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Meal Pattern Minute: Fruit & Milk Smoothies at Breakfast

June 16, 2022

Did you know that smoothies are the only example of a recipe made by Child and Adult Care Food Program operators that can credit fluid milk in the recipe? Otherwise, fluid milk must be served as a beverage for all meals and snacks, the exception being when it is used on cereal for breakfast or snack.

This Meal Pattern Minute with our nutrition education specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, walks you through some things to keep in mind when using fruit and milk for a smoothie.


After you've watched the video, here are some additional things to remember about using fruit and milk in smoothies, which you can find in the Fluid Milk section of the Crediting Handbook for the CACFP: and the Vegetables and Fruits section of the Crediting Handbook for the CACFP:

  • A smoothie portion must contain at least 1/4 cup (2 fl oz) of fluid milk in order for the smoothie to credit towards the fluid milk component.
  • When a smoothie contains more than the minimum 1/4 cup, but less than the amount of fluid milk required in the meal pattern, additional fluid milk must be offered.
  • The milk used in a smoothie must meet the fat standards of the age group being served.
  • Pureed vegetables and fruits served in a smoothie credit as juice. Therefore, since you can only serve juice once per day, the smoothie will act as the juice limit. You can also use 100% juice to make a smoothie, but the smoothie is once again activating the juice limit and juice may not be served again during the day.


For more information on serving smoothies in the CACFP, refer to the USDA memorandum: Smoothies Offered in the Child Nutrition Programs. For more information on fluid milk, check out these resources:


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