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  • Increasing the proportion of whole grains: At least half of grain products must be whole grain-rich, and a higher proportion is encouraged.

  • Decreasing the intakes of saturated fat and added sugars: Specifications limit milk fat and flavored milk; the only allowable form of juice is 100 percent juice with no added sugars; cereals are to contain less than 6 grams of sugar per ounce; and the frequency of use of high-fat meats and of grain foods high in solid fats and added sugars is limited.

As an example of how well the recommended meal patterns conform to the MyPyramid patterns (and thus to Dietary Guidelines), Table 10-1 shows a comparison of the recommended meal pattern to the MyPyramid pattern for preschool children ages 2–4 years, the largest age group that is currently served meals (rather than just snacks) by CACFP; similar tables for all age groups are shown in Appendix Tables J-4 through J-7. For children ages 2–4 years, the recommended meal pattern contains more fruit than the MyPyramid pattern and a smaller amount of vegetables. Although vegetables are not required at breakfast, they are allowed as a substitute for fruit, and it is likely that actual weekly menus will contain some vegetables. The amounts of grains, milk, and lean meat or meat alternates in the recommended pattern are very similar to those in the MyPyramid pattern.


Alignment with Dietary Reference Intakes To examine the alignment of the recommended Meal Requirements with the DRIs, the committee analyzed the sample breakfast and lunch menus for each age group using the Meals Menu Analysis program (see Appendix K in IOM, 2010, for a description of the program). The data are shown for children 2–4 years of age in Table 10-2, which compares the nutrients in the meal patterns with the daily nutrient targets by meal averaged over a 5-day week. Similar tables for all other age groups are shown in Appendix J, Tables J-8 through J-11. Notably, the sample menus meet or nearly meet the nutrient targets in almost all cases. Although calories appear to be somewhat low for all meals, additional calories will be provided by healthy fats and other fats and sugars that are permitted by the food specifications (e.g., the fat in 1 percent fat milk, and sugars in cereals and yogurt).

Based on analyses across all age groups, it appears prudent to make gradual changes to serve more foods that are rich in vitamin E and linoleic and α-linolenic acid (such as vegetable oils; nuts, seeds, and nut butters; and whole grains). The foods that are offered for this purpose need to be affordable, well accepted, and tolerated by CACFP participants (considering their age and physical abilities), and they need to fit within the calorie allowance. Although peanut butter is an example of a good source of vitamin E and the



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