Skip to content

Meal Pattern Minute: Muffins vs. Doughnuts

August 16, 2022

The Child and Adult Care Food Program aligns its meal patterns with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans with a goal to limit added sugars in the diets of its participants. So why are muffins, which can be as high in added sugars as a doughnut, creditable within the CACFP whereas a doughnut is not? Our nutrition education specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, is here for another Meal Pattern Minute to answer this hot topic.


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

  • Muffins (except corn muffins) fall under the Group D of Exhibit A grains, and are the only grain within that group that is creditable within the CACFP. Other foods that are in Group D, which could be seen similar to muffins but are not creditable, include doughnuts, cereal bars, granola bars, sweet rolls and toaster pastries. Crediting for muffins is that 1 oz eq of grains equals 55 grams, or 2.0 ounces.
  • Corn muffins belong to Group C, where 1 oz eq of grains equals 34 grams, or 1.2 ounces.
  • Quick breads (banana bread, carrot bread, pumpkin bread, and squash/zucchini bread) are credited in the same group as muffins. Therefore, 55 grams of quick bread are required to credit for 1 oz eq of grains.
  • An English muffin is not a muffin, and is categorized within Group B, along with foods such as bagels, biscuits, pretzels, rolls and tortillas. This group requires 28 grams, or 1.0 ounce, to be served for 1 oz eq.


For more information on crediting grains in the CACFP and how to differentiate grain-based desserts from creditable grains, check out these resources from USDA:


Want to share this video on social media? It's three simple steps!

  1. Under the video, you'll see three icons that look like a heart, a speech bubble, and a U with an arrow pointing up. Click on the icon with the arrow to open up the video in Instagram.
  2. Once in the post, you'll see three dots at the top right corner (bottom if you're in mobile). Click on that and select "Share As".
  3. Choose your platform! You can include a short note about why this Meal Pattern Minute is so important. Then post and you're all done!