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Seven CACFP Sample Cycle Menus

July 19, 2022

A dry erase board that says CACFP menu surrounded by fresh fruits and vegetables

Here’s the deal: Menu planning is hard work. Menu planning for young children while balancing the demands of the CACFP, special diets and the specific social and cultural needs of your participants? Now that’s a tall order.

So, why reinvent the wheel? We’ve got seven sample menu cycles for you to take out for a spin.  Several of them feature clever ideas. For example, bake chicken once and use shredded chicken again the next day! Some of them reference culturally relevant foods, and some of them balance easy-to-assemble meals with more in-depth recipes.


CACFP sample menus:

Around the world Sample Cycle Menu: This two-week sample cycle is themed by days: Monday—South America, Tuesday—Africa, Wednesday—Asia & Oceania, Thurs

Around the World Sample Menu Click to download

day—North America and Friday – Europe. Most of the featured recipes are available through USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services Team Nutrition. Some standouts include beef picadillo and turkey tzatziki burgers!

 


 

2019 CACFP week Sample Cycle Menu (MEMBERS ONLY): This one-week sample menu was released for CACFP Week in 2019. It features a clever use of chicken as well as correct serving size by age for all meal pattern components.

 


 

NCA Sample Cycle Menu: This two-week sample cycle menu was released when new meal pattern guidance was issued in 2017. It features many familiar favorites and easy-to-assemble ideas that are sure to please picky palates and adults alike.

Thumbnail image of NCA sample cycle menu

NCA Sample Menu
Click to Download


 

Spring Sample Cycle Menu (MEMBERS ONLY): This two-week sample cycle menu features many fresh spring flavors. Use it for ways to incorporate pears, fresh spinach and berries in your meal rotation. It’s the perfect antidote to a winter cycle menu of heavier, warmer meals.

 


 

CACFP Week Sample Menu (MEMBERS ONLY): This one-week sample cycle menu was released for CACFP Week. It includes kid-friendly classics like baked chicken strips and mac & cheese. This sample cycle menu scales up easily with the inclusion of correct serving size by age for all meal components.

 


 

Infant Sample Cycle Menu: This one-week sample cycle menu is for the 6 to 11-month-olds in your care. It includes thoughtful reminders on the finer points of the

thumbnail image of infant sample cycle menu

Infant Sample Menu
Click to download

meal pattern for infants as well as a varied menu to give your littlest ones a great start.


 

2022 CACFP Week Sample Menu (MEMBERS ONLY): This one-week sample cycle menu was released for CACFP Week 2022. It features meals and snacks that were inspired by real social media posts from CACFP providers! Bonus, it includes correct serving size by age for all meal components.

 


We add new sample menus all the time. Stay up to date by subscribing to our weekly eNews or keeping an eye on our sample cycle menu page.  Looking for access to our members-only resources? NCA members enjoy access to these resources and many others as part of their annual membership. NCA members receive many benefits, including the following:

  • Member Info Hub & Networking Forums
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  • Personal 2022 CACFP Nutrition Calendar
  • CACFP Nutrition Calendar Training Program Access
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Join NCA for all this and more.