More CACFP Meal Pattern Changes Coming… But Don’t Worry!

More Meal Pattern Changes Coming…But Don’t Worry! Blog Post

Those of you that have been participating in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program for many years might recall the overhaul that the CACFP meal pattern requirements received as a part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. USDA just announced an update to the CACFP Meal Pattern requirements, but this time the changes are minor. Below is a summary of the changes. You can read more on the USDA website.

Sugar Limits for Breakfast Cereals and Yogurt

  • Starting October 1, 2025 breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of added sugar per dry ounce. The prior rule had a limit on total sugars.
  • Starting October 1, 2025, yogurts must contain no more than 12 grams of added sugar per 6 ounces. The prior rule had a limit on total sugars.

If you are a My Food Program user, you have the option to specify the brand and flavor of cereal and yogurt when planning menus. On October 1, 2025, we will designate any cereal or yogurts with too many added sugars as not creditable. Meals or snacks offered with a cereal or yogurt that exceeds the new sugar limit will be disallowed with the reason “Food item not creditable”. Prior to October 1, 2025, we will provide a list of affected food items.

More Meal Pattern Changes Coming…But Don’t Worry! Blog Post

Wondering what items qualify with these new rules? We have done the work for you!
View our CACFP-creditable lists that you can search and filter for yogurts, foods with CN Labels and Product Formulation Statements and cereals (coming soon).

Medical Statements to Request Meal Modifications

Starting on October 1, 2025 registered dietitians will have the authority to write medical statements to request meal modifications for participants with disabilities. State-licensed healthcare professionals already have this authority. Participants with disabilities may be offered meals and snacks that do not meet the USDA meal pattern requirements, as long as the medical statement is followed.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are now allowed to credit for the full meats/meat alternate component. Prior to this change, nuts and seeds had to be served alongside another source of meat/meat alternate.

For Tribal Communities and Sponsors, Institutions and Facilities in Guam and Hawaii

Sponsors, institutions and facilities that are primarily providing care for American Indian or Alaskan Native participants or located in Guam or Hawaii can substitute vegetables for grains.


Sponsors, institutions and facilities are now allowed to use the terms “locally grown,” “locally raised,” or “locally” caught when writing a description of the product or service during the procurement process. State agencies and program operators can adopt their own definition of “local.”

Do you have questions about nutrition or specific food items?