Meal Pattern Minute: WIC Cereals
December 22, 2022
Breakfast cereals are a grain component in the Child and Adult Care Food Program meal pattern. There are various options to choose from, including hot and cold cereal types that can help provide variety in your menu. Just keep in mind that in order to credit a breakfast cereal in the CACFP, the cereal must not have more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce. When looking for options that meet this sugar limit, you might have come across a WIC-approved breakfast cereal list. Could you serve and credit one of these WIC-approved cereals in the CACFP?
Well, it only takes a minute to find out! Listen to our nutrition education specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, to learn more about crediting WIC-approved cereals in the CACFP.
After you have watched the video, review the policy memo, Grain requirements in the CACFP: Questions and Answers for more information on WIC-approved breakfast cereals. Here are some additional things to remember:
- Breakfast cereals served to infants, children, and adults must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (21.2 grams of sugar per 100 grams of dry cereal) (7 CFR 226.20(a)(4)(ii)).
- Breakfast cereals include ready-to-eat cereals and instant and hot cereals. As a reminder, both infant cereals and ready-to-eat cereals must be iron-fortified to be reimbursable in the infant meal pattern. Breakfast cereals must meet the sugar limit and be made from enriched or whole grain meal or flour, or be fortified, to be creditable in the CACFP.
- There are several ways for centers and day care homes to determine if a breakfast cereal is within the sugar limit. A breakfast cereal must meet only one (not all) of the following methods to determine if a breakfast cereal meets the sugar limit:
- Use any state agency's WIC approved breakfast cereal list. Similar to CACFP, all WIC-approved breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (21.2 grams of sugar per 100 grams).
- Use USDA's Team Nutrition training worksheet Choose Breakfast Cereals That Are Lower in Added Sugars, which includes a chart with common breakfast cereal serving sizes and the maximum amount of sugar the breakfast cereal may contain per serving, which should eliminate the need to perform sugar limit calculations for many operators.
Here are some more resources that you can use to make sure you're serving creditable cereals in the CACFP:
- USDA Resource: Calculating Sugar Limits for Breakfast Cereals/Choose Breakfast Cereals That Are Lower in Sugar (English/Spanish)
- USDA Webinar: Choose Breakfast Cereals That Are Lower in Added Sugars
- NCA Resource: Identifying Cereal Sugar Limits
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