Meal Pattern Minute: Flavored Milk
February 24, 2023
Serving milk in the Child and Adult Care Food Program promotes the building and maintaining of strong bones. Milk is packed with nutrients like calcium and is a good source of quality protein. For older age groups, you may serve flavored fat-free and low-fat (1%) milk. But do you need to purchase flavored milk, or could you add your own syrup?
Get the answer by listening to our nutrition education specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, explain when flavoring milk may or may not be credited in the CACFP.
After you've watched the video, here are some additional things to remember about this flexibility, which you can find in the Fluid Milk section of the Crediting Handbook for the CACFP:
- Flavored fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1%) milks are creditable for children 6 years and older and adults. Flavored milk is not reimbursable when served to children 1 through 5 years of age. Children 2 years through 5 years of age must be served only unflavored fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk. As a best practice, serve only unflavored milk to all participants. If flavored milk is served to children 6 years old and older, or adults, use the Nutrition Facts label to select and serve flavored milk that contains no more than 22 grams of sugar per 8 fluid ounces, or the flavored milk with the lowest amount of sugar if flavored milk within this range is not available.
- For children 1 through 5 years old, flavored milk powder may not be added to milk. Similar to syrup, flavored milk powder turns unflavored milk into flavored milk. Flavored milk cannot be part of a reimbursable meal for children ages 1 through 5 years old. Flavored fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1%) milks are creditable for children 6 years old and older and adults. Thus, for children 6 years old and older and adults, flavored milk powder may be added to fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1%) milks and served as part of a reimbursable meal.
According to the Serving Milk in the CACFP worksheet:
- Flavored milk cannot be part of a reimbursable meal or snack for children 5 years old and younger. Homemade flavored milk made by adding flavored straws, syrups, and powders to unflavored milk also cannot be part of a reimbursable meal or snack for children 5 years old and younger. Flavored milk served to children 6 years old and older and to adults must be fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%).
If you’d like to try and make your own flavored milk with natural fruits, try one of these blended combinations! You will need a blender for these recipe ideas.
- Strawberry Milk: Unflavored low-fat milk + chopped strawberries
- Banana Milk: Unflavored fat-free milk + banana
- Peach Milk: Unflavored low-fat milk + diced peaches
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