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Meal Pattern Minute: Serving a Second Vegetable in Lieu of Fruit for Lunch and/or Supper

May 20, 2022

Vegetables are a wonderful way for Child and Adult Care Food Program participants to get important vitamins and minerals included in their everyday diet. We know that in the CACFP meal pattern, all five components must be served at lunch and/or supper in order for the meal to be reimbursed (grains, meat/meat alternate, vegetable, fruit and fluid milk). But did you know about a flexibility in the meal pattern that allows program operators to serve a variety of vegetables?

Take a minute to hear from our nutrition education specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, to learn more about how you can serve two vegetables at lunch and/or supper.

 

After you've watched the video, here are some additional things to remember about this flexibility, which you can find in the Vegetables and Fruits section of the Crediting Handbook for the CACFP:

  • Remember to serve two different vegetables. For example, for a 3-5-year-old that requires 1/4 cup of vegetable and 1/4 cup of fruit, you cannot serve 1/2 cup of carrots and credit it as both the vegetable and fruit (second vegetable) components. You also cannot serve two vegetables that are not considered different vegetables from an operational standpoint, such as sweet potatoes and white potatoes, as both are credited as potatoes.
  • The minimum creditable serving size is 1/8 cup, or 2 tablespoons. For raw, leafy greens, the minimum serving is 1/4 cup.
  • Combination vegetables may be used for two vegetables, but program operators must provide a recipe or information from the manufacturer that documents the ratio of vegetables in the mixture. For example, if one cup of a peas and carrots blend contains 50% peas and 50% carrots, then it provides 1/2 cup of carrots and 1/2 cup of peas. If the ratio cannot be determined, then the mixture will credit as 1 vegetable component.

 

For more information on serving vegetables in the CACFP, check out these resources from USDA: