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Meal Pattern Minute: Pumpkin Pie

September 22, 2023

Feeling that cool breeze in the air? The fall and winter holidays are just around the corner. As with many traditions, a few desserts like pumpkin and sweet potato pie may be on the menu. However, grain-based desserts in the Child and Adult Care Food Program are not creditable and cannot be part of a reimbursable meal. But what about the other food components that make up a pumpkin or sweet potato pie. Can those be creditable?  

 Tune into this Meal Pattern Minute where Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, reveals the answer! You might be surprised by the response. 

 Figuring out what is considered a grain-based dessert and what is creditable in the CACFP can be tricky! But the answers can quickly be found using two resources, which we will talk about in more depth below. 

Grain-Based Desserts in the Child and Adult Care Food Program 

USDA developed an easy-to-follow resource where they list the most common grain-based desserts such as brownies, sweet scones, and pie crusts of dessert pies. Not only that, USDA also added a list of foods that may be misinterpreted as grain-based desserts but are in fact reimbursable in the CACFP such as pie crusts of savory pies, muffins, and waffles.  

When referencing this chart, we see that the pie crust of the pumpkin pie would not be creditable. However, what about the pumpkin filling? This is where we take a look at the second resource and one you should have saved or printed out, the Crediting Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Search for “Pie Filling: Sweet Potato, Pumpkin,” in the vegetable component category. You will see that the pumpkin pie filling may be creditable in the CACFP if the pie filling meets the criteria noted below. 

Pie fillings containing vegetables must contain at least an 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) of visible vegetable per serving. Document meal pattern contribution with a standardized recipe or a Product Formulation Statement.   

So, if the pumpkin pie you purchased or made from scratch has 1/8 cup of visible vegetable per serving and you can demonstrate that in your recipe or PFS, then yes it could be creditable in the CACFP! 


Want more information on grain-based desserts, then watch these two webinars that are available on the National CACFP Sponsors Association Learning Center. 


Maybe you just want to serve grains that are creditable in the CACFP. Try adding one of these creditable recipes to your menu! 

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