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BOX 6-1

CACFP Criteria

Criterion 1. The Meal Requirements will be consistent with current dietary guidance and nutrition recommendations to promote health with the ultimate goal of improving participants’ diets by reducing the prevalence of inadequate and excessive intakes of food, nutrients, and calories.

  1. For infants and children younger than 2 years of age, the Meal Requirements will contribute to an overall diet that is consistent with established dietary recommendations for this age group and encourage and support breastfeeding for infants.

  2. For participating adults and children ages 2 years and older, the Meal Requirements will be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes.

Criterion 2. The Meal Requirements will provide the basis for menus that are practical to plan, purchase, prepare, and serve in different settings.


Criterion 3. The Meal Requirements will provide the basis for menus that incorporate healthful foods and beverages and are appealing to diverse age ranges and cultural backgrounds.


Criterion 4. The Meal Requirements will facilitate the planning of menus that are compatible with the capabilities and resources for the variety of program providers.


Criterion 5. The Meal Requirements will allow the planning of menus that are sensitive to considerations of cost.

  1. Set age groups and total daily mean calorie requirements for each group. The methods used to initially set these parameters are described in the section “The Determination of Age Groups, Body Weights and Heights, and Estimated Calorie Requirements” in Chapter 3. The final age groups used for developing the Meal Requirements reflect the committee’s decision to combine groups with similar nutrient and calorie requirements. The final age groups are shown in Table 6-1.

  2. Assess dietary intakes and consider relevant laboratory data and health effects of inadequate or excessive intakes to identify the food and nutrient intakes of concern for specified age groups. Dietary intakes included food groups, food subgroups, calories, and nutrients. Chapter 3 presents the methods used to examine intakes. These methods are consistent with those recommended by the



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