Skip to content

Meal Pattern Minute: Tomato Soup

January 26, 2024

The perfect bowl of soup can bring comfort and diversity to your Child and Adult Care Food Program menu. From chicken noodle to creamy tomato soup, there are many to choose from. However, time can be the biggest factor in whether you can make soup from scratch or use canned soups. For example, you have grilled cheese on the menu and a classic pairing to this would be tomato soup, but you don’t have the time to make it from scratch! Can you use canned tomato soup, and can it credit as a vegetable component? 

 Listen in to this Meal Pattern Minute as Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, talks about canned tomato soups and how much you might need to serve to credit in the CACFP. 

 Find below resources on how to determine tomato and other soups are creditable in the CACFP. 

  • Crediting Handbook for the CACFP 
    • Commercially Canned Soups 
      • Soups that are canned, condensed, or ready-to-serve (minestrone, tomato, tomato with other basic components such as rice and vegetable, and vegetable with basic components such as meat and poultry) are creditable. One cup of reconstitute or ready-to-serve soup provides ¼ cup of vegetable. See the Vegetables section in the Food Buying Guide. Please note that 1 cup of soup may be an excessive volume for young children.
    • Homemade Soup 
      • Homemade soups must contain at least an 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) of visible vegetable per serving. Document meal pattern contribution with a standardized recipe.
  •  Crediting Vegetables in the Child Nutrition Programs Tip Sheet 
    • This tip sheet provides some guidance on how to obtain Product Formulation Statements on soups that you are not sure if there is a minimum of 1/8 cup vegetable per serving. 
  •  Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs Interactive Web-Based Tool
    • The interactive Food Buying Guide allows for easy searching, navigating, and displaying of content. It also helps you develop a grocery list based on the number of children in your care. You can sign up for a free account and start using this helpful tool today! 


Check out these tomato soup pairing ideas to add more variety to your menu. 

  • Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese Sandwich 
  • Tomato Soup + Cheddar Fish-Shaped Crackers 
  • Tomato Soup + Meatloaf 
  • Tomato Soup + Roasted Potatoes 
  • Tomato Soup + Noodles 

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!