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Meal Pattern Minute: Goat’s Milk

January 5, 2024

Fluid milk is a Child and Adult Care Food Program that must be offered at breakfast, lunch, and supper meal services. CACFP operators have the option to serve fluid milk as one of the two components of a snack. Milk is a critical component of the CACFP meal patterns because it provides nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of the body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. Consuming dairy products, such as milk, is especially important to bone health during childhood and adolescence when bone mass is built. But what if you receive a parent request to serve goat’s milk instead? Is goat’s milk creditable in the CACFP? 

 Get the answer in this Meal Pattern Minute as Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, let’s you know important details about serving goat’s milk in the CACFP. 

 Need more guidance on serving goat’s milk or other milk alternatives? Check out the resources below to help you further. 

  • Crediting Fluid Milk in the Child Nutrition Programs Tip Sheet 
    • If a milk substitute is desired for a child, the parent/guardian must request the substitute in writing, and the milk substitute must be nutritionally equivalent to milk.
    • Goat’s milk may be served in place of cow’s milk, provided it meets State standards for fluid milk. Age-specific requirements for percent fat content and flavored vs. unflavored still apply.
  • Substituting Milk in the CACFP (NCA Member Resource)
    • Provides guidance on when you should substitute milk and answers to frequently asked questions regarding this topic.
  • Crediting Handbook for CACFP – Fluid Milk Section
    • Goat’s milk must meet State standards for fluid milk. If goat’s milk meets State standards, then it may be served in place of cow’s milk with no additional documentation. All milk must be fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) when served to children 2 years of age or older. Unflavored and flavored fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1%) flavored milks are creditable for children 6 years and older and adults.

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