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Meal Pattern Minute: Crediting Beans

August 8, 2022

Beans are an incredibly versatile legume, and can be credited as a vegetable or as a meat/meat alternate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program. But can they be credited as both at the same time? Learn more about how to credit beans with our nutrition education specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, in this Meal Pattern Minute.


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 and the Meats/Meat Alternates section of the Crediting Handbook for the CACFP:

  • To determine the proper crediting amount for the beans that you serve, reference the Food Buying Guide.
  • Pasta and noodles made from bean flour may also credit as either a vegetable or meat alternate. However, if crediting as a meat alternate, the serving must provide at least .25 oz of meat/meat alternate and it must be offered with additional meat/meat alternate, such as tofu, cheese or meat. When crediting as a vegetable, pasta is creditable based on the volume served only if it is made from 100% bean flour. If not, a CN Label or Product Formulation Statement must be provided.
  • Fresh soybeans (edamame) are the immature beans/peas that credit the same as dry mature beans/peas. Follow the same guidance used for crediting dry beans or peas.

For more information on serving vegetables and meats/meat alternates in the CACFP, check out these resources from USDA:


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