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Meal Pattern Minute: Crediting Popcorn

September 15, 2022

Popcorn is a favorite snack among many, but how does it credit in the Child and Adult Care Food Program? You may think that it is a vegetable because fresh or canned corn credits as such, but popcorn actually credits as a whole grain, as it is made from whole corn with a fully intact bran, germ and endosperm.

Learn more about this interesting crediting rule in this Meal Pattern Minute with our nutrition education specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD.


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

  • The minimum amount that must be served for a grain to be reimbursable is 1/4 ounce equivalent. With popcorn, that amounts to 3/4 cup.
  • Popcorn counts as a whole grain-rich food. As a reminder, at least one serving of grains per day must be whole grain-rich in order for a day's worth of meals and snacks to be reimbursed in the CACFP.


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