University of Massachusetts Amherst

It's MORE Than A Meal


Crediting Foods for CACFP Reimbursement


If you have read the previous sections of this manual, you have already learned about good nutrition, special nutrition needs of older adults, and planning healthful meals. Now you can learn how to help select nutritious foods that qualify for reimbursement from the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

This section will help answer your questions about the following topics:

  • CACFP Guidelines for Crediting Meals and Snacks
    What criteria are used to decide whether foods can be credited for reimbursement?
    How do creditable and non-creditable foods fit into a CACFP meal pattern? 
    Can combination foods (containing foods from 2 or more food groups) be credited?
    Which foods - and in what amounts - count in the CACFP meal pattern requirements?
  • Tips for Crediting Foods
    What do you need to know to credit grains/breads, fruit juices, and processed meats?
    How can you use ingredient lists on food labels to decide if foods are creditable?
    How can you convert servings of commercial grains/breads to CACFP serving sizes?
    What documentation do you need to credit combination foods?
  • Tips for Crediting Recipes
    What kind of information must appear on a creditable recipe?
    What kinds of abbreviations are commonly used in recipes?
    What information do you need to convert measures in a recipe?
    (for example, 3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon)
    What are the weights of some commonly used ingredients?
    How do you convert measures listed by weight to measures in cups?
    How do you determine the number of breads/grains servings in a recipe?
    How do you analyze recipes for the number of servings of each food group?
    (breads/grains, fruits/vegetables, meats/meat alternates, and milk products)
  • CACFP Regulations: Crediting Foods from Each Food Group
    What are the CACFP regulations for crediting individual foods within each food group?
    (breads/grains, fruits/vegetables, meats/meat alternates, and milk products)

Unless otherwise noted, information in this section is adapted from the following source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Midwest Region. What’s in a Meal? A Resource Manual for Providing Nutritious Meals in the Child and Adult Food Care Program, Fourth Edition, 2003. Reproduced by the National Food Service Management Institute.

in this section:

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Developed for the Massachusetts Department of Education Child and Adult Care Food Program by the University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program. Permission is hereby granted by the Massachusetts Department of Education to copy any or all parts of this document for non-commercial educational purposes. The Massachusetts Department of Education, an Affirmative Action employer, is committed to ensuring that all of its programs and facilities are accessible to all members of the public. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.