour

It gets even trickier when manufacturers put words on the packages that sound healthy but do not indicate that a product is enriched, whole grain, bran or germ. Here are some examples:

  • Organic
  • Durum
  • Semolina
  • Stone Ground
  • Unbleached
  • Made with Whole Grains

Mistake #3: Crediting Corn as a Grain

While fresh, frozen or canned corn is considered a vegetable on the CACFP, corn that is dried and ground may be able to credit as a grain. However, not just any dried and ground corn can credit on the CACFP; it has to be treated (nixtamalized) with lime or contain the whole corn kernel.



Corn masa
Masa Harina
Ground corn with trace of lime
Ground corn treated with lime
Hominy grits
Nixamalized corn
Whole corn flour
Whole-grain corn flour
Whole corn meal
Whole-grain corn meal
Whole grain corn

Ground corn
Degerminated corn meal
Corn fiber
Corn flour
Yellow corn meal
Corn meal

How My Food Program Can Help

The My Food Program food database contains only foods that credit on the CACFP. And any foods that meet the requirement for whole grain-rich have WGR in the name of the food item.

In addition, any requests for additions to the My Food Program food database are approved by a registered dietitian.

If you are ever unsure about whether a product is creditable and/or meets the CACFP requirements for the CACFP, just send a copy of the nutrition facts panel to info@myfoodprogram.com and we will have a registered dietitian review the product.