Skip to content

Meal Pattern Minute: Vegan Cheese

February 9, 2023

Cheese made from cow’s milk is nutrient dense. It is a good source of protein and calcium.  In the Child and Adult Care Food Program, cheese is creditable as a meat/meat alternate when it is natural, processed, or a cheese substitute such as American, cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, Swiss, feta, brie, parmesan, or Romano. But what if you want to serve a vegan dish and would like to use vegan cheese. Is vegan cheese creditable in the CACFP? 

Take a minute to hear from our nutrition education specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, to learn more about how vegan cheese may or may not be creditable in the CACFP.


For more information, refer to the Meats/Meat Alternates section of the Crediting Handbook for the CACFP, review the various cheese options that do credit towards the program and learn more on imitation cheese.  

  • Cheese labeled as “imitation” is not creditable because the nutrient content is inferior to the food it substitutes and therefore is not creditable. 

To learn more on meats/meat alternates that are creditable in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, bookmark or print out the Crediting Meats/Meat Alternates in Child Nutrition Programs Tip Sheet.


Still need a few vegan-friendly recipes? Check out these creditable suggestions:


Want to share this video on Facebook? Click here, and then you'll find three icons along the right side of the screen. Click on the arrow, and you'll be able to choose whether you want to share it to your feed or to a group. You can also include a short note about why this Meal Pattern Minute is so important! Click on the "Post" button when you're finished, and that's it!