[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 79 (Monday, April 25, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24347-24383]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-09412]



[[Page 24347]]

Vol. 81

Monday,

No. 79

April 25, 2016

Part V





 Department of Agriculture





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 Food and Nutrition Service





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7 CFR Parts 210, 215, 220, et al.





 Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to 
the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 79 / Monday, April 25, 2016 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 24348]]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food and Nutrition Service

7 CFR Parts 210, 215, 220, and 226

[FNS-2011-0029]
RIN 0584-AE18


Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related 
to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule updates the meal pattern requirements for the 
Child and Adult Care Food Program to better align them with the Dietary 
Guidelines for Americans, as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids 
Act of 2010. This rule requires centers and day care homes 
participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program to serve more 
whole grains and a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, and reduces 
the amount of added sugars and solid fats in meals. In addition, this 
final rule supports mothers who breastfeed and improves consistency 
with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and 
Children and with other Child Nutrition Programs. Several of the 
changes are extended to the National School Lunch Program, School 
Breakfast Program, and Special Milk Program. These changes are based on 
the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, science-based recommendations 
made by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of 
Medicine of the National Academies), cost and practical considerations, 
and stakeholder's input. This is the first major revision of the Child 
and Adult Care Food Program meal patterns since the Program's inception 
in 1968. These improvements to the meals served in the Child and Adult 
Care Food Program are expected to safeguard the health of young 
children by ensuring healthy eating habits are developed early, and 
improve the wellness of adult participants.

DATES:  Effective Date: This rule is effective June 24, 2016.
    Implementation Date: Compliance with the provisions of this rule 
must begin October 1, 2017, except as otherwise noted in the preamble 
under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angela Kline or Laura Carroll, Policy 
and Program Development Division, Child Nutrition Programs, Food and 
Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Room 1206, Alexandria, Virginia 22302-1594; 703-305-2590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), Public Law 111-
96, amended section 17 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch 
Act (NSLA), 42 U.S.C. 1766, to require the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA), through the Child and Adult Care Food Program 
(CACFP), to promote health and wellness in child care settings via 
guidance and technical assistance that focuses on nutrition, physical 
activity, and limiting electronic media use. Specifically, it required 
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to review the CACFP meal 
patterns and make them more consistent with: (a) The most recent 
version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines), 
(b) the most recent and relevant nutrition science, and (c) appropriate 
authoritative scientific agency and organization recommendations. 
Revisions to the CACFP meal patterns are to occur no less frequently 
than every 10 years. As the Dietary Guidelines and nutrition science 
evolve, FNS will continue to provide guidance to support CACFP's 
nutrition and wellness goals.
    FNS commissioned the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), formerly 
the Institute of Medicine of National Academies, to review the CACFP 
meal patterns and provide recommendations that would improve the 
nutritional quality of the meals and align them with the most recent 
version of the Dietary Guidelines. When making recommendations 
pertaining to infants, the NAM considered recommendations from the 
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the leading authority for 
children's developmental and nutritional needs from birth through 23 
months, because the Dietary Guidelines does not currently provide 
recommendations for children under the age of two. In November 2010, 
the NAM issued the report ``Child and Adult Care Food Program: Aligning 
Dietary Guidance for All'' (http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/Child-and-Adult-Care-Food-Program-Aligning-Dietary-Guidance-for-All.aspx). In 
developing a proposed rule, FNS relied primarily on the recommendations 
in the NAM's report and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. FNS also took into 
consideration stakeholder input and recognized that changes to the meal 
patterns must be sensitive to cost and practical application.
    On January 15, 2015, FNS published a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register (80 FR 2037) to update and align the CACFP meal patterns. The 
rule proposed changes that would support mothers who breastfeed, 
increase the availability and variety of vegetables and fruits, offer 
more whole grains, and lower the consumption of added sugar and solid 
fats. Additionally, the rule included best practices that center and 
day care home providers may choose to adopt to further improve the 
nutritional quality of meals served. To better align the Child 
Nutrition Programs (CNP), the rule also proposed revising the School 
Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) 
meal patterns for infants and children under 5 years of age to reflect 
the respective proposed meal patterns for CACFP, as well as revising 
the fluid milk requirements and approved non-dairy milk substitutes for 
the Special Milk Program (SMP). The proposed meal pattern revisions 
were designed to be cost neutral as no additional meal reimbursement 
was provided by the HHFKA to implement the changes.
    FNS provided an extensive public comment period, from January 15, 
2015 through May 27, 2015, to obtain public comments on the impact and 
effectiveness of the proposed changes to the CACFP meal patterns. FNS 
received 7,755 public comments on the proposed rule. Of those, 6,508 
comments were copies of form letters related to 32 different mass mail 
campaigns. The remaining comments included 1,231 unique submissions and 
16 duplicate submissions. The comments were analyzed using computer 
software that facilitated the identification of the key issues 
addressed by the commenters.
    Although FNS considered all timely comments, this preamble focuses 
on the most frequent comments and those that influenced revisions to 
the proposed rule. To view all public comments on the proposed rule go 
to www.regulations.gov and search for public submissions under docket 
FNS-2011-0029. A Summary of Public Comments is available as supporting 
material under the docket folder summary. FNS greatly appreciates the 
valuable comments provided. These comments have been essential to 
developing a final rule that is expected to enhance the quality of 
meals served in CACFP that will help children build healthy habits, and 
improve the wellness of adult participants.
    Along with consideration of the comments, the development of the 
meal pattern requirements in this final rule was informed by the 2010 
Dietary Guidelines. The recent publication of the 2015-2020 Dietary 
Guidelines necessitated a review of these

[[Page 24349]]

requirements to ensure the requirements remain consistent with the 
updated Dietary Guidelines. Based upon FNS' thorough review of the 
2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, the requirements set forth in this final 
rule remain consistent with the updated Dietary Guidelines.

II. Public Comments and FNS Response

    FNS received comments representing diverse national, State, and 
local stakeholders, including advocacy organizations; health care 
associations; food industry representatives; trade associations; CACFP 
sponsoring organizations and their associations; CACFP providers 
(throughout this preamble, the term ``providers'' refers to centers and 
day care homes that operate the Program); State administering agencies; 
local government agencies; dietitians and nutritionists; parents and 
guardians; and many other interested groups and individuals. Overall, 
commenters were generally more supportive of the proposed rule than 
opposed.
    Comments from advocacy organizations, health care associations, 
State agencies, and sponsor associations generally favored the proposed 
rule. These commenters recognized the need to update the CACFP meal 
patterns to address the nutrition gaps in children's diets, including a 
lack of vegetables and fruits, and issues of hunger and obesity. Many 
commenters supported the rule's support of breastfeeding, emphasis on 
vegetables and fruit, increase in whole grains, and decrease in added 
sugars. Additionally, many of these commenters suggested ways to 
strengthen the proposed rule, citing CACFP's role in promoting healthy 
eating and providing nutritious meals and snacks to children.
    While many sponsoring organizations and their associations and 
providers generally agreed with the proposed changes to the meal 
patterns, these commenters expressed strong concerns regarding cost, 
increased recordkeeping burden, and the period of time afforded for 
implementation. Program operators emphasized that implementation of the 
final rule will require lead time, phased-in changes, advanced training 
from FNS, and grace periods.
    Comments from food industry representatives and trade associations 
also supported improving meals served in CACFP, but voiced concerns 
that some aspects of the proposed rule would limit food choices, 
increase costs, and prohibit serving nutritious foods that may be more 
palatable to children. The proposed provisions related to the 
prohibition on frying, sugar limits on flavored milk and yogurt, and 
best practices regarding processed meats and juice prompted most of 
these concerns.
    FNS took into consideration the different views expressed by 
commenters, especially those responsible for the oversight and day to 
day operation of CACFP, and seeks to be responsive to the concerns they 
raised. At the same time, and as discussed below, FNS is mindful that 
the 2008 Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS),\1\ a comprehensive 
assessment of food and nutrient intakes of infants and toddlers, and 
additional research 2 3 shows taste preferences and dietary 
habits are formed early in life. This makes CACFP a unique and critical 
setting for establishing healthy practices at an early age that will 
protect children's health into adulthood. Therefore, this final rule 
makes significant improvements to the nutritional quality of meals 
served in the CACFP, and ensures successful implementation without 
increasing net costs to CACFP centers and day care homes.
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    \1\ Siega-Riz, A.M., Deming, D.M., Reidy, K.C., Fox, M.K., 
Condon, E., Briefel, R.R. (2010) Food consumption patterns of 
infants and toddlers. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and 
Dietetics, 110 (12), pages S38-S51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2010.09.001.
    \2\ Liem, D.G., Graaf, C. (2004). Sweet and sour preferences in 
young children and adults: Role of repeated exposure. Physiology & 
Behavior,83 (3), pages 421-429. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2004.08.028.
    \3\ Skinner, J.D., Carruth, B.R., Bounds, W., Ziegler, P.J. 
(2002). Children's food preferences. Journal of the Academy of 
Nutrition and Dietetics, 102 (11), pages 1638-1647. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(02)90349-4.
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    FNS recognizes that there may be times when a provider would like 
to serve foods or beverages that are not reimbursable, such as on a 
child's birthday or another special occasion. Providers still have the 
flexibility to serve non-reimbursable foods and beverages of their 
choosing. However, FNS encourages providers to use their discretion 
when serving non-reimbursable foods and beverages, which may be higher 
in added sugar, solid fats, and sodium, to ensure children and adult 
participants' nutritional needs are met.
    The tables below outline the requirements established by this final 
rule, as compared to the proposed requirements. A complete comparison 
of the proposed rule and the final rule can be found in the supporting 
documents of the rule docket, FNS-2011-0029, at www.regulations.gov.

                           Infant Meal Pattern
   [Comparison of proposed rule to final rule changes in requirements]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Provision               Proposed rule          Final rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Solid foods.................  Solid foods are       Solid foods are
                               introduced to         introduced at 6
                               infants at 6 months   months of age with
                               of age.               the flexibility to
                                                     introduce solid
                                                     foods before and
                                                     after 6 months when
                                                     requested by a
                                                     parent or guardian.
Meat and Meat Alternates....  Eliminates the        Allows cheese,
                               option to serve       cottage cheese, and
                               cheese, cottage       yogurt.
                               cheese, cheese
                               food, or spread.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Child and Adult Meal Pattern
   [Comparison of Proposed Rule to Final Rule Changes in Requirements]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Provision               Proposed Rule          Final Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fruit and Vegetable Juice...  Allows 100% juice to  Limits service of
                               comprise the entire   juice to once per
                               vegetable or fruit    day.
                               component at all
                               meals.
Grains......................  Breakfast cereals     Requires breakfast
                               must conform to the   cereals to contain
                               WIC breakfast         no more than 6
                               cereal nutrient       grams of sugar per
                               requirements.         dry ounce.
                                                    Starting October 1,
                                                     2019, ounce
                                                     equivalents are
                                                     used to determine
                                                     the quantity of
                                                     creditable grains.

[[Page 24350]]

 
Meat and Meat Alternates....  Allows a meat or      Allows meat and meat
                               meat alternate to     alternates to be
                               be served in place    served in place of
                               of up to one-half     the entire grains
                               of the grains         requirement at
                               requirement at        breakfast a maximum
                               breakfast.            of three times per
                                                     week.
Yogurt Sugar Limit..........  C1: requires yogurt   Requires yogurt to
                               to contain no more    contain no more
                               than 30 grams of      than 23 grams of
                               sugar per 6 ounces;   sugar per 6 ounces.
                               or
                              C2: recommend as a
                               best practice that
                               yogurt contain no
                               more than 30 grams
                               of sugar per 6
                               ounces.
Flavored Milk Sugar Limit...  Children 2 through 4  (A1) Prohibits
                               A1:           flavored milk for
                               flavored milk is      children 2 through
                               prohibited; or.       5.
                               A2:
                               requires flavored
                               milk to contain no
                               more than 22 grams
                               of sugar per 8
                               fluid ounces.
                              Children 5 years old  Recommends as a best
                               and older, and        practice that
                               adults.               flavored milk
                               B1:           contain no more
                               requires flavored     than 22 grams of
                               milk to contain no    sugar per 8 fluid
                               more than 22 grams    ounces for children
                               of sugar per 8        6 years old and
                               fluid ounces; or.     older, and adults
                               B2:           (B2).
                               recommend as a best
                               practice that
                               flavored milk
                               contain no more
                               than 22 grams of
                               sugar per 8 fluid
                               ounces.
Water.......................  Requires potable      Requires potable
                               drinking water to     drinking water to
                               be available to       be offered to
                               children upon their   children throughout
                               request throughout    the day and
                               the day.              available to
                                                     children upon their
                                                     request throughout
                                                     the day.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Along with updating the meal pattern requirements, the proposed 
rule addressed optional best practices. While the best practices are 
not mandatory, they are guidelines to further assist centers and day 
care homes wishing to take the initiative to improve the nutritional 
value of meals even more than required by this final rule. In the 
proposed rule FNS would have added the best practices to the regulatory 
text. However, in response to comments, FNS will address the best 
practices via policy guidance instead. Below is a table that summarizes 
the proposed rule's and the final rule's recommended best practices. 
The recommended best practices outlined in this final rule will be 
concretized in policy guidance. As nutrition science evolves, FNS will 
revisit the best practice guidance.

                             Best Practices
                               [Optional]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Proposed rule          Final rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Part of codified      To be addressed
                               text.                 through policy
                                                     guidance, not
                                                     through rulemaking.
Infants.....................  Support mothers who   Support mothers who
                               choose to             choose to
                               breastfeed their      breastfeed their
                               infants by            infants by
                               encouraging mothers   encouraging mothers
                               to supply             to supply
                               breastmilk for        breastmilk for
                               their infants while   their infants while
                               in day care and       in day care and
                               providing a quiet,    offering a quiet,
                               private area in       private area that
                               which mothers who     is comfortable and
                               come to the day       sanitary in which
                               care facility can     mothers who come to
                               breastfeed.           the center or day
                                                     care home can
                                                     breastfeed.
Vegetables and Fruit........   Limit the     Make at
                               consumption of        least one of the
                               fruit juice to no     two required
                               more than one         components of snack
                               serving per day for   a vegetable or
                               children one and      fruit.
                               older.
                               Make at       Serve a
                               least one of the      variety of fruits
                               two required          and choose whole
                               components of snack   fruits (fresh,
                               a fruit or            canned, frozen, or
                               vegetable.            dried) more often
                                                     than juice.
                               Provide at    Provide at
                               least one serving     least one serving
                               each of dark green    each of dark green
                               vegetables, red and   vegetables, red and
                               orange vegetables,    orange vegetables,
                               and legumes once      beans and peas
                               per week.             (legumes), starchy
                                                     vegetables, and
                                                     other vegetables
                                                     once per week.
Grains......................  Provide at least two  Provide at least two
                               servings of whole     servings of whole
                               grain-rich grains     grain-rich grains
                               per day.              per day.
Meat and Meat Alternates....   Serve only    Serve only
                               lean meats, nuts,     lean meats, nuts,
                               and legumes.          and legumes.
                               Limit the     Limit the
                               service of            service of
                               processed meats to    processed meats to
                               no more than once     no more than one
                               per week, across      serving per week.
                               all eating            Serve only
                               occasions.            natural cheeses and
                               Serve only    choose low-fat or
                               natural cheeses.      reduced-fat
                                                     cheeses.
Milk........................  Serve only             Serve only
                               unflavored milk to    unflavored milk to
                               all participants.     all participants.
                                                     If flavored milk is
                                                     served to children
                                                     6 years old and
                                                     older or to adults,
                                                     use the Nutrition
                                                     Facts Label to
                                                     select and serve
                                                     flavored milk that
                                                     contains no more
                                                     than 22 grams of
                                                     sugar per 8 fluid
                                                     ounces, or the
                                                     flavored milk with
                                                     the lowest amount
                                                     of sugar if
                                                     flavored milk
                                                     within the sugar
                                                     limit is not
                                                     available.
                                                     Serve water
                                                     as a beverage when
                                                     serving yogurt in
                                                     place of milk for
                                                     adults.

[[Page 24351]]

 
Additional Best Practices...  Limit serving fried    Incorporate
                               and pre-fried foods   seasonal and
                               to no more than one   locally produced
                               serving per week,     foods into meals.
                               across all eating     Limit
                               occasions.            serving purchased
                                                     pre-fried foods to
                                                     no more than one
                                                     serving per week.
                                                     Avoid
                                                     serving non-
                                                     creditable foods
                                                     that are sources of
                                                     added sugars, such
                                                     as sweet toppings
                                                     (e.g., honey, jam,
                                                     syrup), mix-in
                                                     ingredients sold
                                                     with yogurt (e.g.,
                                                     honey, candy or
                                                     cookie pieces), and
                                                     sugar-sweetened
                                                     beverages (e.g.,
                                                     fruit drinks or
                                                     sodas).
                                                     In adult
                                                     day care centers,
                                                     offer and make
                                                     water available to
                                                     adults upon their
                                                     request throughout
                                                     the day.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The following is a summary of the key public comments on the 
proposed rule and FNS's response. Additional comments that are 
unrelated to the specific provisions of the rule (e.g., nutrition 
standards in the NSLP and SBP, physical activity, and electronic media 
use) are addressed in the Summary of Public Comments. For a more 
detailed discussion of the public comments see the Summary of Public 
Comments, docket FNS-2011-0029, posted online at www.regulations.gov.

A. Infant Meal Pattern

1. Infant Age Groups and Introduction of Solid Foods
    Proposed Rule: Under 7 CFR 226.20(b), the infant age groups would 
be consolidated from three into two age groups, (birth through the end 
of 5 months and the beginning of 6 through the end of 11 months) and 
the introduction of solid foods would begin at 6 months of age.
    Comments: Many commenters, including health care associations, 
nutritionists, advocacy organizations, State agencies, a Federal 
agency, a professional association, a pediatric health care provider, 
sponsoring organizations, and providers, supported the revised infant 
age groups because they align with the infant age groups in the Special 
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 
and with recommendations from the AAP to exclusively breastfeed for the 
first six months of life. Several other commenters stated that having 
two age groups instead of three would simplify the recordkeeping 
process for providers.
    However, some commenters provided alternative infant age groups. A 
State and a local government agency, an advocacy organization, 
dietitians and nutritionists, sponsoring organizations, and providers 
expressed a preference for the current age groups. These commenters 
expressed concern that the proposed age groups do not allow for solid 
foods to be gradually introduced to infants when they are 
developmentally ready, which may be before or after 6 months of age. 
Because the proposed minimum serving sizes for 6 through11 month olds 
required some amount of solid foods to be served, advocacy 
organizations, a health care association, State agencies, and 
sponsoring organizations recommended allowing for the gradual 
introduction of solid foods by revising the minimum required serving 
size ranges of the solid food components in the infant meal patterns be 
revised to start at zero tablespoons or ounces (e.g., ``0-X 
tablespoons'' or ``0-X ounces''), to reflect that some infants will not 
yet be ready to consume solid foods at 6 months of age.
    While some commenters supported the introduction of solid foods at 
6 months stating that it will encourage and support breastfeeding, most 
commenters addressing the issue, including providers, dietitians and 
nutritionists, sponsoring organizations, State agencies, advocacy 
organizations, health care organizations, and individuals, stated that 
the proposal was inconsistent with AAP's recommendation to introduce 
solid foods at approximately 6 months of age, not exactly at 6 months 
of age. These commenters asserted that requiring solid foods be 
introduced at 6 months of age may be burdensome and onerous for 
providers and, therefore, urged FNS to provide flexibility to account 
for the unique development of each individual infant.
    While it was not proposed, many commenters that discussed the 
introduction of solid foods recommended that providers not be required 
to obtain a medical statement if a parent chooses to introduce solid 
food to their infant prior to 6 months of age. Rather, commenters felt 
that solid foods should be introduced based on the request of the 
parent or guardian, or based on recommendations from the infant's 
pediatrician. Commenters suggested that parents or guardians currently 
tell providers when the introduction of solid foods has begun.
    FNS Response: This final rule establishes the infant age groups as 
0 through the end of 5 months and the beginning of 6 through the end of 
11 months, as proposed. FNS agrees that the new age groups will 
encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. It 
is important to delay the introduction of solid foods until around 6 
months of age to meet the energy and nutritional needs of infants, and 
because infants are typically not physiologically developed to consume 
solid foods until midway through the first year of life. In addition, 
the AAP found that the introduction of solid foods prior to 4 months of 
age is consistently identified as contributing to later overweight 
status and obesity. Therefore, having two infant age groups, instead of 
the current three age groups, is consistent with AAP's recommendations 
and with the WIC program, and is simpler for providers.
    FNS recognizes commenters' concerns regarding the individual 
dietary needs and developmental readiness for solid foods of each 
infant and that the AAP recommends introducing solid foods around 6 
months of age, not directly at 6 months of age. Therefore, this final 
rule allows for the introduction of solid foods before or after 6 
months of age if it is determined developmentally appropriate for the 
infant. FNS recommends as best practices that CACFP providers be in 
constant communication with infants' parents or guardians about when 
and what solid foods should be introduced, and that

[[Page 24352]]

parents or guardians request in writing when solid foods should be 
introduced. This process will be further articulated in forthcoming FNS 
guidance. In addition, FNS recommends that parents and guardians 
consult with the infant's physician when considering introducing solid 
foods. FNS agrees that this flexibility is needed to better accommodate 
infants' varying developmental readiness and to be more consistent with 
the AAP's recommendation to introduce appropriate solid foods around 6 
months of age.
    Along with providing flexibility in the timing of introducing solid 
foods, FNS understands that solid foods need to be introduced gradually 
to follow infants' oral motor skills development and acceptance of new 
tastes and textures. Consequently, the serving size ranges for the 
required solid food components for infants 6 through 11 months of age 
in this final rule start at zero (e.g., ``0-X'' ounces or tablespoons), 
as suggested by commenters. All the serving sizes for solid foods in 
the current infant meal pattern and this final rule are ranges to 
address infants' varying dietary needs. However, solid food components 
are required for infants 6 through 11 months old only when they are 
developmentally ready to accept them. FNS will provide additional 
guidance on the introduction of solid foods. Accordingly, this final 
rule codifies the proposed infant age groups under 7 CFR 226.20(b)(4) 
and the timing of introducing solid foods, with some modifications, 
under 7 CFR 226.20(b)(3) through (5).
2. Breastfeeding
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(b)(2) would allow 
for reimbursement of meals when the mother directly breastfeeds her 
infant at the child care center or home.
    Comments: The majority of commenters (1,050 form letters) supported 
allowing reimbursement when a mother directly breastfeeds her infant at 
the center or day care home. These commenters recognized the health 
benefits of breastfeeding, and believed that the provision will 
encourage centers and day care homes to accommodate breastfeeding. Some 
commenters requested clarification that the provision applies to meals 
for infants 6 months old and older. A few commenters stated that the 
allowance should be expanded to include reimbursement for expressed 
breastmilk because mothers may not be able to come to the center or day 
care home throughout the day. The few commenters that opposed the 
provision expressed concern that it would create integrity issues 
related to meal counting and would be difficult to monitor.
    FNS Response: There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding and the 
AAP recommends breastmilk as the optimal source of nutrients through 
the first year of life. Infants who are breastfed have a lower risk of 
respiratory infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and ear infections, as 
well as later asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, and obesity. To 
strengthen CACFP's support and encouragement of breastfeeding, this 
final rule allows providers to be reimbursed for meals when the mother 
directly breastfeeds her infant at the center or day care home, for 
infants birth through 11 months of age. This is consistent with other 
FNS efforts, such as in WIC, which has historically promoted 
breastfeeding to all pregnant women as the optimal infant feeding 
choice. FNS wishes to clarify that providers already may be reimbursed 
when parents or guardians choose to decline the offered infant formula 
and supply expressed breastmilk. In addition, expressed breastmilk is 
considered an acceptable fluid milk substitute for children of at any 
age in CACFP. Accordingly, this final rule adopts the proposed rule 
breastfeeding allowances and codifies them under 7 CFR 226.20(b)(2).
3. Vegetables and Fruits
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(b)(4)(ii)(B) would 
require a whole vegetable or fruit be served at snack for infants 6 
through 11 months old and would eliminate fruit juice from being 
served.
    Comments: Advocacy organizations, health care associations, a 
professional association, State and local government agencies, and 
providers welcomed the addition of vegetables and fruit at snack for 
infants 6 through 11 months of age. They asserted that introducing 
vegetables and fruits to infants is an important step towards creating 
healthy eating habits in the future and will increase exposure to 
vegetables and fruit, as well as the consumption and acceptance of new 
foods.
    Many other commenters requested FNS provide some flexibility around 
serving vegetables and fruits at infant snack to promote increased 
exposure to and consumption of vegetables and fruits without 
encouraging over-feeding by requiring multiple components. A State 
agency, sponsoring organizations, and providers suggested vegetables 
and fruit be gradually introduced to infants as they become 
developmentally ready. Other commenters, including advocacy 
organizations, recommended requiring either a vegetable or a fruit, or 
bread or cracker or ready-to-eat cereal, or both.
    The majority of commenters, including advocacy organizations, a 
professional association, nutritionists, State agencies, a pediatric 
health care provider, sponsoring organizations, and providers, 
expressed support to disallow the service of fruit juice to infants. 
Commenters explained that this elimination would improve infant 
nutrition, decrease the risk of dental caries and malnutrition, and is 
consistent with the NAM's recommendation to increase access to whole 
vegetables and fruits.
    Those opposing the elimination of fruit juice from the infant meal 
pattern included trade associations, a member of the food industry, and 
some providers. These commenters described that AAP's current guideline 
allows 100 percent juice for infants that are able to hold a cup 
(approximately 6 months old or older). Along those lines, a trade 
association asserted that no research or current expert guidance 
supports the elimination of juice from the diets of infants 6 months 
old and older, and that 100 percent fruit juice provides valuable and 
beneficial nutrients.
    FNS Response: While commenters had different opinions on whether 
vegetables and fruits should be required at snack for infants 6 through 
11 months of age, a goal of this meal pattern revision is to help young 
children establish healthy eating habits, and the earlier the start the 
better. The 2008 FITS found that dietary habits are fairly established 
by 2 years of age and that a substantial proportion of infants do not 
consume any vegetables or fruit in a given day. Offering a variety of 
nutrient dense foods, including whole vegetables and fruits, helps 
promote good nutritional status in infants. FNS understands that 
introducing whole vegetables and fruits early on in a child's life is 
essential to building healthy habits and that the AAP recommends 
serving infants a variety of foods, including an increased amount of 
vegetables and fruits. Therefore, this final rule requires whole 
vegetables and fruits to be served at snack for infants 6 through 11 
months of age. FNS wants to emphasize, though, that, as discussed 
above, solid food components for infants 6 through 11 months of age are 
only required when the infant is developmentally ready to accept them.
    Similarly, this final rule maintains the proposal to eliminate 
fruit juice from the infant meal pattern. This is consistent with the 
NAM's recommendation and with the American Heart Association's Healthy 
Way to Grow Program's recommendation of no

[[Page 24353]]

juice before age one. Accordingly, this final rule implements the 
proposed vegetable and fruit requirements and codifies them under 7 CFR 
226.20(b)(4)(ii).
4. Grains
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(b)(4)(ii)(B) would 
allow ready-to-eat cereals as a grain at snack for 6 through 11 month 
old infants.
    Comments: Most commenters that discussed allowing ready-to-eat 
cereal for infants, including State agencies, a nutritionist, and a 
sponsoring organization, and providers, expressed support for allowing 
ready-to-eat cereals as a grain option for older infants at snack. A 
provider stated that the additional grain option offers needed 
flexibility, especially for special diets. To help reduce infants' 
consumption of added sugars, some commenters, including a State agency 
and nutritionist, noted that the sugar content of ready-to-eat cereals 
served to infants should be limited to 6 grams of sugar or less per 
serving, similar to ready-to-eat cereals served to children and adults. 
Others commented that ready-to-eat cereals served to infants should 
meet all the WIC breakfast cereal requirements and be whole grain-rich. 
An advocacy organization recommended that only iron-fortified infant 
cereals should be served to infants. In contrast, some providers 
cautioned that ready-to-eat cereals may be a choking hazard.
    FNS Response: This final rule allows ready-to-eat cereals to be 
served as a grain at snack for infants 6 through 11 months of age. 
While the AAP and NAM recommend infant cereals, FNS recognizes that 
ready-to-eat cereals are already being served and many CACFP 
stakeholders support allowing ready-to-eat cereals to be part of the 
infant meal pattern. However, FNS understands that some ready-to-eat 
cereals may be a choking hazard and wants to remind CACFP providers 
that foods served to infants must be of a texture and a consistency 
that are appropriate for the age and development of the infant being 
fed. In response to commenters' concern regarding the sugar content in 
ready-to-eat cereals, FNS wants to clarify that ready-to-eat cereals 
served to infants are subject to the same sugar limit (no more than 6 
grams of sugar per dry ounce) as ready-to-eat cereals served to other 
age groups. See the section WIC breakfast cereal nutrient requirements 
below for more information on the breakfast cereal sugar limit. 
Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposed rule's grains 
allowance at infant snack and codifies it under 7 CFR 
226.20(b)(4)(ii)(B).
5. Meat and Meat Alternates
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(b)(4)(ii)(A) would 
eliminate the option to serve cheese, cottage cheese, or cheese food or 
spread to infants and would continue to prohibit serving yogurt to 
infants.
    Comments: A couple of State agencies, several advocacy 
organizations, a health care association, a professional association, a 
pediatric health care provider, and providers expressed support for 
eliminating the option to serve cheese and other cow's milk products to 
infants. An individual observed that this restriction was consistent 
with the NAM's recommendation to delay the introduction of cow's milk 
products until after one year of age.
    A larger portion of commenters, including State agencies, advocacy 
organizations, health care associations, a professional association, 
sponsoring organizations and their associations, and providers, voiced 
opposition to restricting cow's milk products for older infants. 
Several commenters highlighted that the AAP's recommendation to 
restrict cow's milk until one year of age does not discuss cow's milk 
products, such as cheese. A health care association affirmed that 
infants should eat foods from all food groups by 7 or 8 months of age 
and saw no reason to not allow small quantities of non-liquid milk-
based foods, such as cheese and cottage cheese, for older infants. A 
State agency cited guidance from WIC and sample menus from the AAP that 
support introducing low-lactose foods, such as yogurt, to infants that 
are developmentally ready for those foods. An advocacy organization and 
sponsoring organizations and their associations suggested cheese, 
cottage cheese, and yogurt be allowed, and cheese foods and cheese 
spreads be prohibited because they are highly processed and high in 
sodium.
    FNS Response: This final rule modifies the proposed rule to allow 
cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt as allowable meat alternates for 
infants 6 through 11 months of age. FNS acknowledges that cheese, 
cottage cheese, and yogurt are good sources of protein and are often 
served to infants, as developmentally appropriate. In addition, FNS 
agrees that the AAP's policy recommendation to restrict cow's milk 
prior to one year of age does not extend to cow's milk products. 
Rather, the AAP encourages infants to consume foods from all food 
groups to meet infants' nutritional needs and allowing cheese, cottage 
cheese, and yogurt is consistent with the WIC food packages for 
infants. FNS believes it is important to follow the AAP's 
recommendation because they are the leading authority for children's 
developmental and nutritional needs from birth through 23 months. In 
addition, USDA's Nutrient Data Laboratory shows cheese food and cheese 
spreads are generally higher in sodium than regular cheeses or cottage 
cheese, as commenters mentioned. Because eating patterns are developed 
very young, and to better align with the AAP's recommendations, which 
advices caregivers to choose products lower in sodium, this final rule 
does not allow the service of cheese foods or cheese spreads under the 
infant meal pattern.
    This final rule also allows whole eggs to credit towards the meat 
alternate component of the infant meal pattern. Previously, only egg 
yolks were allowed due to concerns with developing food allergies when 
infants are exposed to the protein in the egg white. However, AAP 
recently concluded that there is no convincing evidence to delay the 
introduction of foods that are considered to be major food allergens, 
including eggs. Therefore, this final rule allows whole eggs as a meat 
alternate for infants 6 through 11 months of age. Allowing the whole 
egg is consistent with the NSLP and SBP. Accordingly, this final rule 
implements the allowance of cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and whole 
eggs as meat alternates in the infant meal pattern and codifies it 
under 7 CFR 226.20(b)(4)(ii)(A) and (b)(5).

B. Child and Adult Meal Patterns

1. Age Groups
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule would add a fourth age group for 
older children (13 through 18 year olds) at 7 CFR 226.20(c).
    Comments: Various commenters (120 comments), including State 
agencies, a pediatric health care provider, providers, nutritionists, 
and other individuals, supported the addition of a fourth age group. 
These commenters agreed that the fourth age group appropriately 
recognizes the nutritional needs of adolescents and is more consistent 
with the NSLP and SBP age groups. Many other commenters, including a 
professional association, a State agency, and providers, supported the 
fourth age group if it applied only to at-risk afterschool programs. 
Some of these commenters asked if the fourth age group would allow 
providers to be reimbursed for meals served to their own children 12 
years old and older.
    In opposition to the proposed meal patterns for this age group (400 
comments; 340 form letters), State agencies, a union, advocacy groups,

[[Page 24354]]

sponsoring organizations, and providers commented that the fourth age 
group would be confusing to providers and unnecessary because it 
follows the same meal pattern requirements as the 6 through 12 year old 
age group. They pointed out that the nutritional needs of an 18 year 
old vary greatly from those of a 6 year old. Consequently, some 
commenters felt that a separate meal pattern and an increase in 
reimbursement for the larger portion sizes are needed for a 13 through 
18 year old age group. A few commenters added that including a fourth 
age group could be an administrative burden and require changes to 
databases and reporting systems.
    FNS Response: This final rule establishes the child and adult age 
groups as 1 through 2 year olds, 3 through 5 year olds, 6 through 12 
year olds, 13 through 18 year olds, (for at-risk afterschool programs 
and emergency shelters), and adults. The addition of the fourth age 
group (13 through 18 year olds) reflects the characteristics of the 
population served in CACFP, and in particular, those participating in 
at-risk afterschool programs and emergency shelters.
    FNS recognizes that the 13 through 18 year old age group may cause 
some confusion. To help clarify, the meal pattern charts clearly 
indicate that the 13 through 18 year old age group applies to at-risk 
afterschool programs and emergency shelters participating in CACFP. For 
example, a child care provider may not claim reimbursement for meals 
served to his or her own children that are over the age of 12. FNS 
understands that the addition of the 13 through 18 year old age group 
may create some administrative burdens. However, FNS expects these to 
be small and temporary because there are no Federal administrative 
requirements to keep records of which age groups are served meals.
    Meal reimbursements are based on the type of meal served 
(breakfast, lunch, supper, or snack) and not on the age groups served.
    As proposed, this final rule does not require larger serving sizes 
to be served to 13 through 18 year olds because meal reimbursements 
remain unchanged. FNS appreciates the importance of serving meals that 
meet the nutritional needs of all children participating in CACFP. 
Therefore, through guidance, FNS will make recommendations for serving 
meals to children 13 through 18 years of age that build on the meal 
pattern requirements to ensure that this age group's nutritional needs 
are met. Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposed rule age 
groups and codifies them under 7 CFR 226.20(c).
2. Vegetables and Fruits
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule separates the combined fruit and 
vegetable component into a separate vegetable component and separate 
fruit component at lunch and supper meals, as well as at snack. 
Additionally, the proposed rule would allow fruit juice or vegetable 
juice to comprise the entire vegetable or fruit component for all 
meals, prohibit fruit juice and vegetable juice from being served at 
the same meal, and only allow one beverage (fluid milk, fruit juice, or 
vegetable juice) to be served at snack. These changes were proposed 
under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(2) for the vegetable component and under 7 CFR 
226.20(a)(3) for the fruit component.
    Separate vegetable and fruit component:
    Comments: Commenters were divided on whether the fruit and 
vegetable component should be separated into a vegetable component and 
a fruit component. State agencies, advocacy organizations, a trade 
association, health care associations, a pediatric health care 
provider, and individuals (1,270 comments; 1,100 form letters) 
expressed support for dividing the fruit and vegetable component, 
stating that it is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines and NSLP, and 
will allow providers to offer a greater variety of vegetables and 
fruits. These commenters further believed the proposal would increase 
the consumption of vegetables and fruits and allow providers to serve a 
healthy snack comprised of a vegetable and a fruit.
    Some sponsor associations, State agencies, a professional 
association, a trade association, an advocacy organization, and 
individuals (2,320 comments; 2,040 form letters) generally opposed 
separating the fruit and vegetable component. These commenters felt 
that it will increase consumption of less-nutritious foods, decrease 
the consumption of vegetables, would undo existing menus and recipes, 
and will increase burden in terms of increased costs, plate waste, 
tracking, and decreased flexibility. Some commenters expressed concern 
that it will be difficult to determine which foods are considered 
vegetables and fruits, such as avocados and tomatoes, and asked FNS to 
provide technical assistance and to take into consideration cultural 
foods.
    Many commenters (540 comments; 370 form letters), including those 
that supported and opposed a separate vegetable and fruit component, 
urged FNS to allow two vegetables to be served at lunch and supper 
meals instead of a vegetable and a fruit. These commenters expressed 
that such an allowance would give providers greater flexibility in menu 
planning as two vegetables may be more appealing for some meals, 
further encourage the consumption of vegetables, reduce the amount of 
fruit juice offered, and recognize the seasonality of local produce. In 
addition, health care associations, advocacy organizations, and a 
sponsor association believed that this allowance would bring vegetable 
consumption closer to the amount recommended by the Dietary Guidelines, 
as many children do not currently consume enough vegetables.
    FNS Response: After careful consideration, FNS is establishing a 
separate vegetable component and a separate fruit component at lunch, 
supper, and snack through this final rule. The intent of this new 
requirement is to promote the consumption of vegetables and fruits, as 
recommended by the Dietary Guidelines, and to better align with the 
NSLP. The Dietary Guidelines found that vegetables and fruits prepared 
without added solid fats, added sugars, refined starches, and sodium 
are nutrient-dense foods and are under consumed by Americans. FNS does 
not expect a separate vegetable component and fruit component to be 
overly complicated or increase costs because providers are already 
required to serve two different kinds of vegetables or fruit, or a 
combination of both.
    FNS acknowledges that what is considered a vegetable or fruit may 
be slightly confusing, especially as various cultures may identify 
vegetables and fruits differently. To ensure CACFP operators understand 
and are able to comply with the new separate vegetable and fruit 
components, FNS will work closely with State agencies and provide 
additional guidance, including how to credit traditional foods. FNS 
wants to emphasize that while ``The Food Buying Guide for Child 
Nutrition Programs'' (http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/food-buying-guide-for-child-nutrition-programs) presents crediting information for vegetables 
and fruits, it is not an exhaustive list of all creditable vegetables 
and fruits.
    In response to commenters' request, this final rule permits the 
option to serve two vegetables at lunch and supper, instead of one 
vegetable and one fruit. The NAM report and the 2015-2020 Dietary 
Guidelines found that very few children (1 through 8 years old) consume 
the recommended amount of vegetables, while the majority of

[[Page 24355]]

children meet the recommended intake for fruits. With this in mind, FNS 
agrees with commenters that allowing two vegetables at lunch and supper 
will help bring children's vegetable consumption closer to the amount 
recommended by the Dietary Guidelines. This modification grants 
providers greater latitude when menu planning. In addition, based on 
the time of the year, it may be more appropriate to serve two 
vegetables than a serving of vegetable and fruit. Therefore, it also 
allows providers to take advantage of the local and seasonal 
availability of produce, which may improve freshness and food quality.
    To be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines' recommendation that 
all Americans should consume a variety of vegetables, this final rule 
requires that two different kinds of vegetables be served when a 
provider chooses to serve two vegetables at lunch and supper. For 
example, a reimbursable lunch may consist of milk, a chicken sandwich, 
broccoli, and carrots. However, a lunch menu with milk, a chicken 
sandwich, and two servings of broccoli would not be reimbursable. 
Please note, the vegetables do not need to be from different vegetable 
subgroups (e.g., dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, 
starchy vegetables, beans and peas (legumes), or other vegetables). A 
lunch or dinner meal with a serving of carrots and a serving of 
tomatoes (both red and orange vegetables) is allowable. Accordingly, 
this final rule implements the proposal to establish separate vegetable 
and fruit components and codifies it under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(2) and (3), 
respectively.
    Juice:
    Comments: Two trade associations, two State agencies, an advocacy 
organization, and individuals (20 comments) supported allowing fruit 
juice and vegetable juice to comprise the entire fruit component and 
vegetable component. A trade association asserted that juice provides 
important nutrients, such as potassium and vitamin C, and cited the 
Dietary Guidelines indication that 1 cup of 100 percent fruit juice is 
equivalent to 1 cup of whole fruit. These same commenters voiced 
concern that prohibiting fruit juice and vegetable juice from being 
served at the same meal would eliminate the option of serving 100 
percent fruit and vegetable juice blends.
    However, more commenters (120 comments) opposed allowing fruit 
juice or vegetable juice to comprise the entire meal component. Health 
care associations, advocacy organizations, State agencies, and numerous 
individuals expressed great concern that the proposed rule would allow 
juice to be served multiple times per day. These commenters stated that 
juice is not equal to whole fruit because it has less fiber, more sugar 
and calories, is less satiating than calories consumed from solid 
foods, which can lead to weight gain, and that children do not consume 
the recommended amounts or variety of vegetables and fruits.
    The overwhelming majority of comments (3,460 comments; 3,350 form 
letters) from a range of stakeholders, including health care 
associations, advocacy organizations, State agencies, sponsoring 
organizations and their associations, and providers, strongly urged FNS 
to limit the amount of juice served to children listing the health 
concerns above. These commenters suggested limiting juice to no more 
than one age-appropriate serving (e.g., 4-6 ounces for young children) 
per day, which is consistent with the AAP's and NAM's recommendations. 
Health care associations, advocacy organizations, and a sponsoring 
organization said it is common practice for State agencies to recommend 
or require child care centers or day care homes to limit the service of 
juice to no more than once per day. In particular, several commenters 
referenced the Florida Bureau of Child Nutrition Program's policy to 
limit juice to one serving per day, which resulted in whole fruit being 
offered 30 percent more often. A professional association suggested 
some intermediate approaches, such as juice cannot comprise more than 
50 percent of the vegetable or fruit servings per week, similar to the 
NSLP, or juice could only be allowed at snack.
    FNS Response: FNS acknowledges that 100 percent juice can be part 
of a healthful diet. However, it lacks dietary fiber found in other 
forms of fruit and when consumed in excess can contribute to extra 
calories. The Dietary Guidelines recommends that at least half of 
fruits should come from whole fruits and found that children age 1 to 3 
years old consume the highest proportion of juice to whole fruits. As 
commenters keenly pointed out, the proposed rule would allow an 
unlimited amount of juice, which may lead to a variety of adverse 
health consequences mentioned in the comments. FNS recognizes the 
benefits of consuming whole vegetables and fruits and was persuaded by 
commenters' suggestion to limit juice. Therefore, with strong support 
from commenters, this final rule limits the service of fruit juice or 
vegetable juice to one serving per day for children 1 year old and 
older and adults. This change is consistent with WIC, which provides 
only enough juice for one serving per day per child, and is expected to 
help increase children's consumption of whole vegetables and fruits.
    Moreover, FNS notes that CACFP providers, on average, already serve 
juice once per day or less. Additionally, several States, including 
California, Texas, North Carolina, and Colorado, currently limit the 
service of juice via licensing requirements and experience high 
compliance rates. While FNS is aware that whole vegetables and fruits 
generally cost more than juice, FNS expects this limitation to be 
feasible and to not raise costs given these realities.
    FNS wishes to clarify that 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice 
blends are creditable in CACFP. Similar to the NSLP and SBP, a 100 
percent fruit and vegetable juice blend may contribute to the fruit 
requirement when fruit juice or puree is the most prominent ingredient; 
and a 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice blend may contribute to the 
vegetable requirement when vegetable juice or puree is the most 
prominent ingredient. Accordingly, this final rule implements the 
proposed vegetable juice and fruit juice requirements, with 
modifications, and codifies them under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(2) and (3), 
respectively.
3. Grains
    Proposed Rule: Under the proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(a)(4), at 
least one grain serving per day, would be required to be whole grain-
rich; grain-based desserts would be prohibited from counting towards 
the grain component; and breakfast cereals would be required to meet 
WIC's breakfast cereal nutrient requirements. In addition, the proposed 
rule maintained the method for crediting grains.
    Whole grain-rich:
    Comments: The vast majority of commenters (2,130 comments; 1,930 
form letters) generally supported the requirement that at least one 
serving of grains per day be whole grain-rich. Health care 
associations, advocacy groups, professional associations, State 
agencies, sponsoring organizations, and numerous individuals noted the 
value of increasing the consumption of healthy whole grains, as well as 
aligning with Dietary Guideline recommendations, and with the NSLP, 
SBP, and WIC requirements. Several commenters encouraged FNS to further 
increase the required amount of whole grains.
    Those in opposition (50 comments), mostly individuals and 
providers, voiced concern regarding the ability to find whole grain 
products and the cost of whole grains compared to other enriched 
breads. These commenters

[[Page 24356]]

suggested that the proposed requirement necessitates an increase in 
reimbursement. Several commenters asked for a definition of whole 
grain-rich.
    In addition, several commenters requested clarification on when the 
whole grain-rich requirement would be required. For example, commenters 
wondered if programs, such as at-risk afterschool programs, that only 
serve snack and no other meals over the course of the entire day, would 
be required to serve a whole grain-rich item even though a grain item 
is not required at snack. Additionally, State agencies, sponsoring 
organizations, and providers asked for clarification on how the whole 
grain-rich requirement would be monitored and what would happen if a 
whole grain-rich food is not served on a given day. Concerned that the 
procurement of whole grain products may be confusing or difficult for 
some providers, several commenters suggested FNS offer technical 
assistance and a transitional implementation period for training and 
resource development.
    FNS Response: The Dietary Guidelines state that Americans currently 
consume too many refined grains and recommends that half of the total 
grains consumed should be whole grains. Whole grains offer a variety of 
vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, selenium, iron, zinc, B 
vitamins, and dietary fiber. Therefore, this final rule adopts the 
proposed requirement that at least one serving of grains per day be 
whole grain-rich. This requirement will help children and adults 
increase their intake of whole grains and benefit from the important 
nutrients they provide.
    Foods that qualify as whole grain-rich are foods that contain a 
blend of whole-grain meal and/or whole grain flour and enriched meal 
and/or enriched flour of which at least 50 percent is whole grain and 
the remaining grains in the food, if any, are enriched; or foods that 
contain 100 percent whole grain. To maintain consistency across CNPs, 
this final rule adopts the criterion used in the NSLP and SBP to 
determine the whole grain content of grain products outlined in FNS 
memorandum SP 30-2012 (``Grain Requirements for the National School 
Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program,'' http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/SP30-2012os.pdf).
    Formative research conducted by FNS (http://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/formative-research-nutrition-physical-activity-and-electronic-media-use-cacfp) demonstrates that 54 percent of surveyed child care centers 
and day care homes already serve whole grains at most or all meals. In 
light of this research, FNS does not expect this requirement to be 
overly burdensome for providers. However, FNS acknowledges that there 
are challenges associated with identifying whole grain-rich foods. FNS 
will provide technical assistance to ensure successful implementation, 
including tips for menu planning within budget and how to identify 
whole grain-rich foods.
    FNS wants to clarify that a whole grain-rich item is only required 
when grain items are served. If a center or day care home only serves 
breakfast, the grain item served at breakfast must be whole grain-rich. 
If an at-risk afterschool program serves only snacks, they are not 
required to serve any grain item because grains is not a required 
component of a snack. However, if an at-risk afterschool program that 
only serves snack chooses to serve a grain item at snack, such as 
crackers with apples, the grain item must be whole grain-rich. FNS also 
wishes to clarify that the requirement applies to the center or day 
care home, not to each child or adult participant. For example, if a 
center or day care home serves breakfast and lunch and two different 
groups of children or adults are at each meal, only one meal must 
contain a whole grain-rich food.
    In the situation when a center or day care home serves grain items 
but none of the grains served on that given day are whole grain-rich, 
then the meal with the lowest reimbursement rate where a grain item was 
served would be disallowed. For example, if a center or day care home 
serves breakfast and snack and a grain item is served at both breakfast 
and snack, but neither of the grain items are whole grain-rich, then 
the snack would be disallowed because it has the lowest-reimbursement 
rate and it contained a grain item. Conversely, if a grain is not 
served at snack and the grain item served at breakfast is not whole 
grain-rich, then the breakfast meal would be disallowed. This is 
because it is the breakfast meal is the meal with the lowest 
reimbursement rate that contained a grain item.
    Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposed rule's whole 
grain-rich requirement without change and codifies it under 7 CFR 
226.20(a)(4)(i).
    Grain-based desserts:
    Comments: The majority of commenters (1,210 comments; 1,070 form 
letters) addressing grain-based desserts supported prohibiting them 
from counting towards the grains requirement. Many of these commenters, 
including advocacy organizations, a professional organization, State 
agencies, and sponsor associations, said grain-based desserts are not a 
necessary dietary component, that this provision would help reduce 
consumption of added sugars, and implementing the requirement appears 
to be feasible.
    The proposed prohibition on grain-based desserts was primarily 
opposed by some sponsoring organizations, providers, and State agencies 
(160 comments). Providers suggested that grain-based desserts be 
limited (e.g. once or twice a week, once per month, special occasions) 
instead of completely disallowed. A couple of trade associations and a 
food industry member recommended that CACFP follow the NSLP and SBP and 
allow up to two ounce equivalents of grains per week to be in the form 
of a grain-based dessert. In addition, several commenters, mainly 
providers and a professional association, encouraged FNS to allow 
homemade or ``healthier'' grain-based desserts. These commenters argued 
that certain homemade desserts made from whole grains, nuts, fruits, or 
vegetables, and sweetened with honey or fruits, such as muffins, 
breads, granola bars, oatmeal cookies, should be allowed.
    In many of the comments about grain-based desserts, commenters 
asked for clarification on what would count as a grain-based dessert 
and many other commenters offered a definition for grain-based 
desserts. Numerous commenters, including sponsoring organizations and 
their associations, State agencies, and advocacy organizations, 
recommended defining grain-based desserts using Exhibit A in USDA's 
``Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs,'' which denotes 
desserts with superscripts 3 and 4. Other advocacy organizations, a few 
State agencies, and a pediatric health care provider suggested the term 
grain-based desserts should include grain-based foods with added sugars 
or fats, such as cakes, cookies, pies, sweet rolls, donuts, brownies, 
candy, fruit pies, turnovers, and cereals with more than 6 grams of 
sugar per serving. FNS was cautioned by a health care association and 
advocacy organization not to use the NSLP and SBP's definition of 
grain-based desserts because it is difficult to interpret and apply.
    FNS Response: This final rule adopts the proposal to disallow 
grain-based desserts from counting towards the grains requirement. The 
NAM report and the Dietary Guidelines identify grain-based desserts as 
sources of added sugars and saturated fats. The Dietary Guidelines 
cites that added sugar

[[Page 24357]]

consumption, as a percent of calories, is particularly high in children 
and recommends reducing consumption of added sugars and saturated fats. 
This recommendation is particularly pertinent to CACFP as the majority 
of participants are very young children whose taste preferences are 
being developed. FNS also took into consideration cost implications 
when developing this final rule and, according to Nielsen price data 
(nationally representative retail food data collected by the Nielsen 
Company), grain-based desserts are generally more expensive than other 
grain items meaning this disallowance actually reduces costs for 
providers.
    Commenters requested a definition of grain-based desserts and in 
this final rule FNS adopts a definition provided by several commenters: 
Grain-based desserts are those items in USDA's ``Food Buying Guide for 
Child Nutrition Programs'' Exhibit A, which are denoted as desserts 
with superscripts 3 and 4. This definition of grain-based desserts 
includes cakes, cookies, sweet pie crusts, fruit turnovers, doughnuts, 
granola bars, toaster pastries, sweet rolls, and brownies. CACFP 
operators are familiar with Exhibit A and this definition is consistent 
with the NSLP's and SBP's definition of grain-based desserts. As a 
reminder, providers may choose to serve grain-based desserts, such as 
for celebrations or other special occasions, as an additional food item 
that is not reimbursable.
    Accordingly, this final rule does not allow grain-based desserts to 
count towards the grain requirement and codifies the prohibition under 
7 CFR 226.20(a)(4)(iii).
    Breakfast Cereal Nutrient Requirements:
    Comments: Commenters had varying opinions on the proposal to 
require breakfast cereals to conform to the WIC breakfast cereal 
nutrient requirements. Those in support (1,340 comments; 1,080 form 
letters), including advocacy organizations, health care associations, 
sponsoring organizations, and State agencies, said conformance to the 
WIC breakfast cereal nutrient requirements would align with the NAM's 
recommendations, enhance consistency across nutrition programs, and 
help providers easily identify allowable cereals.
    Those in opposition (960 comments; 830 form letters), including 
advocacy organizations, a professional association, sponsor 
associations, and a local government agency, felt that the adoption of 
all the WIC breakfast cereal nutrient requirements would be very 
complicated for providers to implement. These commenters explained that 
all eligible cereals are not on WIC-approved State agency lists, lists 
vary among States, and that it would be extremely difficult to 
determine which cereals meet all the requirements when only using the 
Nutrition Facts Label. However, the majority of commenters in 
opposition to conformance with the full WIC breakfast cereal nutrient 
requirements supported some sort of sugar limit on breakfast cereals. 
Many commenters recommended FNS adopt WIC's sugar limit only (no more 
than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce).
    FNS Response: Breakfast cereals include ready-to-eat and instant 
and regular hot cereals. In response to commenters' concerns regarding 
the WIC breakfast cereal nutrient requirements, this final rule 
requires breakfast cereals to contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per 
dry ounce, only. This modification from the proposed rule is easier for 
CACFP operators to understand and implement. As commenters stated, 
State agency lists of WIC-approved cereals vary and it would be 
difficult to use the Nutrition Facts Label to determine whether a 
cereal meets the full WIC breakfast cereal nutrient requirements. 
Maintaining a sugar limit on breakfast cereals is consistent with the 
NAM's and Dietary Guidelines' recommendations to decrease the 
consumption of added sugars.
    Accordingly, this final rule requires breakfast cereals to contain 
no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce and codifies the 
requirement under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(4)(ii).
    Ounce Equivalents:
    Comments: A few commenters addressed the crediting of grains. A 
trade association and food industry member recommended CACFP follow the 
NSLP's and SBP's guidance for grains (SP 30-2012, ``Grain Requirements 
for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program,'' 
http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/SP30-2012os.pdf). According 
to the guidance, all grains offered are counted towards meeting the 
minimum grains requirements using ounce equivalent criteria. An ounce 
equivalent is the amount of food product that is considered equal to 
one ounce from the grain or protein food groups. An ounce equivalent 
for some foods may be less than a measured ounce if the food is 
concentrated or low in water content (e.g., nuts, peanut butter, dried 
meats, flour) or more than an ounce if the food contains a large amount 
of water (tofu, cooked beans, cooked rice, or cooked pasta).
    Similarly, an advocacy organization, a State agency employee, and 
an individual suggested the CACFP adopt the ounce equivalency 
requirements in the NSLP and SBP. Along with being consistent with 
other CNPs, commenters noted that by using ounce equivalents to 
determine the quantity of creditable grains FNS can ensure that the 
CACFP grains component requirement reflects current nutrition science.
    FNS Response: FNS agrees that using ounce equivalents to credit the 
quantity of grains needed to meet the grains component requirement 
would increase consistency between CACFP and other CNPs, and that it is 
cumbersome to maintain two different grain serving size requirements. 
Furthermore, the Dietary Guidelines, USDA MyPlate Food Guidance System, 
and the NAM report use ounce equivalents to determine the recommended 
intake for grains. To ensure children and adults are served the 
recommended amount of grains, this final rule uses ounce equivalents to 
determine the minimum serving sizes for the grains requirement. FNS is 
mindful that this requires an operational change, including increasing 
the minimum serving size for ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, and CACFP 
operators will need time to become familiar with ounce equivalents and 
successfully comply with the new grains serving size requirements. 
Therefore, this final rule delays the implementation of the use of 
ounce equivalents to credit grains, and consequently the adjusted grain 
serving sizes, until October 1, 2019, two years after all other meal 
pattern requirements must be implemented.
4. Meat and Meat Alternates
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.2 and 226.20(a)(5) 
and (c)(1) would allow a meat or meat alternate to be served in place 
of up to one-half of the grains requirement at breakfast, and would 
allow tofu and soy products to be used to meet all or part of the meat 
and meat alternates component.
    Meat and meat alternates at breakfast:
    Comments: Some commenters (310 comments; 120 form letters), 
including a sponsor association, a sponsoring organization, health care 
associations, and a trade association, supported allowing a meat or 
meat alternate to substitute for one-half of the required grains 
component at breakfast. Commenters said this allowance would be 
beneficial because protein at breakfast will help sustain participants' 
energy throughout the day, providers will have greater flexibility in 
menu planning, and diabetic participants will be better served.

[[Page 24358]]

    However, the majority of commenters (2,170 comments; 2,090 form 
letters) opposed allowing one-half of the breakfast grains requirement 
to be substituted with a meat or meat alternate. Many commenters, 
including sponsoring organizations, a State agency, providers, and 
individuals, believed the provision would be too complicated to 
implement and monitor, and would increase costs. Specifically, these 
commenters expressed concerns about the practicality of serving very 
small quantities of meat or meat alternates for children 1 through 5 
years of age, because those age groups' grains component serving sizes 
are already very small.
    Several commenters offered modifications to the provision. 
Sponsoring organizations and their associations suggested maintaining 
the current option to allow meat or meat alternates as additional foods 
at breakfast. Other suggested modifications included allowing a meat or 
meat alternate to replace the entire grains requirement at breakfast or 
requiring a meat or meat alternate at breakfast.
    FNS Response: Meat and meat alternates are good sources of protein 
as well as a host of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, 
vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, and iron. In recognition of the value of a 
meat or meat alternate at breakfast and to address commenters' 
concerns, this final rule allows meat and meat alternates to substitute 
for the entire grains component at breakfast a maximum of three times 
per week. This is consistent with the NAM's recommendation to require a 
meat or meat alternate at breakfast a minimum of three times per week. 
However, by making this substitution optional, this modification to the 
proposal will not be burdensome, avoids increasing costs to the 
provider, and grants providers greater choices when planning 
breakfasts. Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposed rule's 
allowance to serve meat and meat alternates at breakfast, with 
modifications, and codifies it under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(c)(1).
    Tofu and other Soy Products:
    Comments: Most comments on tofu, from an array of stakeholders, 
expressed strong support for allowing tofu to credit as a meat 
alternate. These commenters explained that it would allow vegetarians 
to be better served, it gives providers greater flexibility when menu 
planning, it allows for more diverse cultural foods, it aligns with the 
NSLP, and tofu is a nutritious meat alternative that is low in fat and 
high in protein and vitamins. A few commenters opposed the proposal to 
allow tofu as a meat alternate due to potential negative health impacts 
or because they believed children and adults will not eat tofu.
    While commenters welcomed tofu as a meat alternate, a variety of 
commenters (250 comments; 230 form letters) expressed concern regarding 
how tofu would be credited. Multiple sponsoring organizations and their 
associations, advocacy organizations, a health care association, and a 
trade association strongly advocated that guidance should allow tofu to 
be used in culturally appropriate ways, such as in soups and stews.
    FNS Response: To better align with other CNPs, better serve 
vegetarian diets, and offer greater flexibility to the menu planner, 
this final rule allows tofu as a meat alternate. Commenters generally 
endorsed this addition while requesting that tofu be allowable in 
culturally appropriate ways. FNS will adopt the NSLP and SBP's criteria 
for crediting tofu (FNS memorandum SP 16-2012 ``Crediting of Tofu and 
Soy Yogurt Products,'' http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/SP16-12012os.pdf) for the CACFP and would like to emphasize that the 
crediting of tofu in the NSLP and SBP allows for tofu to be served in 
culturally appropriate ways and in traditional dishes. For example, 
firm tofu in stir-fries, omelets, and miso soup may credit towards the 
meat alternate component. Soft tofu that is incorporated into drinks, 
such as smoothies, or other dishes to add texture, such as baked 
desserts, is not allowable. This is consistent with FNS' policy to not 
allow milk to credit when used in a recipe. Meals served in CACFP are a 
nutrition education opportunity to help children learn how to build a 
healthy plate so it is important for young children to be able to 
identify components of a healthy meal.
    Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposal to allow tofu 
and other soy products to be used to meet all or part of the meat and 
meat alternates component, and codifies it under 7 CFR 226.2, 
226.20(a)(5)(iv).
5. Yogurt Sugar Limit
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(r)(3) presented 
two alternatives for public comment: Alternative C1, require that 
yogurt contain no more than 30 grams of sugar per 6 ounces; or, 
alternative C2, recommend as a best practice that yogurt contain no 
more than 30 grams of sugar per 6 ounces.
    Comments: The vast majority of commenters discussing yogurt favored 
requiring a sugar limit, alternative C1 (1,320 comments; 1,190 form 
letters). A very large number of commenters, including State agencies, 
a Federal agency, advocacy groups, a pediatric health care provider, 
sponsoring organizations, dietitians and nutritionists, and providers, 
expressed that a sugar limit on yogurt would not be burdensome because 
the majority of yogurts meet the proposed sugar limit and it supports 
the goal of optimizing the nutritional quality of the meals served in 
CACFP. Fewer commenters (570 form letters) favored having the sugar 
limit on yogurt as a best practice, alternative C2. Some advocacy 
groups, State agencies, sponsoring organizations, dietitians and 
nutritionists, and providers argued that a sugar limit would be 
burdensome and difficult to monitor. A State agency and a provider 
added that best practices should be encouraged because it may not be 
possible for some providers to comply with a sugar limit due to limited 
food availability.
    Along with supporting a required sugar limit on yogurt, many 
commenters recommended that FNS lower the sugar limit to either 20 
grams or 23 grams of sugar per 6 ounces. These commenters, including 
multiple health care associations and advocacy organizations, and a 
State agency, emphasized the importance of reducing added sugars in 
yogurt served in CACFP and expressed concern that the proposed sugar 
limit may be too liberal as very few products on the market (including 
those with candy and cookies) would be disallowed by this standard. 
Food industry members and trade associations asserted that yogurt 
companies are continuing to develop low-sugar yogurts.
    FNS Response: After careful consideration of the comments 
submitted, this final rule requires all yogurts served to contain no 
more than 23 grams of sugar per 6 ounces. Yogurt provides nutrients 
that are vital for health, growth, and maintenance of the body, 
including calcium, potassium, protein, and vitamin D (when fortified). 
These beneficial nutrients can be ``diluted'' by the addition of 
calories from added sugars. In addition, food preferences, including a 
preference for sweet foods, are established at a young age (see more on 
this in the Flavored Milk section). Requiring a sugar limit on yogurt 
reinforces that yogurt can be part of healthful diet with less sugar.
    FNS believes this lower sugar limit is attainable and maintains 
product palatability while reducing the intake of added sugar. FNS 
conducted extensive market research on the availability of yogurts 
below the sugar limit

[[Page 24359]]

recommended by the NAM (30 grams per 6 ounces) and by commenters (23 
grams per 6 ounces). Yogurts containing no more than 23 grams of sugar 
per 6 ounces are widely available in the current marketplace and all 
yogurts available through USDA Foods currently contain significantly 
less than 23 grams of sugar per 6 ounces. These yogurts do not cost 
more than those with higher amounts of sugar and there are many in the 
retail market that do not contain artificial sweeteners.
    This sugar limit is lower than the NAM's recommendation and WIC's 
yogurt sugar limit, but it is consistent the Dietary Guidelines and the 
NAM's overarching goal of lowering the amount of added sugars in meals 
served in CACFP. In addition, this lower sugar limit is consistent with 
the current market trend highlighted by commenters of the greater 
availability of lower-sugar yogurts. For instance, Dannon, a yogurt 
producer whose products are available nationwide, pledged to reduce the 
amount of total sugar in all of their yogurt products for children to 
23 grams of sugar or less per 6 ounces by 2016.
    FNS is mindful of commenters' concerns regarding a yogurt sugar 
limit. FNS is committed to helping CACFP operators comply with all the 
new meal pattern requirements and will provide technical assistance and 
guidance to ensure CACFP operators understand the sugar limit on yogurt 
for successful implementation.
    Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposed rule's 
alternative C1, with modifications, and codifies it under 7 CFR 
226.20(a)(5)(iii).
6. Fluid Milk
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(a)(1) would 
require unflavored whole milk be served to children 1 year of age, and 
low-fat (1 percent) or fat-free (skim) milk be served to children 2 
years old and older and adults. It would allow yogurt to be used to 
meet the fluid milk requirement once per day for adults only. And, the 
proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(i)(1) would allow non-dairy beverages 
that are nutritionally equivalent to milk to be served in place of 
fluid milk for children or adults with medical or special dietary 
needs.
    One year old children:
    Comments: Some commenters (75 comments) supported requiring 
unflavored whole milk to be served to children 1 year old. Commenters, 
including State agencies, advocacy organizations, a pediatric health 
care provider, dietitians and nutritionists, and providers, said 
children age 1 need the fat in whole milk for brain development and do 
not need the added sugars in flavored milk. These commenters also said 
the provision is consistent with the AAP's recommendations.
    More commenters (460 commenters; 290 form letters) opposed 
requiring unflavored whole milk be served to children 1 year old. State 
agencies, sponsors, and providers voiced concern that the provision 
would be restrictive and intrusive, that some children will not drink 
whole milk, and that the provider or parent should be able to decide 
whether the child is served whole or reduced-fat milk. Some sponsoring 
organizations and their associations and providers stated that the 
provision would require most providers to purchase and buy more than 
one kind of milk. Additionally, a professional association and a health 
care association stated that the AAP recommends that low-fat milk may 
be considered for 1 year old children if growth and weight gain are 
appropriate, or especially if weight gain is excessive or family 
history is positive for obesity, dyslipidemia, or cardiovascular 
disease. Several commenters brought up the challenge of switching 
children from whole milk to low-fat or fat-free milk when children turn 
2 years old, and requested a transition period as a solution.
    FNS Response: This final rule requires unflavored whole milk to be 
served to children 1 year old, which is consistent with the NAM's 
recommendation. In response to commenters' concern regarding the AAP's 
milk recommendation, FNS would like to clarify that meal accommodations 
may be made for children with medical or special dietary needs. If it 
is appropriate for a 1 year old child to consume low-fat milk instead 
of whole milk due to a medical or special dietary need, including the 
health issues noted by commenters, a meal accommodation may be made by 
following the substitution requirements outlined in 7 CFR 226.20(g) of 
this final rule. Additionally, FNS recognizes that switching 
immediately from whole milk to low-fat or fat-free milk when a child 
turns 2 may be challenging. Therefore, as recommended by commenters, 
this final rule allows for a one-month transition period to switch from 
whole milk to low-fat or fat-free milk when a child turns 2 years old. 
Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposal to require that 
unflavored whole milk be served to children 1 year of age and codifies 
it under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(1)(i).
    Children 2 years old and older:
    Comments: For children 2 years old and older, and adults, more 
commenters (120 comments) expressed general support to require low-fat 
or fat-free milk be served to this age group than those who opposed 
this requirement. Those in support, including State agencies, advocacy 
organizations, sponsor associations, a pediatric health care provider, 
dietitians and nutritionists, and providers, believed that children 2 
years old and older and adults do not need the fat from whole milk, 
that requiring low-fat or fat-free milk avoids excess consumption of 
calories and saturated fat, and the change to low-fat or fat-free milk 
is cost neutral and easy to accomplish. In opposition (40 comments), 
primarily sponsors and providers, expressed concern that the 
requirement would be too restrictive, two year olds need the fat in 
whole milk for brain development, and that providers should have the 
discretion to choose which type of milk to serve. Additionally, some 
commenters cited research demonstrating that higher-fat milk 
consumption is linked with lower rates of obesity, that the saturated 
fat in whole milk is not of valid concern, and that whole milk is 
nutritionally superior for children.
    FNS Response: The HHFKA requires that milk served in CACFP be 
consistent with the most recent version of the Dietary Guidelines. 
Subsequent to the enactment of HHFKA, in September 2011, FNS issued a 
memorandum (CACFP 21-2011 REVISED ``Child Nutrition Reauthorization 
2010: Nutrition Requirements for Fluid Milk and Fluid Milk 
Substitutions in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Questions and 
Answers,'' http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CACFP-21-2011.pdf) requiring milk served to children 2 years old and older and 
adults be low-fat or fat-free. This final rule codifies the September 
2011 policy. This is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, the NSLA 
as amended by the HHFKA, and the NSLP and SBP. Accordingly, this final 
rule implements the proposal to require that low-fat (1 percent) or 
fat-free (skim) milk be served to children 2 years old and older and 
codifies it under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(1).
    Yogurt as a substitute for fluid milk:
    Comments: The majority of stakeholders (85 comments) that commented 
on allowing yogurt to substitute for fluid milk once per day, for 
adults only, supported it. State agencies, advocacy organizations, 
dietitians and nutritionists, and providers supported the allowance 
because it would encourage

[[Page 24360]]

consumption of a calcium rich food among adult participants. According 
to commenters, many adult participants currently decline milk at meals. 
Only a few commenters (10 comments) opposed the proposed provision. A 
handful of commenters (15 comments), including some trade and industry 
associations, suggested that FNS allow the substitution of yogurt for 
fluid milk to be extended to children. A health care association, 
however, affirmed that the allowance should not be extended to children 
because milk provides nutrients such as vitamins A and D, and 
comparable quantities of these nutrients are not found in many 
commercially available yogurts.
    FNS Response: This final rule allows yogurt to meet the fluid milk 
requirement once per day for adults only, as recommended by the NAM. 
FNS does not agree that this allowance should be extended to children. 
As noted by a commenter, milk provides a wealth of nutrients growing 
children need, such as vitamin A and D, and comparable quantities of 
these nutrients are not currently found in commercially available 
yogurts. In addition, the Dietary Guidelines emphasizes it is important 
to establish in young children the habit of drinking milk, as those who 
consume milk at an early age are more likely to drink milk when they 
are older. Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposal to 
allow yogurt to be used to meet the fluid milk requirement once per day 
for adults only, and codifies it under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(1)(iv).
    Non-dairy beverages:
    Comments: Commenters supported (120 comments) allowing non-dairy 
beverages that are nutritionally equivalent to milk to be served in 
lieu of fluid milk for children and adults with medical or special 
dietary needs. Numerous commenters, including State agencies, advocacy 
organizations, dietitians and nutritionists, and providers, asserted 
that this provision makes it easier for child and adult participants 
with medical or special dietary needs to receive a substitution. Many 
of these commenters stated that requiring non-dairy beverages be 
nutritionally equivalent to cow's milk will ensure that participants 
receive the beneficial nutrients they need, including calcium, protein, 
vitamin A, and vitamin D. Very few commenters (4 comments) opposed the 
provision. One provider asserted that parents should be able to choose 
what their child drinks as a milk substitute. Additionally, some 
providers urged that non-dairy beverages that are not nutritionally 
equivalent to cow's milk (e.g., almond milk, rice milk) be allowed 
without a medical statement.
    FNS Response: This final rule allows non-dairy beverages that are 
nutritionally equivalent to milk and meet the nutritional standards for 
fortification of calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, and other 
nutrients to levels found in cow's milk, as outlined in the NSLP 
regulations at 7 CFR 210.10(m)(3), to be served in place of fluid milk 
for children or adults who cannot consume fluid milk due to a medical 
or special dietary need. This allowance was first provided via the 
September 2011 memorandum discussed under the section below titled 
Children 2 years old and older, and requires a parent or guardian, or 
by, or on behalf of, an adult participant to request the substitution 
in writing, without a medical statement. Requiring non-dairy beverages 
to be nutritionally equivalent to cow's milk ensures children receive 
vital nutrients needed for growth and development. Similarly, FNS 
maintains that a medical statement is required for non-dairy beverages 
that do not meet the nutrient requirements listed above because it 
provides the assurance that the substitute beverage is meeting the 
nutritional needs of the child or adult participant. Accordingly, this 
final rule implements the proposed rule's non-dairy beverage 
substitution requirements and codifies them under 7 CFR 226.20(g)(3).
7. Flavored Milk
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(a)(1) would 
require flavored milk to be fat-free only. Additionally, at 7 CFR 
226.20(r) the proposed rule presented alternatives for public comment 
on the service of flavored milk:
     Children 2 through 4 years old: Alternative A1, flavored 
milk would be prohibited; or, Alternative A2, require flavored milk to 
contain no more than 22 grams of sugar per 8 fluid ounces.
     Children 5 years old and older and adults: Alternative B1, 
require flavored milk to contain no more than 22 grams of sugar per 8 
fluid ounces; or, Alternative B2, recommend as a best practice that 
flavored milk contain no more than 22 grams of sugar per 8 fluid 
ounces.
    Comments: Most commenters (60 comments) that addressed the fat 
content of flavored milk supported requiring flavored milk to be fat-
free because it is consistent with the NSLP and SBP. Several commenters 
(25 comments), including dietitians and nutritionists, providers, and 
industry associations, opposed the provision primarily because of the 
unavailability of fat-free flavored milk.
    In regards to a sugar limit, more commenters (4,400 comments; 4,190 
form letters) favored prohibiting flavored milk (A1) over requiring 
flavored milk to meet a sugar limit for children 2 through 4 years old 
(A2). State agencies, a Federal agency, a pediatric health care 
provider, advocacy groups, sponsoring organizations, dietitians and 
nutritionists, and providers supported A1 because flavored milk has no 
nutritional benefit over unflavored milk, contributes to increased 
sugar consumption, obesity, and tooth decay, and is not appropriate for 
this age group when taste preferences are being formed. Some of these 
commenters recommended FNS modify the age group to 2 through 5 year 
olds as some 5 year olds are still in child care. A State agency and a 
health care association asserted that flavored milk is rarely served, 
which would suggest that compliance with A1 would have minimal burden 
on providers.
    Those in support (55 comments) of setting a sugar limit on flavored 
milk for children 2 through 4 years old (A2), including professional 
associations, advocacy groups, State agencies, sponsoring 
organizations, dietitians and nutritionists, and providers, did not 
want to prohibit flavored milk and expressed concern that requiring 
unflavored milk would promote food waste as some children will not 
drink unflavored milk. These commenters argued that it is better for 
children to drink chocolate milk, rather than no milk at all. 
Similarly, two professional associations asserted that flavored milk is 
an effective tool in encouraging milk consumption for school-age 
children.
    For children 5 years old and older, and adults, many more 
commenters favored requiring a sugar limit on flavored milk (B1) than 
establishing a best practice (B2). Those in support of alternative B1 
(3,440 comments; 3,330 form letters), including State agencies, a 
Federal agency, advocacy groups, sponsoring organizations, dietitians 
and nutritionists, and providers, cited concerns around flavored milk 
contributing to increased sugar intake and felt that the requirement 
would not be burdensome. Those in support of alternative B2 (290 
comments; 240 form letters) favored a best practice because it would 
reduce the monitoring and compliance burden while a requirement would 
increase complexity of the Program. A dairy association added that it 
may be difficult to find flavored milks within the sugar limit in 
retailer stores. In addition, commenters stated that allowing flavored 
milk with no required

[[Page 24361]]

sugar limit will increase milk consumption overall and is consistent 
with the NSLP and SBP, which allows flavored milk with no sugar limits.
    FNS Response: This rule is intended to address the importance of 
children and adults eating nutritious meals while in day care to foster 
healthy habits, prevent the development of obesity, and improve 
wellness. The 2008 FITS found that unhealthy dietary patterns, such as 
those high in added sugars, are fairly defined by 2 years of age and 
mimic unhealthy eating patterns in older children and adults. Some 
research also shows that flavor and food preferences are shaped early 
in life, and that the more sweet foods children consume, the more they 
prefer sweet foods. This illustrates the need to ensure children 
develop healthy eating habits from a young age, including avoiding the 
consumption of added sugars. The need to reduce added sugar consumption 
was solidified in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, which, for the 
first time, made a recommendation regarding the consumption of added 
sugars: Consume less than 10 percent of calories from added sugar. With 
all this in mind and with commenters' support, this final rule 
prohibits flavored milk for children 2 through 5 years of age (A1). 
This is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, and with the NAM's 
recommendation, which identifies flavored milk as a source of added 
sugars.
    Some commenters expressed concern that prohibiting flavored milk 
for younger children would be burdensome. However, FNS expects this 
requirement to be minimally burdensome because commenters asserted that 
flavored milk is rarely served in CACFP and multiple States currently 
prohibit flavored milk in child care via licensing requirements. FNS 
agrees that it would be more challenging to monitor and implement a 
sugar limit on flavored milk, especially because milk is a required 
meal component at breakfast, lunch, and supper, and some providers make 
flavored milk with syrup so the sugar content could vary from batch to 
batch. Additionally, market research indicates that in the retailer 
setting there is, in general, a limited selection of fat-free flavored 
milks within the proposed sugar limit. While the amount of sugar in 
flavored milk has decreased over the past few years, only about half of 
fat-free flavored milks available in the retail setting contain no more 
than 22 grams of sugar per 8 fluid ounces. While providers may serve 
only unflavored milk, complying with a sugar limit on flavored milk 
when choosing to serve flavored milk may be particularly difficult or 
infeasible for providers living in rural areas with limited options.
    In recognition of these challenges, this final rule establishes a 
best practice on the sugar content of flavored milk for children 6 
years old and older, and adults (B2). Allowing flavored milk without a 
sugar limit for school-age children is consistent with the NSLP and SBP 
and may aid in this age group's consumption of milk. Some research 
shows that flavored milk consumption among children is associated with 
improved diet quality and increased nutrient intakes, such as calcium, 
folate, and iron. Further, these studies found that flavored milk 
consumption is not associated with weight gain or higher total daily 
sugar intake in children. However, these studies do not clearly look at 
the different impacts between children that drank flavored milk and 
children that drank unflavored milk and, in general, show that children 
that drank any type of milk had significantly higher consumption of key 
nutrients compared to children that drank no milk. Overall, further 
research is needed to examine the impact of flavored milk on energy and 
added sugar consumption.
    Due to this limited research and with the new Dietary Guidelines' 
added sugar recommendation, as well as knowing that added sugar 
consumption, as a percent of calories, is particularly high for 
children, FNS is aware there is more work to be done. FNS will continue 
to assess the flavored milk sugar limit best practice and will actively 
engage in conversations with stakeholders to learn more about how often 
flavored milk is served in CACFP and the feasibility of increasing the 
market availability of lower-sugar flavored milk. In addition, FNS is 
about to launch a study to assess the quality of meals served to 
children in child care that will provide insightful data on the trends 
of flavored milk service in the CACFP. FNS will revise the best 
practice based on this information and as nutrition science evolves and 
the market availability of lower-sugar flavored milks improves. 
Depending on the revision of the Nutrition Facts Label, FNS may be able 
to directly address added sugars in the future if the new Nutrition 
Facts Label clearly delineates added sugars from natural sugars. 
Further, FNS will provide ample technical assistance to support and 
encourage CACFP providers that serve flavored milk to adopt the sugar 
limit best practice.
    As visible above, this final rule adjusts the age groups for the 
flavored milk requirements based on commenters' suggestion and to 
better align with the meal pattern age groups (1 through 2 year olds; 3 
through 5 year olds; 6 through 12 year olds; adults). Finally, to 
maintain consistency with the NSLP and SBP, this final rule establishes 
that if flavored milk is served, it must be fat-free. Accordingly, this 
final rule implements the proposed rule's requirement that flavored 
milk be fat-free and alternatives A1 and B2, with modifications, and 
codifies them under 7 CFR 226.20(a)(1).
8. Food Preparation
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(d) would prohibit 
centers and day care homes from frying food as a way of preparing food 
on-site. Purchased foods that are pre-fried, flash-fried, or par-fried 
by the manufacturer would still be allowed, but must be reheated using 
a method other than frying.
    Comments: Most commenters (1,650 comments; 1,470 form letters) that 
addressed frying supported prohibiting frying foods on-site. However, 
many commenters' support was contingent on the definition of frying. 
State and local agencies, a pediatric health care system, advocacy 
organizations, sponsoring organizations and their associations, and 
individuals, supported banning deep-fat frying and urged FNS to allow 
saut[eacute]ing, stir-frying, and pan-frying, particularly for ground 
beef, vegetables, and eggs.
    Those opposing (140 comments) the proposal to prohibit frying on-
site offered a variety of reasons for not completely disallowing frying 
foods on-site. An advocacy organization, some providers, a sponsoring 
organization, and a trade association expressed concern that the 
prohibition would limit providers' food choices when menu planning and 
may lead providers to serve more processed foods. A professional 
association, a State agency, and individuals stated that there are 
cultural reasons for allowing certain foods to be fried, such as fish 
and holiday treats. In place of a complete prohibition, various 
commenters offered alternative ways to limit frying, either through a 
requirement or a best practice.
    Many commenters, including health care associations, advocacy 
organizations, State agencies, and a pediatric health care provider, 
opposed allowing foods prepared off-site to be fried. These commenters 
reasoned that purchasing fried foods negates the nutritional rationale 
for the ban on frying on-site. Many of these commenters urged FNS to 
extend the prohibition to all pre-fried foods and foods fried off-site, 
including fried foods prepared by vendors, caterers, and carry-out 
facilities. However, some

[[Page 24362]]

commenters supported the allowance of pre-fried foods and those fried 
off-site due to food access issues in some areas.
    A variety of commenters (2,580 comments; and 2,240 form letters) 
discussed the definition of frying, including sponsoring organizations 
and their associations, providers, health care associations, State and 
local agencies, advocacy organizations, professional associations, and 
a trade association. Many of these commenters urged FNS to provide a 
clear definition and clarify whether frying is deep-fat frying or if it 
includes saut[eacute]ing, pan-frying, and stir-frying. Some commenters 
offered specific definitions of frying. Advocacy organizations, 
sponsoring organizations and their associations suggested frying be 
defined as deep-fat frying, i.e. cooking by submerging food in hot oil 
or other fat. A professional association recommended that the 
definition include a fat content test. Some commenters warned that an 
overly restrictive definition of frying that eliminates saut[eacute]ing 
and stir-frying would have negative health impacts.
    FNS Response: This final rule prohibits frying as a way a preparing 
food on-site. Frying is defined as deep-fat frying (i.e. cooking by 
submerging food in hot oil or other fat). This definition of frying was 
recommended by commenters and continues to allow providers to 
saut[eacute], pan-fry, and stir-fry. Cooking with some oil, such as 
olive oil or vegetable oil, is part of a healthy eating pattern because 
oils contribute essential fatty acids and vitamin E. As requested by 
commenters, FNS will provide guidance and technical assistance to 
promote healthy cooking techniques, such as saut[eacute]ing, baking, or 
broiling.
    By defining frying as deep-fat frying, providers have great 
flexibility in how they choose to prepare meals and are not prevented 
from preparing culturally appropriate foods. For example, fish may be 
allowable in a reimbursable meal if it is pan-fried or prepared another 
way, as long as it is not cooked by submerging the bread into hot oil 
or other fat.
    While many commenters urged FNS to expand the prohibition to all 
purchased foods that are pre-fried, FNS believes that expanding the 
prohibition at this point in time would be too restrictive because it 
would greatly limit providers' flexibility and menu choices. This would 
likely lead to increased costs for providers, particularly in areas 
where affordable alternatives are not yet available. In addition, this 
final rule focuses on incremental changes as CACFP operates in diverse 
settings with varying skills, resources, and facilities devoted to food 
preparation. FNS recognizes that store-bought, catered, or pre-fried 
foods can still contribute large amounts of calories and saturated fat 
to a meal and that there is more work to be done on this issue. 
Therefore, this final rule maintains the proposed rule's best practice 
encouraging providers to limit all purchased pre-fried foods to once 
per week (see Best Practices section below). This approach balances the 
nutritional needs of CACFP child and adult participants with the 
practical and financial abilities of centers and day care homes to 
implement such a change. Accordingly, this final rule implements the 
proposed rule's prohibition on frying food as a way of preparing food 
on-site and codifies it under 7 CFR 226.20(d).

C. Additional Changes

1. Prohibition on Using Food as a Reward or Punishment
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(q) would require 
providers to ensure that the reimbursable meal service contributes to 
the development and socialization of enrolled children by providing 
foods that are not used as a punishment or reward.
    Comments: Nearly all commenters that addressed this proposal 
favored it. A few health care associations, a community organization, 
and an advocacy organization argued that a wide variety of alternative 
rewards other than food can be used to provide positive reinforcement. 
A few of these commenters also stated that providing food based on 
performance or behavior links food to mood, which can establish a life-
long habit of rewarding or comforting oneself with food. A State agency 
and local government agency recommended modifying the language of the 
provision to include beverages.
    FNS Response: Section 17(g)(3) of the NSLA, 42 U.S.C. 176(g)(3), as 
amended by HHFKA, requires providers to ensure that the reimbursable 
meal service contributes to the development and socialization of 
enrolled children by restricting the use of food as a punishment or 
reward. In this final rule, in addition to codifying this long standing 
FNS policy, FNS clarifies that the prohibition includes beverages, as 
fluid milk is part of the reimbursable meal. Accordingly, this final 
rule implements the proposed rule's prohibition on using food as 
punishment or reward, with a modification, and codifies it under 7 CFR 
226.20(p).
2. Water
    Proposed Rule: Consistent with amendments made to Section 17(u)(2) 
of the NSLA, 42 U.S.C. 1766(u)(2), by section 221 of the HHFKA, the 
proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.25(i) would require that potable drinking 
water must be available to children upon their request throughout the 
day.
    Comments: Sponsoring organizations and their associations, health 
care associations, professional associations, advocacy organizations, 
State and local government agencies, providers, and others (460 
comments; 360 form letters) favored requiring water be available to 
children. Commenters remarked on the health benefits of water, 
particularly as an alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages. Several 
commenters, including a pediatric health care provider, health care 
associations, and local government agencies, suggested that water be 
available for self-service throughout the day. Similarly, some 
commenters expressed concern that young children will not be able to 
request water due to a lack of ability to verbally communicate or not 
knowing how to ask for water. In opposition (3 comments), a few 
individuals argued that serving water could decrease milk consumption.
    FNS Response: This final rule requires, per the amendments made by 
the HHFKA, that child care centers and day care homes make potable 
water available to children upon their request, throughout the day. The 
majority of CACFP participants are very young children and FNS 
recognizes that very young children may not be able request water on 
their own for the reasons cited in the comments above. Therefore, this 
final rule also requires that water be offered throughout the day to 
children. This will particularly accommodate younger children who may 
not be able to or know how to request it. These requirements do not 
apply to adult day care centers, although FNS encourages adult day care 
centers to also offer and make water available to adult participants. 
This recommendation is reflected as a best practice. Accordingly, this 
final rule implements the proposed rule's water requirement, with 
modifications, and codifies it under 7 CFR 226.25(i).
3. Meal Accommodations and Food Substitutions Supplied by Parents or 
Guardians
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.7(m) and 226.20(i) 
would allow reimbursement of meals that contain one component that is 
provided by a parent or guardian for children

[[Page 24363]]

with non-disability medical or special dietary needs.
    Comments: More commenters (65 comments) supported allowing parents 
or guardians to provide a meal component for children with non-
disability medical or special dietary needs than those that opposed it 
(40 comments). Several commenters, including an advocacy organization, 
sponsoring organizations and their associations, and a local government 
agency, affirmed that allowing food substitutions provided by a parent 
or guardian will better accommodate children with non-disability 
special dietary needs. A few commenters asked for various 
clarifications, including whether the substituted foods must meet the 
meal pattern requirements.
    Some of those in opposition, including a professional association, 
a State agency, and several individuals, asserted that parents or 
guardians should only be permitted to substitute foods when a child has 
a documented dietary need or disability and when the food or beverage 
item in question creates a financial or access hardship for the 
provider. Other commenters expressed concern regarding parents and 
guardians ability to follow food safety standards, that it will impose 
a burden on child care facilities, and that it will be confusing and 
difficult to monitor.
    FNS Response: To better accommodate children and adults with 
special dietary needs that do not rise to the level of a medical 
disability, this final rule allows reimbursement for meals that contain 
one component that is provided by a parent or guardian, or by, or on 
behalf of, an adult participant. While the proposed rule did not 
specifically mention adult participants, this flexibility was intended 
to apply to all CACFP participants, including adults. The final rule 
clarifies this intention. FNS wants to further clarify that meal 
components provided by parents or guardians, or by, or on behalf, of 
adult participants must meet the meal pattern requirements. This is 
consistent with CACFP's current policy regarding meal substitutions and 
with other CNPs.
    Some commenters addressed allowing parents or guardians to provide 
meal components for children with disabilities. FNS Instruction 784-3, 
``Reimbursement for Meals Provided by Parents in the Child Care Food 
Program'' (October 14, 1982), already allows centers or day care homes 
to claim reimbursement when parents and guardians supply one or more 
meal components for children with disabilities as long as the provider 
supplies at least one required meal component. In response to comments, 
this final rule codifies the policy guidance outlined in FNS 
Instruction 784-3 and clarifies that this policy also applies to adult 
participants. Additionally, this final rule reflects the recently 
published FNS policy memorandum SP 32-2015, SFSP 15-2015, CACFP 13-2015 
(``Statements Supporting Accommodations for Children with Disabilities 
in the Child Nutrition Programs,'' http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cn/SP32_CACFP13_SFSP15-2015os.pdf), which expands the 
list of acceptable medical professionals that may sign a medical 
statement for meal accommodations in the CNPs to include licensed 
health care professionals who are authorized by State law to write 
medical prescriptions. Accordingly, this final rule implements the 
proposed rule meal accommodations and food substitution requirements, 
with some modifications, and codifies them under 7 CFR 226.7(m) and 
226.20(g).
4. Family Style Meals
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(o) would codify 
existing practices that must be followed when a center or day care home 
chooses to serve meals family style.
    Comments: Many commenters that addressed family style meals, 
including professional associations, advocacy organizations, State 
agencies, a pediatric health care provider, and sponsors, generally 
supported codifying the existing family style meal practices. Multiple 
commenters highlighted the social benefits of family style meal service 
and others suggested at least some meals should be served family style. 
However, other commenters opposed serving meals family style because 
they believed it would increase food waste, increase costs, or is 
unrealistic for certain settings due to space constraints.
    A professional association, a couple of health care associations 
and advocacy organizations, a pediatric health care provider, a few 
sponsoring organizations and their associations, and a State agency 
asked for clarification on the distinction between family style meal 
service and offer versus serve (OVS). Some of these commenters 
suggested FNS provide a definition of family style meal service.
    FNS Response: This final rule codifies the proposed practices that 
must be followed when a center or day care home chooses to serve meals 
family style. In line with the nutritional goals of CACFP, family style 
meal service encourages a pleasant eating environment, promotes 
mealtime as a learning experience by allowing children to serve 
themselves from common platters of food (with assistance from 
supervising adults) and provides educational activities that are 
centered around food. While serving meals family style is highly 
encouraged, FNS recognizes that family style meal service may not be 
appropriate for all CACFP settings and FNS wants to emphasize that 
serving meals family style is optional for CACFP providers and not a 
requirement.
    In order to help clarify the difference between family style meal 
service and OVS, this final rule defines family style as a type of meal 
service which allows participants to serve themselves from common 
platters of food with the assistance of supervising adults, if needed. 
In OVS, all the required meal components must be offered to each child 
or adult participant, and each child or adult participant may decline 
to take one or two of the meal components, depending on the meal being 
served. The key difference between the two is that food components in 
family style meals are self-served while food components in OVS are 
pre-portioned or served directly by a provider. FNS will work closely 
with State agencies and provide additional technical assistance and 
guidance on family style meal service and OVS as needed. Accordingly, 
this final rule implements the proposed rule's family style meal 
service practices and codifies them under 7 CFR 226.20(n).
5. Offer Versus Serve
    Proposed Rule: Under the proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(p) the 
option to utilize offer versus serve (OVS) would be extended to at-risk 
afterschool programs.
    Comments: Advocacy organizations, professional associations, health 
care associations, State agencies, and others welcomed the extension of 
OVS to at-risk afterschool programs. These commenters asserted that OVS 
will increase options and reduce food waste and costs. Only a few 
commenters opposed the proposed extension. An advocacy organization 
argued that OVS in at-risk afterschool programs will allow children to 
refuse to eat food on a regular basis.
    FNS Response: The goals of OVS are to reduce food waste and allow 
children and adults to choose foods they want to eat while maintaining 
the nutritional value of the meal. This final rule extends the option 
to use OVS to at-risk afterschool programs. This allowance gives 
providers another option when menu planning and improves consistency 
across CNPs as OVS is

[[Page 24364]]

already instituted in the NSLP, SBP, and the Summer Food Service 
Program. Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposed rule's 
extension of OVS to at-risk afterschool programs and codifies it under 
7 CFR 226.20(o).

D. Best Practices

1. Optional Best Practices
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 226.20(e) presents 
optional best practices that providers may choose to implement to make 
further nutritional improvements to the meals they serve. The proposed 
best practices were:

Infants

     Support mothers who choose to breastfeed their infants by 
encouraging mothers to supply breastmilk for their infants while in day 
care and providing a quiet, private area for mothers who come to the 
day care facility to breastfeed.

Fruits and Vegetables

     Limit the consumption of fruit juice to no more than one 
serving per day for children one and older.
     Make at least one of the two required components of snack 
a fruit or vegetable.
     Provide at least one serving each of dark green 
vegetables, red and orange vegetables, and legumes once per week.

Grains

     Provide at least two servings of whole grain-rich grains 
per day.

Meat and Meat Alternates

     Serve only lean meats, nuts, and legumes.
     Limit the service of processed meats to no more than once 
per week, across all eating occasions.
     Serve only natural cheeses.
Milk

     Serve only unflavored milk to all participants.

Additional Best Practices

     Limit the service of fried and pre-fried foods to no more 
than one serving per week, across all eating occasions.
    Comments: Most commenters (150 comments; 130 form letters) that 
discussed the proposed best practices supported them. Commenters, 
including a pediatric health care provider, advocacy groups, and 
sponsoring organizations, viewed the best practices as an innovative 
way to implement nutrition standards beyond the meal pattern 
requirements. A handful of commenters (6 comments) generally opposed 
the best practices and warned that it would be too confusing to include 
the best practices in the regulatory text when they are not mandatory 
requirements.
    A variety of commenters requested that some of the best practices 
be made requirements, including the best practices regarding fruit 
juice, processed meats, unflavored milk, and whole grains. Other 
commenters suggested additions and modifications to the best practices 
or elimination of some best practices. For example, two advocacy groups 
suggested that FNS add guidance for providers to not consume sugar-
sweetened beverages in front of children.
    FNS Response: The best practices are a vital tool to encourage 
providers to further strengthen the nutritional quality of the meals 
they serve beyond the regulatory requirements as no additional meal 
reimbursement is available at this time, and they provide a roadmap for 
doing so. Many of the best practices identified in this preamble are 
recommendations from the NAM and the Dietary Guidelines to help 
increase the consumption of whole vegetables and fruits, and whole 
grains, and reduce the consumption of added sugars and solid fats that 
FNS did not adopt as requirements for reasons of cost or complexity. 
Child care providers have the unique ability to influence positive 
development early in a child's life making it particularly important 
for FNS to recommend best practices and for providers to share 
strategies to serve even healthier meals. This two pronged approach 
with meal pattern requirements and best practices emphasizes the need 
to ensure children develop healthy eating patterns and improve the 
wellness of adults by offering nutritious meals while taking into 
consideration the cost and practical abilities of CACFP centers and day 
care homes.
    FNS agrees with commenters that including the best practices in the 
regulatory text may cause some confusion and lead CACFP operators to 
think they are required rather than encouraged to comply with them. 
Therefore, this final rule does not include the best practices in the 
regulatory text. Instead, FNS will issue guidance to further expand and 
outline the best practices. Implementing the best practices through 
policy guidance will also provide FNS greater flexibility to update the 
best practices as needed, particularly to adapt to evolving nutrition 
scientific.
    FNS made minor modifications to the best practices based on 
comments and added a few best practices, as appropriate, due to the 
changes made in this final rule. In particular, FNS added some 
``Additional Best Practices'' that address food preparation (frying), 
use of seasonal and local foods in CACFP meals, and non-reimbursable 
foods high in added sugars.
    Local foods: Local foods can play an important role in creating and 
promoting a healthy environment. A growing body of research 
demonstrates several positive impacts of serving local foods and 
providing food education through CNPs, including increased 
participation and engagement in meal programs; consumption of healthier 
options, such as whole foods; and support of local economies. There is 
also well-established public interest in supporting local and regional 
food systems, and a growing interest in aligning local food sources 
with CACFP. In light of this, FNS is adding a best practice to 
encourage centers and day care homes to incorporate seasonal and local 
products into meals, when possible, as a way of enhancing CACFP 
operations.
    Added sugar: A significant number of commenters (1,880 form 
letters) urged FNS to prohibit sugar-sweetened beverages in child care 
settings expressing concern that sugar-sweetened beverages are the 
largest source of added sugars and calories in children's diets, lead 
to weight gain, and are associated with cardiovascular disease and type 
2 diabetes. FNS considers these comments to be out of the scope of the 
statutory authority in Section 17 of the NSLA, 42 U.S.C. 1766. This 
section provides USDA with statutory authority to limit and shape the 
nutritional requirements of reimbursable meals in the CACFP. The 
provision does not authorize USDA to regulate the nutritional content 
of other foods available or served to children and adults by 
institutions and family or group day care homes, and sponsored centers 
participating in CACFP.
    In contrast, new statutory authority enacted in HHFKA, which 
amended Section 10(b)(1)(B) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1996, 42 
U.S.C. 179(b)(1)(B), specifically authorized USDA to regulate foods 
sold in schools other than foods served as part of the reimbursable 
meals in the NSLP and SBP. The provision further empowered USDA to 
regulate the nutritional requirements of foods sold on campus in 
participating schools at any time of day. Prior to that specific, 
expansive amendment, USDA was constrained to regulate the nutritional 
requirements of only those foods sold as part of the reimbursable NSLP 
and SBP during the meal service and in the meal service area. To 
provide similar authority to USDA in CACFP, Congressional action would 
be required.
    However, FNS strongly supports reducing the consumption of foods 
high

[[Page 24365]]

in added sugars, such as sugar-sweetened beverages. The Dietary 
Guidelines explains that a healthy eating pattern is partly 
characterized by a relatively low intake of added sugars. Yet, added 
sugars are consumed in excessive amounts and contribute a substantial 
portion of the calories consumed by Americans without contributing 
importantly to the overall nutritional adequacy of the diet. 
Specifically, the Dietary Guidelines identifies sugar-sweetened 
beverages as a main source of added sugars and recommends reducing the 
consumption of them. Because added sugar consumption, as a percent of 
calories, is particularly high for children and in recognition of the 
important need to reduce added sugar consumption to improve the health 
and wellness of Americans, this final rule adds a best practice to 
avoid serving non-creditable foods that are sources of added sugars.
    FNS highly encourages centers and day care homes to implement the 
best practices listed below in order to ensure children and adults are 
getting the optimal benefit from the meals they receive while in care:

Infants

     Support mothers who choose to breastfeed their infants by 
encouraging mothers to supply breastmilk for their infants while in day 
care and offering a quiet, private area that is comfortable and 
sanitary for mothers who come to the center or day care home to 
breastfeed. (Modified)

Vegetables and Fruit

     Make at least one of the two required components of snack 
a vegetable or a fruit.
     Serve a variety of fruits and choose whole fruits (fresh, 
canned, frozen, or dried) more often than juice. (New)
     Provide at least one serving each of dark green 
vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas (legumes), 
starchy vegetables, and other vegetables once per week. (Modified)

Grains

     Provide at least two servings of whole grain-rich grains 
per day.

Meat and Meat Alternates

     Serve only lean meats, nuts, and legumes.
     Limit serving processed meats to no more than one serving 
per week.
     Serve only natural cheeses and choose low-fat or reduced-
fat cheeses. (Modified)
Milk

     Serve only unflavored milk to all participants. If 
flavored milk is served to children 6 years old and older, or adults, 
use the Nutrition Facts Label to select and serve flavored milk that 
contains no more than 22 grams of sugar per 8 fluid ounces, or the 
flavored milk with the lowest amount of sugar if flavored milk within 
this sugar limit is not available. (Modified)
     Serve water as a beverage when serving yogurt in place of 
milk for adults. (New)

Additional Best Practices

     Incorporate seasonal and locally produced foods into 
meals. (New)
     Limit serving purchased pre-fried foods to no more than 
one serving per week.
     Avoid serving non-creditable foods that are sources of 
added sugars, such as sweet toppings (e.g., honey, jam, syrup), mix-in 
ingredients sold with yogurt (e.g., honey, candy or cookie pieces), and 
sugar-sweetened beverages (e.g., fruit drinks or sodas). (New)
     In adult day care centers, offer and make water available 
to adults upon their request throughout the day. (New)
    FNS would like to emphasize that these best practices are optional. 
The best practices are suggestions only and are not required to be 
followed in order to receive reimbursement for the meal, and non-
compliance with the best practices cannot be used as a serious 
deficiency finding or as a basis for other disciplinary actions. FNS 
applauds those centers and day care homes that find ways to incorporate 
these best practices into their meal service.

E. Corresponding Changes to Other Child Nutrition Programs

1. National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Special 
Milk Program
    Proposed Rule: The proposed rule at 7 CFR 220.8 and 210.10 would 
revise the breakfast meal pattern requirements in the School Breakfast 
Program (SBP) and the snack and lunch meal pattern requirements in the 
National School Lunch Program (NSLP), respectively, for infants and 
children ages 1 through 4 to reflect the proposed CACFP meal patterns 
for infants and children ages 1 through 4; and it would eliminate the 
option of OVS for children under 5 years old. In addition, the proposed 
rule at 7 CFR 215.7a would revise the fluid milk requirements and 
approved non-dairy milk substitutes in the Special Milk Program (SMP) 
to reflect CACFP's fluid milk requirements and approved non-dairy milk 
substitutes.
    Comments: Only a handful of commenters expressed their opinion on 
revising the NSLP and SBP meal patterns to align with the CACFP meal 
patterns for infants and children ages 1 through 4 years old. The 
majority of those commenters generally favored the proposal because 
they believed the alignment would maintain consistency and simplicity 
among CNPs for children under 5 years old. A professional association 
urged FNS to maintain the option for OVS in the NSLP and SBP for 
children under 5 years old. Additionally, a dietitian or nutritionist 
and a State agency opposed altering the NSLP and SBP meal patterns 
citing concerns regarding complexity and decreased flexibility.
    An advocacy organization and a health care association recommended 
FNS establish a preschool grade group for children 1 through 4 years 
old that could be added to the current age-grade groups in the NSLP and 
SBP to help simplify food service when a preschool has 5 year olds or 
when a kindergarten has 4 year olds. For flexibility of school vended 
meals, these same commenters recommended allowing a single menu option 
if preschool and elementary school students are in the same cafeteria 
at the same time. In addition, to maintain flexibility for community-
based CACFP afterschool programs and child care programs with school 
vending, these commenters asserted that it will be critical to continue 
to allow those programs the option to follow the NSLP and SBP meal 
patterns, which is currently allowed under 7 CFR 226.20(o).
    Of the few commenters (15 comments) that addressed the SMP, most of 
them supported revising the fluid milk requirements and non-diary milk 
substitutes in the SMP to align with CACFP's proposed fluid milk 
requirements. A professional association stated that it would only 
support streamlining SMP with CACFP if low-sugar, flavored milk is an 
allowable option.
    FNS Response: This final rule revises the NSLP and SBP meal 
patterns to reflect the CACFP meal patterns for infants and children 
ages 1 through 4 years old and eliminates the option of OVS for 
children under 5 years old. This change maintains consistency across 
CNPs and will improve administrative efficiencies for those operating 
multiple CNPs. Generally, OVS is not considered to be appropriate for 
preschool children because it may interfere with CNP nutrition goals 
and the center, day care home, or school's efforts to introduce new 
foods to children.
    FNS wishes to provide some clarity around some of commenters' 
concerns. First, the 1 through 4 year old age group is considered the 
preschool grade group in the NSLP and SBP. In situations where a 5 year 
old is in a preschool or

[[Page 24366]]

a 4 year old is in kindergarten, the provider may continue to serve the 
meal pattern appropriate for that grade. Second, this final rule 
maintains the flexibility to serve a single menu when preschool and 
elementary school students are in the same cafeteria at the same time.
    Although not raised specifically in the proposed rule, FNS agrees 
with commenters that institutions, particularly at-risk afterschool 
programs, which serve meals prepared in schools that participate in the 
NSLP and SBP should continue to have the flexibility to follow the NSLP 
or SBP meal patterns, as currently provided under 7 CFR 226.20(o), 
Additional provision. Therefore, this final rule continues that 
flexibility for institutions serving children 5 years old and older 
under 7 CFR 226.20(i), Meals prepared in schools.
    This final rule revises the SMP milk requirements to align with all 
of the CACFP's milk requirements, including requiring unflavored whole 
milk be served to one year olds; allowing only low-fat or fat-free milk 
for children ages 2 years old and older; prohibiting flavored milk for 
children 2 through 5 years old; requiring flavored milk to be fat-free 
for children 6 years old and older; and allowing non-dairy milk 
substitutes that are nutritionally equivalent to milk to be served in 
place of fluid milk for children with medical or special dietary needs. 
Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposed rule's amendments 
to the school nutrition programs and codifies them under 7 CFR 
210.10(o), (p), and (q), 215.7a, and 220.8(o) and (p). In addition, 
this final rule makes a technical amendment to renumber and rename, 
without substantive changes, 7 CFR 226.20(o), Additional provision, to 
7 CFR 226.20(i), Meals prepared in schools; and to remove 7 CFR 220.23, 
which is no longer applicable as the updated SBP meal pattern 
requirements are fully implemented.

III. New Meal Patterns

    The following meal patterns must be implemented by October 1, 2017, 
unless otherwise specified in the footnotes.

                          Infant Meal Patterns
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Birth through 5
           Infants                   months          6 through 11 months
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Breakfast, Lunch, or Supper.  4-6 fluid ounces      6-8 fluid ounces
                               breastmilk \1\ or     breastmilk \1\ or
                               formula \2\.          formula \2\; and
                                                    0-4 tablespoons
                                                    infant cereal 2 3
                                                    meat,
                                                    fish,
                                                    poultry,
                                                    whole egg,
                                                    cooked dry beans, or
                                                    cooked dry peas; or
                                                    0-2 ounces of
                                                     cheese; or
                                                    0-4 ounces (volume)
                                                     of cottage cheese;
                                                     or
                                                    0-8 ounces or 1 cup
                                                     of yogurt \4\; or a
                                                     combination of the
                                                     above \5\; and
                              ....................  0-2 tablespoons
                                                     vegetable or fruit
                                                     \3\ or a
                                                     combination of both
                                                     \5\ \6\
Snack.......................  4-6 fluid ounces      2-4 fluid ounces
                               breastmilk \1\ or     breastmilk \1\ or
                               formula \2\.          formula \2\; and
                                                    0-\1/2\ slice bread
                                                     3 7; or
                                                    0-2 crackers 3 7; or
                                                    0-4 tablespoons
                                                     infant cereal 2 3 7
                                                     or
                                                    ready-to-eat
                                                     breakfast
                                                    cereal 3 5 7 8; and
                                                    0-2 tablespoons
                                                     vegetable or
                                                    fruit, or a
                                                     combination of both
                                                     5 6
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Breastmilk or formula, or portions of both, must be served; however,
  it is recommended that breastmilk be served in place of formula from
  birth through 11 months. For some breastfed infants who regularly
  consume less than the minimum amount of breastmilk per feeding, a
  serving of less than the minimum amount of breastmilk may be offered,
  with additional breastmilk offered at a later time if the infant will
  consume more.
\2\ Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron-fortified.
\3\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine
  the quantity of creditable grains.
\4\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6
  ounces.
\5\ A serving of this component is required when the infant is
  developmentally ready to accept it.
\6\ Fruit and vegetable juices must not be served.
\7\ A serving of grains must be whole grain-rich, enriched meal, or
  enriched flour.
\8\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry
  ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of
  dry cereal).


                                                     Breakfast Meal Pattern for Children and Adults
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                             Ages 13-18 \1\  (at-
                                                                                                              risk  afterschool
                                            Ages 1-2                Ages 3-5               Ages 6-12             programs and              Adult
                                                                                                             emergency  shelters)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Food Components and Food Items \2\                                                   Minimum Quantities
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk \3\.....................  4 fl oz...............  6 fl oz...............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz.
Vegetables, fruits, or portions of   \1/4\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
 both \4\.
Grains (oz eq) 5, 6, 7

[[Page 24367]]

 
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ slice...........  \1/2\ slice...........  1 slice..............  1 slice..............  2 slices.
     bread.
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ serving.........  \1/2\ serving.........  1 serving............  1 serving............  2 servings.
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched or    \1/4\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  1 cup.
     fortified cooked breakfast
     cereal,\8\ cereal grain, and/
     or pasta.
Whole grain-rich, enriched or
 fortified ready-to-eat breakfast
 cereal (dry, cold)8 9
    Flakes or rounds...............  \1/2\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup.............  1 cup................  1 cup................  2 cups.
    Puffed cereal..................  \3/4\ cup.............  \3/4\ cup.............  1 \1/4\ cup..........  1 \1/4\ cup..........  2 \1/2\ cups.
    Granola........................  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Larger portion sizes than specified may need to be served to children 13 through 18 year olds to meet their nutritional needs.
\2\ Must serve all three components for a reimbursable meal. Offer versus serve is an option for only adult and at-risk afterschool participants.
\3\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk for children two
  through five years old. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent), unflavored fat-free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk for children six years
  old and older and adults. For adult participants, 6 ounces (weight) or \3/4\ cup (volume) of yogurt may be used to meet the equivalent of 8 ounces of
  fluid milk once per day when yogurt is not served as a meat alternate in the same meal.
\4\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal, including snack, per day.
\5\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do not count towards meeting the grains
  requirement.
\6\ Meat and meat alternates may be used to meet the entire grains requirement a maximum of three times a week. One ounce of meat and meat alternates is
  equal to one ounce equivalent of grains.
\7\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine the quantity of creditable grains.
\8\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of dry
  cereal).
\9\ Beginning October 1, 2019, the minimum serving size specified in this section for ready-to-eat breakfast cereals must be served. Until October 1,
  2019, the minimum serving size for any type of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals is \1/4\ cup for children ages 1-2; 1/3 cup for children ages 3-5; \3/4\
  cup for children 6-12; and 1 \1/2\ cups for adults.


                                                  Lunch and Supper Meal Pattern for Children and Adults
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                             Ages 13-18 \1\  (at-
                                                                                                              risk  afterschool
                                            Ages 1-2                Ages 3-5               Ages 6-12             programs and              Adult
                                                                                                             emergency  shelters)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Food Components and Food Items \2\                                                   Minimum Quantities
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk \3\.....................  4 fl oz...............  6 fl oz...............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz. \4\
Meat/meat alternates Edible portion
 as served:
    Lean meat, poultry, or fish....  1 ounce...............  1\1/2\ ounces.........  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.
    Tofu, soy products, or           1 ounce...............  1\1/2\ ounces.........  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.
     alternate protein products \5\.
    Cheese.........................  1 ounce...............  1\1/2\ ounces.........  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.
    Large egg......................  \1/2\.................  \3/4\.................  1....................  1....................  1.
    Cooked dry beans or peas.......  \1/4\ cup.............  \3/8\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
    Peanut butter or soy nut butter  2 Tbsp................  3 Tbsp................  4 Tbsp...............  4 Tbsp...............  4 Tbsp.
     or other nut or seed butters.
    Yogurt, plain or flavored        4 ounces or \1/2\ cup.  6 ounces or \3/4\ cup.  8 ounces or 1 cup....  8 ounces or 1cup.....  8 ounces or 1cup.
     unsweetened or sweetened \6\.
The following may be used to meet
 no more than 50 percent of the
 requirement:
    Peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts,    \1/2\ ounce = 50%.....  \3/4\ ounce = 50%.....  1 ounce = 50%........  1 ounce = 50%........  1 ounce = 50%.
     or seeds, as listed in program
     guidance, or an equivalent
     quantity of any combination of
     the above meat/meat alternates
     (1 ounce of nuts/seeds = 1
     ounce of cooked lean meat,
     poultry or fish).
Vegetables \7\.....................  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
Fruits7, 8.........................  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.

[[Page 24368]]

 
Grains (oz eq)9, 10
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ slice...........  \1/2\ slice...........  1 slice..............  1 slice..............  2 slices.
     bread.
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ serving.........  \1/2\ serving.........  1 serving............  1 serving............  2 servings.
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched or    \1/4\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  1 cup.
     fortified cooked breakfast
     cereal,\11\ cereal grain, and/
     or pasta.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Larger portion sizes than specified may need to be served to children 13 through 18 year olds to meet their nutritional needs.
\2\ Must serve all five components for a reimbursable meal. Offer versus serve is an option for only adult and at-risk participants.
\3\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk for children two
  through five years old. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent), unflavored fat-free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk for children six years
  old and older and adults. For adult participants, 6 ounces (weight) or \3/4\ cup (volume) of yogurt may be used to meet the equivalent of 8 ounces of
  fluid milk once per day when yogurt is not served as a meat alternate in the same meal.
\4\ A serving of fluid milk is optional for suppers served to adult participants.
\5\ Alternate protein products must meet the requirements in Appendix A to Part 226.
\6\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6 ounces.
\7\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal, including snack, per day.
\8\ A vegetable may be used to meet the entire fruit requirement. When two vegetables are served at lunch or supper, two different kinds of vegetables
  must be served.
\9\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do not count towards the grains
  requirement.
\10\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine the quantity of the creditable grain.
\11\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of dry
  cereal).


                                                       Snack Meal Pattern for Children and Adults
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                             Ages 13-18 \1\  (at-
                                                                                                              risk  afterschool
                                           Ages 1-2\2\              Ages 3-5               Ages 6-12             programs and              Adult
                                                                                                             emergency  shelters)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Food Components and Food Items
                                                                                      Minimum Quantities
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk \3\.....................  4 fl oz...............  4 fl oz...............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz.
Meats/meat alternates Edible
 portion as served:
    Lean meat, poultry, or fish....  \1/2\ ounce...........  \1/2\ ounce...........  1 ounce..............  1 ounce..............  1 ounce.
    Tofu, soy products, or           \1/2\ ounce...........  \1/2\ ounce...........  1 ounce..............  1 ounce..............  1 ounce.
     alternate protein products \4\.
    Cheese.........................  \1/2\ ounce...........  \1/2\ ounce...........  1 ounce..............  1 ounce..............  1 ounce.
    Large egg......................  \1/2\.................  \1/2\.................  \1/2\................  \1/2\................  \1/2\.
    Cooked dry beans or peas.......  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup.
    Peanut butter or soy nut butter  1 Tbsp................  1 Tbsp................  2 Tbsp...............  2 Tbsp...............  2 Tbsp.
     or other nut or seed butters.
    Yogurt, plain or flavored        2 ounces or \1/4\ cup.  2 ounces or \1/4\ cup.  4 ounces or \1/2\ cup  4 ounces or \1/2\ cup  4 ounces or \1/2\
     unsweetened or sweetened \5\.                                                                                                  cup.
    Peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts,    \1/2\ ounce...........  \1/2\ ounce...........  1 ounce..............  1 ounce..............  1 ounce.
     or seeds.
Vegetables \6\.....................  \1/2\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup.............  \3/4\ cup............  \3/4\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
Fruits \6\.........................  \1/2\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup.............  \3/4\ cup............  \3/4\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
Grains (oz eq)7, 8.................
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ slice...........  \1/2\ slice...........  1 slice..............  1 slice..............  1 slice.
     bread.
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ serving.........  \1/2\ serving.........  1 serving............  1 serving............  1 serving.
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched or    \1/4\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
     fortified cooked breakfast
     cereal,\9\ cereal grain, and/
     or pasta.
Whole grain-rich, enriched or
 fortified ready-to-eat breakfast
 cereal (dry, cold) 9, 10

[[Page 24369]]

 
    Flakes or rounds...............  \1/2\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup.............  1 cup................  1 cup................  1 cup.
    Puffed cereal..................  \3/4\ cup.............  \3/4\ cup.............  1 \1/4\ cup..........  1 \1/4\ cups.........  1 \1/4\ cups.
    Granola........................  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Larger portion sizes than specified may need to be served to children 13 through 18 year olds to meet their nutritional needs.
\2\ Select two of the five components for a reimbursable snack. Only one of the two components may be a beverage.
\3\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk for children two
  through five years old. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent), unflavored fat-free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk for children six years
  old and older and adults. For adult participants, 6 ounces (weight) or \3/4\ cup (volume) of yogurt may be used to meet the equivalent of 8 ounces of
  fluid milk once per day when yogurt is not served as a meat alternate in the same meal.
\4\ Alternate protein products must meet the requirements in Appendix A to Part 226.
\5\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6 ounces.
\6\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal, including snack, per day.
\7\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do not count towards meeting the grains
  requirement.
\8\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine the quantity of creditable grains.
\9\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of dry
  cereal).
\10\ Beginning October 1, 2019, the minimum serving sizes specified in this section for ready-to-eat breakfast cereals must be served. Until October 1,
  2019, the minimum serving size for any type of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals is \1/4\ cup for children ages 1-2; 1/3 cup for children ages 3-5; \3/4\
  cup for children 6-12; and 1 \1/2\ cups for adults.

IV. Implementation

    Compliance with the provisions of this final rule must begin 
October 1, 2017, except for the adjusted minimum serving sizes for the 
grains requirement based on ounce equivalents criteria, which must be 
implemented by October 1, 2019.

Implementation Resources

    Section 221 of the HHFKA requires FNS to provide technical 
assistance to participating child care centers and day care homes in 
complying with the new meal pattern requirements. As a first step, FNS 
coordinated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to 
develop recommendations, guidelines, and best practices for providers 
that are consistent with the nutrition, physical activity, and wellness 
requirements of the HHFKA and this final rule. From this collaboration, 
the handbook ``Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider 
Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program'' was published in 
January 2013 (http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/nutrition-and-wellness-tips-young-children-provider-handbook-child-and-adult-care-food-program). 
The handbook includes 15 tip sheets addressing nutrition, physical 
activity, and screen time. Three new supplements addressing family 
style meals, positive meal environments, and encouragement of healthful 
foods were recently added. The handbook will be updated as needed.
    FNS conducted needs assessment research to identify additional 
materials and training that would be useful to CACFP operators. The 
final report was published in March 2015 (http://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/formative-research-nutrition-physical-activity-and-electronic-media-use-cacfp). FNS is in the process of developing pertinent 
resources and guidance materials based on the results of the research 
and the new meal pattern requirements. Resources and training materials 
being developed include menu planning tools, new and updated recipes 
(including multicultural recipes), guidance on identifying whole grain-
rich foods, and tip sheets. FNS is also currently updating the 
``Feeding Infants: A Guide for Use in Child Nutrition Programs'' 
(http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/feeding-infants-guide-use-child-nutrition-programs) to reflect the new infant meal pattern requirements. Training 
on the new meal pattern requirements will be available through a 
variety of methods including webinars and online learning modules.
    In addition, FNS will work with State agencies to facilitate 
transition to the new meal pattern requirements. FNS continues to 
partner with the Institute of Child Nutrition (formerly the National 
Food Service and Management Institute) to develop and provide 
appropriate training materials for CACFP.

V. Procedural Matters

Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting 
flexibility. This final rule has been determined to be significant and 
was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 
conformance with Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Impact Analysis Summary

    As required for all rules that have been designated as significant 
by the Office of Management and Budget, a Regulatory Impact Analysis 
(RIA) was developed for this final rule. The full RIA is included in 
the supporting documents of the rule docket at www.regulations.gov. The 
following summarizes the conclusions of the regulatory impact analysis.
Need for Action
    This rule changes the meal pattern requirements for the Child and 
Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), pursuant

[[Page 24370]]

to section 221 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). 
Pursuant to the statute, changes are made to better align the CACFP 
meal patterns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary 
Guidelines) and improve participants' diets by reducing the prevalence 
of inadequate and excessive intakes of food, nutrients, and calories. 
The rule implements a cost-neutral subset of CACFP meal pattern 
recommendations for infants, children, and adults contained in the 2010 
National Academy of Medicine (NAM; formerly the Institute of Medicine 
of the National Academies) report, Child and Adult Care Food Program: 
Aligning Dietary Guidance for All.
Costs
    The baseline for this regulatory impact analysis is the current 
cost of food to providers in homes and centers that participate in the 
CACFP. The final rule more closely aligns the meals served in CACFP 
with the Dietary Guidelines in an essentially cost-neutral manner, as 
HHFKA did not provide any funding for additional or increased meal 
reimbursements in CACFP. USDA estimates that the rule will result in a 
very small decrease in the cost for CACFP providers to prepare and 
serve meals to Program participants,\4\ and may result in a small, 
temporary increase in labor and administrative costs to implement the 
rule. Therefore, we project no meaningful net change in cost as a 
result of the rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The final rule no longer allows grain based desserts to 
contribute to the meal patterns' grain requirement. The $79.2 
million 5-year cost reduction shown in Table 1 includes the savings 
to CACFP providers of substituting program-creditable grains in 
place of more expensive grain-based desserts. To the extent that 
providers continue to serve similar desserts on a non-creditable 
basis, their actual costs of serving meals to program participants 
will exceed the cost of serving meals that meet program 
requirements. If we do not count the current cost of grain-based 
desserts as a savings in this analysis, then the estimated net cost 
of the rule is +42.1 million over 5 years. Given the considerable 
potential savings from at least reducing the number of grain based 
desserts served, providers, on average, should be able to implement 
the final rule with no increase in cost.

                                     Table 1--Summary Table of Net Costs to CACFP Providers of Final Rule Provisions
                             [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--change from baseline. Negative numbers = cost savings]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2017            2018            2019            2020            2021            Total
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net Effect of Infant Provisions.........................            $0.0            $0.2            $0.2            $0.2            $0.4            $0.9
    Infant Formula Change...............................             0.0            -3.4            -3.5            -3.6            -3.6           -14.1
    Infant Snack--Fruits and Vegetables.................             0.0             3.6             3.7             3.8             4.0            15.0
    On-site Breastfeeding provision.....................               *               *               *               *               *               *
Separating Fruits and Vegetables........................               *               *               *               *               *               *
Net Effect of Grain Provisions..........................             0.0           -18.9           -19.6           -20.4           -21.2           -80.1
    New Whole Grain-Rich Requirement....................             0.0             9.7            10.1            10.5            10.9            41.2
    Disallowing Desserts................................             0.0           -28.6           -29.7           -30.9           -32.1          -121.3
    Breakfast Cereal Sugar Limit........................               *               *               *               *               *               *
Other Provisions........................................               *               *               *               *               *               *
    Rule Impact on NSLP, SBP, & SMP.....................               *               *               *               *               *               *
    Potable Water Provision.............................               *               *               *               *               *               *
    Flavored Milk Prohibition...........................               *               *               *               *               *               *
    Yogurt Sugar Limit..................................               *               *               *               *               *               *
    Disallowing Frying as Preparation Method............               *               *               *               *               *               *
    Increased Flexibility in Foods Served to CACFP                     *               *               *               *               *               *
     Participants.......................................
Net Cost of Rule to CACFP providers.....................            -0.0           -18.7           -19.4           -20.2           -20.8           -79.2
Baseline Federal Reimbursement and USDA Food                       3,502           3,630           3,767           3,911           4,066          18,877
 Assistance\5\..........................................
Net Cost of Rule as a Percent of Federal Reimbursement..           -0.0%           -0.5%           -0.5%           -0.5%           -0.5%           -0.4%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Cost or savings is too uncertain to be estimated with precision (and is almost certainly too small to affect the estimate meaningfully); see the
  relevant sections for in-depth discussions of the cost implications of each provision.
Note: Sums may not match exactly due to rounding.

    Much of the net cost savings in the table results from disallowing 
grain-based desserts as a reimbursable food item as recommended by NAM. 
However, even without counting this provision as a cost savings, the 
rule has only a small net cost, which providers should be able to 
absorb within their current food budgets, as described in detail in the 
full regulatory impact analysis. Other provisions of the rule that are 
expected to have a small cost savings include:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Projections prepared by FNS for the development of the FY 
2016 President's Budget. These figures are included in this table 
only to demonstrate that any potential cost impact of the rule (or, 
indeed, of any individual provision in the rule) is an extremely 
small percentage of overall Federal reimbursements to CACFP 
providers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The changes to the meal patterns for infants. A change in 
the age groups and formula quantities mean that slightly less formula 
will be served under the final meal patterns than under current rules.
     Provisions that increase provider flexibility in serving 
meals, such as allowing a meat or meat alternate to be served in place 
of the entire grains requirement at breakfast a maximum of three times 
per week, allowing tofu as a meat alternate, and allowing yogurt to be 
used to meet the fluid milk requirement for adults, no more than once 
per day.
    Provisions that are expected to or may slightly increase the cost 
of serving meals that meet the final requirements include:
     The addition of fruits and vegetables as a component of 
infant snacks starting at 6 months.
     The requirement that at least one grain serving per day be 
whole grain-rich. Because whole grain-rich products tend to cost more 
than their refined grain substitutes, this provision is expected to 
have a modest upward effect on the cost of providing CACFP meals.
     The separation of fruits and vegetables into separate meal 
components. Although this is not

[[Page 24371]]

expected to result in an increase in the quantities of fruits and 
vegetables offered, unit costs may increase if providers choose to buy 
smaller pre-packed servings of fruits and vegetables in order to serve 
both a fruit and a vegetable at the same meal; however, this would be 
an optional cost, as providers also have the flexibility to serve two 
vegetables at lunch or supper.
     Provisions that limit provider flexibility in serving 
meals, such as the disallowing of frying as an on-site food preparation 
method.
Benefits
    By updating Program regulations to make them more consistent with 
the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines, the final rule will 
ensure that meals served at CACFP centers and homes better reflect 
nutrition science; increase the availability of key food groups; better 
meet the nutritional needs of infants, children, and adults; and foster 
healthy eating habits.
    The changes are expected to positively impact the nutritional 
outcomes of all groups of CACFP participants. The infant meal pattern 
will help to ensure that infants will exclusively breast- or formula-
feed throughout their first six months of life, as recommended by the 
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Separating fruits and vegetables 
into two components increases the variety of foods that CACFP 
participants are able to consume at meal times. Disallowing grain-
desserts as reimbursable food items, establishing a sugar limit on 
yogurt, disallowing frying as an on-site food preparation method, and 
modifying the fluid milk requirements will decrease the amount of added 
sugars and solid fats consumed by CACFP participants through Program 
meals. Requiring that one serving of grains be whole grain-rich will 
increase CACFP participants' consumption of whole grains, which, as the 
NAM notes in its report, is very low across all CACFP participant age 
groups.
    The rule also increases flexibility for CACFP providers to better 
meet the nutritional requirements and dietary preferences of 
participants. It allows a meat or meat alternate to be served in place 
of the entire grains requirement at breakfast a maximum of three times 
per week, allows tofu as a meat alternate, and allows yogurt to be used 
to meet the fluid milk requirement for adults, no more than once per 
day.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires agencies 
to analyze the impact of rulemaking on small entities and consider 
alternatives that would minimize any significant impacts on a 
substantial number of small entities. Pursuant to that review, the 
Administrator of FNS certifies that this rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
While this final rule makes several revisions to the CACFP meal 
patterns, the provisions in this rulemaking are of minimal cost and are 
achievable without creating a hardship for any small entities that 
administer and participate in the nutrition assistance programs 
affected by this rulemaking, including State agencies, local 
educational agencies, school food authorities, child care institutions, 
and adult care institutions.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Acts

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public 
Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the 
effects of their regulatory actions on State, local and tribal 
governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, the 
Department generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost 
benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with ``Federal 
mandates'' that may result in expenditures by State, local or tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector, of $146 million 
or more (when adjusted for 2015 inflation; GDP deflator source: Table 
1.1.9 at http://www.bea.gov/iTable) in any one year. When such a 
statement is needed for a rule, Section 205 of the UMRA generally 
requires the Department to identify and consider a reasonable number of 
regulatory alternatives and adopt the most cost effective or least 
burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule.
    This final rule does not contain Federal mandates (under the 
regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local and 
tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any 
one year. Thus, the rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 
202 and 205 of the UMRA.

Executive Order 12372

    The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), National School 
Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and Special Milk 
Program (SMP) are listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
under CACFP No. 10.558, NSLP No. 10.555, SBP No. 10.553, and SMP No. 
10.556, respectively, and are subject to Executive Order 12372, which 
requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. 
The Child Nutrition Programs are federally funded programs administered 
at the State level. The Department headquarters and regional offices 
staff engage in ongoing formal and informal discussions with State and 
local officials regarding program operational issues. This structure of 
the Child Nutrition Programs allows State and local agencies to provide 
feedback that forms the basis of any discretionary decisions made in 
this and other rules.

Federalism Summary Impact Statement

    Executive Order 13132 requires Federal agencies to consider the 
impact of their regulatory actions on State and local governments. 
Where such actions have federalism implications, agencies are directed 
to provide a statement for inclusion in the preamble to the regulations 
describing the agency's considerations in terms of the three categories 
called for under Section (6)(b)(2)(B) of Executive Order 13121.
    The Department has considered the impact of this rule on State and 
local governments and has determined that this rule does not have 
federalism implications. Therefore, under section 6(b) of the Executive 
Order, a federalism summary is not required.

Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. This final rule is intended to have a preemptive 
effect with respect to any State or local laws, regulations or policies 
which conflict with its provisions or which would otherwise impede its 
full and timely implementation. This rule would permit State or local 
agencies operating the Child and Adult Care Food Program to establish 
more rigorous nutrition requirements or additional requirements for 
child or adult care meals that are not inconsistent with the 
nutritional provisions of this rule. Such additional requirements would 
be permissible as part of an effort by a State or local agency to 
enhance the child and adult day care meals or the child and adult day 
care nutrition environment. To illustrate, State or local agencies 
would be permitted to establish more restrictive whole grain 
requirements. For this requirement, quantities are stated as a minimum 
and could not be lower; however, greater amounts than the minimum could 
be offered. While State agencies and local agencies may establish more 
rigorous nutrition requirements, they cannot establish less rigorous 
nutrition requirements as the Russell B. National School Lunch Act; 42 
U.S.C. 1766(g) provides the U.S. Department of Agriculture the 
authority

[[Page 24372]]

to establish the minimum nutritional requirements. This rule is not 
intended to have a retroactive effect. Prior to any judicial challenge 
to the provisions or application of this final rule, all applicable 
administrative procedures in Sec. Sec.  226.6(k) and 210.18(q), must be 
exhausted.

Civil Rights Impact Analysis

    FNS has reviewed this final rule in accordance with USDA Regulation 
4300-4, ``Civil Rights Impact Analysis,'' to identify any major civil 
rights impacts the rule might have on program participants on the basis 
of age, race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. Existing 
regulations at Sec. Sec.  226.60(h) and 210.10(m)(1) require centers, 
day care homes and schools to make food substitutions or modifications 
in the meals or snacks served under the Child and Adult Care Food 
Program, the National School Lunch Program, or the School Breakfast 
Program for children and adults who are considered to have a disability 
that restricts their diets. Centers, day care homes, and schools will 
continue to be required to offer accommodations to children and adults 
whose disability restricts their diet. After a careful review of the 
rule's intent and provisions, FNS has determined that this rule is not 
expected to affect the participation of protected individuals in the 
Child and Adult Care Food Program, National School Lunch Program, 
School Breakfast Program, or Special Milk Program.

Executive Order 13175

    This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of 
Executive Order 13175, ``Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments.'' Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies 
to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government 
basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, 
legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy 
statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or 
more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government 
and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.
    The Food and Nutrition Service has assessed the impact of this rule 
on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does not, to our 
knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation 
under EO 13175. FNS provides regularly scheduled quarterly webinars and 
conference calls as a venue for collaborative conversations with Tribal 
officials or their designees. On a February 18, 2015 call, FNS advised 
Tribal officials that the proposed rule to update the CACFP meal 
patterns had been published and encouraged participants to submit 
public comments. No comments or questions from Tribal officials arose 
related to the proposed rule. If a Tribe requests consultation, the 
Food and Nutrition Service will work with the USDA Office of Tribal 
Relations to ensure meaningful collaboration is provided where changes, 
additions and modifications identified herein are not expressly 
mandated by Congress.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chap. 35; 5 CFR part 
1320) requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve all 
collections of information by a Federal agency before they can be 
implemented. Respondents are not required to respond to any collection 
of information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number. 
This rule contains information collections that have been approved by 
OMB under OMB #0584-0055. Additionally, FNS will issue a separate 60-
day notice under OMB #0584-0055 and submit a request for clearance to 
OMB to include the required written requests for non-dairy milk 
substitutions. This requirement will become effective until such time 
that clearance is received from OMB. When OMB notifies FNS of its 
decision, FNS will publish a notice in the Federal Register of the 
action.

E-Government Act Compliance

    FNS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services, and for other purposes.

List of Subjects

7 CFR Part 210

    Children, Commodity School Program, Food assistance programs, 
Grants programs--social programs, National School Lunch Program, 
Nutrition, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surplus 
agricultural commodities.

7 CFR Part 215

    Food assistance programs, Grant programs--education, Grant 
programs--health, Infants and children, Milk, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 220

    Grant programs--education, Grant programs--health, Infants and 
children, Nutrition, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, School 
breakfast and lunch programs.

7 CFR Part 226

    Accounting, Aged, American Indians, Day care, Food assistance 
programs, Grant programs, Grant programs--health, Individuals with 
disabilities, Infants and children, Intergovernmental relations, Loan 
programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surplus 
agricultural commodities.
    Accordingly, 7 CFR parts 210, 215, 220, and 226 are amended as 
follows:

PART 210--NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 210 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 1751-1760, 1779.


0
2. Amend Sec.  210.10 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a)(1)(i), remove the words ``1 to 4'' in the fourth 
sentence and add in their place words ``1 through 4'';
0
b. In paragraph (a)(1)(ii), remove the last sentence;
0
c. In paragraph (e), revise the paragraph heading;
0
d. In paragraph (g), revise the first sentence;
0
e. Revise paragraph (j);
0
f. In paragraph (l)(1), add two sentences at the end of the paragraph;
0
g. Revise paragraphs (o)(2) through (4);
0
h. Revise paragraph (p); and
0
i. Add paragraph (q).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  210.10  Meal requirements for lunches and requirements for 
afterschool snacks.

* * * * *
    (e) Offer versus serve for grades K through 12. * * *
* * * * *
    (g) * * * The State agency and school food authority must provide 
technical assistance and training to assist schools in planning lunches 
that meet the meal pattern in paragraph (c) of this section; the 
calorie, saturated fat, sodium, and trans fat specifications 
established in paragraph (f) of this section; and the meal pattern 
requirements in paragraphs (o), (p), and (q) of this section as 
applicable. * * *
* * * * *
    (j) State agency's responsibilities for compliance monitoring. 
Compliance with the meal requirements in paragraph (b) of this section, 
including

[[Page 24373]]

dietary specifications for calories, saturated fat, sodium and trans 
fat, and paragraphs (o), (p), and (q) of this section, as applicable, 
will be monitored by the State agency through administrative reviews 
authorized in Sec.  210.18.
* * * * *
    (l) * * *
    (1) * * * With State agency approval, schools may serve lunches to 
children under age 5 over two service periods. Schools may divide 
quantities and food items offered each time any way they wish.
* * * * *
    (o) * * *
    (2) Afterschool snack requirements for grades K through 12. 
Afterschool snacks must contain two different components from the 
following four:
    (i) A serving of fluid milk as a beverage, or on cereal, or used in 
part for each purpose.
    (ii) A serving of meat or meat alternate, including nuts and seeds 
and their butters listed in FNS guidance that are nutritionally 
comparable to meat or other meat alternates based on available 
nutritional data.
    (A) Nut and seed meals or flours may be used only if they meet the 
requirements for alternate protein products established in appendix A 
of this part.
    (B) Acorns, chestnuts, and coconuts cannot be used as meat 
alternates due to their low protein and iron content.
    (iii) A serving of vegetable or fruit, or full-strength vegetable 
or fruit juice, or an equivalent quantity of any combination of these 
foods. Juice must not be served when fluid milk is served as the only 
other component.
    (iv) A serving of whole-grain or enriched bread; or an equivalent 
serving of a bread product, such as cornbread, biscuits, rolls, or 
muffins made with whole-grain or enriched meal or flour; or a serving 
of cooked whole-grain or enriched pasta or noodle products such as 
macaroni, or cereal grains such as enriched rice, bulgur, or enriched 
corn grits; or an equivalent quantity of any combination of these 
foods.
    (3) Afterschool snack requirements for preschoolers--(i) Snacks 
served to preschoolers. Schools serving afterschool snack to children 
ages 1 through 4 must serve the food components and quantities required 
in the snack meal pattern established for the Child and Adult Care Food 
Program, under Sec.  226.20(a), (c)(3), and (d) of this chapter. In 
addition, schools serving afterschool snacks to this age group must 
comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (a), (c)(3), (4), 
and (7), (d)(2) through (4), (g), and (m) of this section.
    (ii) Preschooler snack meal pattern table. The minimum amounts of 
food components to be served at snack are as follows:

                      Preschool Snack Meal Pattern
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Ages 1-2            Ages 3-5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Food Components and Food Items             Minimum Quantities
               \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk 2 3..................  4 fluid ounces....  4 fluid ounces.
Meats/meat alternates
Edible portion as served:
    Lean meat, poultry, or fish.  \1/2\ ounce.......  \1/2\ ounce.
    Tofu, soy products, or        \1/2\ ounce.......  \1/2\ ounce.
     alternate protein products
     \4\.
    Cheese......................  \1/2\ ounce.......  \1/2\ ounce.
    Large egg...................  \1/2\.............  \1/2\.
    Cooked dry beans or peas....  \1/8\ cup.........  \1/8\ cup.
    Peanut butter or soy nut      1 Tbsp............  1 Tbsp.
     butter or other nut or seed
     butters.
    Yogurt, plain or flavored     2 ounces or \1/4\   2 ounces or \1/4\
     unsweetened or sweetened      cup.                cup.
     \5\.
    Peanuts, soy nuts, tree       \1/2\ ounce.......  \1/2\ ounce.
     nuts, or seeds.
Vegetables \3\..................  \1/2\ cup.........  \1/2\ cup.
Fruits \3\......................  \1/2\ cup.........  \1/2\ cup.
Grains (oz eq) 6 7
    Whole grain-rich or enriched  \1/2\ slice.......  \1/2\ slice.
     bread.
    Whole grain-rich or enriched  \1/2\ serving.....  \1/2\ serving.
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched    \1/4\ cup.........  \1/4\ cup.
     or fortified cooked
     breakfast cereal,\8\ cereal
     grain, and/or pasta.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched
     or fortified ready-to-eat
     breakfast cereal (dry,
     cold) \8\ \9\.
    Flakes or rounds............  \1/2\ cup.........  \1/2\ cup.
    Puffed cereal...............  \3/4\ cup.........  \3/4\ cup.
    Granola.....................  \1/8\ cup.........  \1/8\ cup.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Select two of the five components for a reimbursable snack. Only one
  of the two components may be a beverage.
\2\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be
  unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk for
  children two through five years old.
\3\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the
  vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal, including snack, per day.
\4\ Alternate protein products must meet the requirements in appendix A
  to part 226 of this chapter.
\5\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6
  ounces.
\6\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be
  whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do not count towards meeting
  the grains requirement.
\7\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine
  the quantity of creditable grains.
\8\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry
  ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars 100 grams of dry
  cereal).
\9\ Beginning October 1, 2019, the minimum serving sizes specified in
  this section for ready-to-eat breakfast cereals must be served. Until
  October 1, 2019, the minimum serving size for any type of ready-to-eat
  breakfast cereals is \1/4\ cup for children ages 1-2, and \1/3\ cup
  for children ages 3-5.


[[Page 24374]]

    (4) Afterschool snack requirements for infants--(i) Snacks served 
to infants. Schools serving afterschool snacks to infants ages birth 
through 11 months must serve the food components and quantities 
required in the snack meal pattern established for the Child and Adult 
Care Food Program, under Sec.  226.20(a), (b), and (d) of this chapter. 
In addition, schools serving afterschool snacks to infants must comply 
with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (a), (c)(3), (4), and 
(7), (g), and (m) of this section.
    (ii) Infant snack meal pattern table. The minimum amounts of food 
components to be served at snack are as follows:

                        Infant Snack Meal Pattern
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Birth through 5
           Infants                   months          6 through 11 months
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Snack.......................  4-6 fluid ounces      2-4 fluid ounces
                               breastmilk \1\ or     breastmilk \1\ or
                               formula \2\.          formula \2\; and
                                                    0-\1/2\ slice bread
                                                     3 4; or
                                                    0-2 cracker 3 4; or
                                                    0-4 tablespoons
                                                     infant cereal 2 3 4
                                                     or ready-to-eat
                                                     breakfast cereal 3
                                                     4 5 6; and
                                                    0-2 tablespoons
                                                     vegetable or fruit,
                                                     or a combination of
                                                     both 5 7
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Breastmilk or formula, or portions of both, must be served; however,
  it is recommended that breastmilk be served in place of formula from
  birth through 11 months. For some breastfed infants who regularly
  consume less than the minimum amount of breastmilk per feeding, a
  serving of less than the minimum amount of breastmilk may be offered,
  with additional breastmilk offered at a later time if the infant will
  consume more.
\2\ Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron-fortified.
\3\ A serving of grains must be whole grain-rich, enriched meal, or
  enriched flour.
\4\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine
  the quantity of creditable grains.
\5\ A serving of this component is required when the infant is
  developmentally ready to accept it.
\6\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry
  ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of
  dry cereal).
\7\ Fruit and vegetable juices must not be served.

    (p) Lunch requirements for preschoolers--(1) Lunches served to 
preschoolers. Schools serving lunches to children ages 1 through 4 
under the National School Lunch Program must serve the food components 
and quantities required in the lunch meal pattern established for the 
Child and Adult Care Food Program, under Sec.  226.20(a), (c)(2), and 
(d) of this chapter. In addition, schools serving lunches to this age 
group must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (a), 
(c)(3), (4), and (7), (d)(2) through (4), (g), (k), (l), and (m) of 
this section.
    (2) Preschooler lunch meal pattern table. The minimum amounts of 
food components to be served at lunch are as follows:

                      Preschool Lunch Meal Pattern
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Ages 1-2            Ages 3-5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Food Components and Food Items             Minimum Quantities
               \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk \2\..................  4 fluid ounces....  6 fluid ounces.
Meat/meat alternates
Edible portion as served:
    Lean meat, poultry, or fish.  1 ounce...........  1\1/2\ ounces.
    Tofu, soy products, or        1 ounce...........  1\1/2\ ounces.
     alternate protein products
     \3\.
    Cheese......................  1 ounce...........  1\1/2\ ounces.
    Large egg...................  \1/2\.............  \3/4\.
    Cooked dry beans or peas....  \1/4\ cup.........  \3/8\ cup.
    Peanut butter or soy nut      2 Tbsp............  3 Tbsp.
     butter or other nut or seed
     butters.
    Yogurt, plain or flavored     4 ounces or \1/2\   6 ounces or \3/4\
     unsweetened or sweetened      cup.                cup.
     \4\.
The following may be used to
 meet no more than 50 percent of
 the requirement:
    Peanuts, soy nuts, tree       \1/2\ ounce = 50%.  \3/4\ ounce = 50%.
     nuts, or seeds, as listed
     in program guidance, or an
     equivalent quantity of any
     combination of the above
     meat/meat alternates (1
     ounce of nuts/seeds = 1
     ounce of cooked lean meat,
     poultry or fish).
Vegetables 5....................  \1/8\ cup.........  \1/4\ cup.
Fruits 5 6......................  \1/8\ cup.........  \1/4\ cup
Grains (oz eq) 7 8
    Whole grain-rich or enriched  \1/2\ slice.......  \1/2\ slice.
     bread.
    Whole grain-rich or enriched  \1/2\ serving.....  \1/2\ serving.
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched    \1/4\ cup.........  \1/4\ cup.
     or fortified cooked
     breakfast cereal,\9\ cereal
     grain, and/or pasta.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Must serve all five components for a reimbursable meal.
\2\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be
  unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk for
  children two through five years old.
\3\ Alternate protein products must meet the requirements in appendix A
  to part 226 of this chapter.
\4\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6
  ounces.
\5\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the
  vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal, including snack, per day.

[[Page 24375]]

 
\6\ A vegetable may be used to meet the entire fruit requirement. When
  two vegetables are served at lunch or supper, two different kinds of
  vegetables must be served.
\7\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be
  whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do not count towards the grains
  requirement.
\8\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine
  the quantity of the creditable grain.
\9\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry
  ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of
  dry cereal).

    (q) Lunch requirements for infants--(1) Lunches served to infants. 
Schools serving lunches to infants ages birth through 11 months under 
the National School Lunch Program must serve the food components and 
quantities required in the lunch meal pattern established for the Child 
and Adult Care Food Program, under Sec.  226.20(a), (b), and (d) of 
this chapter. In addition, schools serving lunches to infants must 
comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (a), (c)(3), (4), 
and (7), (g), (l), and (m) of this section.
    (2) Infant lunch meal pattern table. The minimum amounts of food 
components to be served at lunch are as follows:

                        Infant Lunch Meal Pattern
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Birth through 5
           Infants                   months          6 through 11 months
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lunch.......................  4-6 fluid ounces      6-8 fluid ounces
                               breastmilk \1\ or     breastmilk \1\ or
                               formula \2\.          formula \2\; and
                                                    0-4 tablespoons
                                                    infant cereal 2 3
                                                    meat,
                                                    fish,
                                                    poultry,
                                                    whole egg,
                                                    cooked dry beans, or
                                                    cooked dry peas; or
                                                    0-2 ounces of
                                                     cheese; or
                                                    0-4 ounces (volume)
                                                     of cottage cheese;
                                                     or,
                                                    0-8 ounces or 1 cup
                                                     of yogurt \4\; or a
                                                     combination of the
                                                     above \5\; and
                                                    0-2 tablespoons
                                                     vegetable or fruit,
                                                     or a combination of
                                                     both 5 6
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Breastmilk or formula, or portions of both, must be served; however,
  it is recommended that breastmilk be served in place of formula from
  birth through 11 months. For some breastfed infants who regularly
  consume less than the minimum amount of breastmilk per feeding, a
  serving of less than the minimum amount of breastmilk may be offered,
  with additional breastmilk offered at a later time if the infant will
  consume more.
\2\ Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron-fortified.
\3\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine
  the quantity of creditable grains.
\4\Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6
  ounces.
\5\ A serving of this component is required when the infant is
  developmentally ready to accept it.
\6\ Fruit and vegetable juices must not be served.

PART 215--SPECIAL MILK PROGRAM

0
3. The authority for 7 CFR part 215 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 1772 and 1779.


0
4. Add Sec.  215.7a to read as follows:


Sec.  215.7a  Fluid milk and non-dairy milk substitute requirements.

    Fluid milk and non-dairy fluid milk substitutes served must meet 
the requirements as outlined in this section.
    (a) Types of fluid milk. All fluid milk served in the Program must 
be pasteurized fluid milk which meets State and local standards for 
such milk, have vitamins A and D at levels specified by the Food and 
Drug Administration, and must be consistent with State and local 
standards for such milk. Fluid milk must also meet the following 
requirements:
    (1) Children 1 year old. Children one year of age must be served 
unflavored whole milk.
    (2) Children 2 through 5 years old. Children two through five years 
old must be served either unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored 
fat-free (skim) milk.
    (3) Children 6 years old and older. Children six years old and 
older must be served unflavored low-fat (1 percent), unflavored fat-
free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk.
    (b) Fluid milk substitutes. Non-dairy fluid milk substitutions that 
provide the nutrients listed in the following table and are fortified 
in accordance with fortification guidelines issued by the Food and Drug 
Administration may be provided for non-disabled children who cannot 
consume fluid milk due to medical or special dietary needs when 
requested in writing by the child's parent or guardian. A school or day 
care center need only offer the non-dairy beverage that it has 
identified as an allowable fluid milk substitute according to the 
following table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Nutrient                         Per cup (8 fl oz)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Calcium.............................  276 mg.
Protein.............................  8 g.
Vitamin A...........................  500 IU.
Vitamin D...........................  100 IU.
Magnesium...........................  24 mg.
Phosphorus..........................  222 mg.
Potassium...........................  349 mg.
Riboflavin..........................  0.44 mg.
Vitamin B-12........................  1.1 mcg.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 220--SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAM

0
5. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 220 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 1773, 1779, unless otherwise noted.


0
6. Amend Sec.  220.8 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a), revise the first sentence;
0
b. In paragraph (a)(3), revise the third sentence;
0
c. In paragraph (c), revise the paragraph heading;
0
d. In paragraph (e), revise the paragraph heading;
0
e. In paragraph (g), revise the first sentence;
0
f. Revise paragraphs (j) and (o); and
0
g. Add paragraph (p).

[[Page 24376]]

    The addition and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  220.8  Meal requirements for breakfasts.

    (a) * * * This section contains the meal requirements applicable to 
school breakfasts for students in grades K through 12, and for children 
under the age of 5. * * *
* * * * *
    (3) * * * Labels or manufacturer specifications for food products 
and ingredients used to prepare school meals for students in grades K 
through 12 must indicate zero grams of trans fat per serving (less than 
0.5 grams). * * *
* * * * *
    (c) Meal pattern for school breakfasts for grades K through 12. * * 
*
* * * * *
    (e) Offer verses serve for grades K through 12. * * *
* * * * *
    (g) * * * The State agency and school food authority must provide 
technical assistance and training to assist schools in planning 
breakfasts that meet the meal pattern in paragraph (c) of this section, 
the dietary specifications for calorie, saturated fat, sodium, and 
trans fat established in paragraph (f) of this section, and the meal 
pattern in paragraphs (o) and (p) of this section, as applicable. * * *
* * * * *
    (j) State agency's responsibilities for compliance monitoring. 
Compliance with the applicable meal requirements in paragraph (b), (o), 
and (p) of this section will be monitored by the State agency through 
administrative reviews authorized in Sec.  210.18 of this chapter.
* * * * *
    (o) Breakfast requirements for preschoolers--(1) Breakfasts served 
to preschoolers. Schools serving breakfast to children ages 1 through 4 
under the School Breakfast Program must serve the meal components and 
quantities required in the breakfast meal pattern established for the 
Child and Adult Day Care Food Program under Sec.  226.20(a), (c)(1), 
and (d) of this chapter. In addition, schools serving breakfasts to 
this age group must comply with the requirements set forth in 
paragraphs (a), (c)(3), (k), (l), and (m) of this section as 
applicable.
    (2) Preschooler breakfast meal pattern table. The minimum amounts 
of food components to be served at breakfast are as follows:

                    Preschool Breakfast Meal Pattern
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Minimum quantities
 Food components and food items  ---------------------------------------
               \1\                     Ages 1-2            Ages 3-5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk \2\..................  4 fluid ounces....  6 fluid ounces.
Vegetables, fruits, or portions   \1/4\ cup.........  \1/2\ cup
 of both \3\.
Grains (oz eq) 4 5 6
    Whole grain-rich or enriched  \1/2\ slice.......  \1/2\ slice
     bread.
    Whole grain-rich or enriched  \1/2\ serving.....  \1/2\ serving
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched    \1/4\ cup.........  \1/4\ cup
     or fortified cooked
     breakfast cereal,\7\ cereal
     grain, and/or pasta.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched
     or fortified ready-to-eat
     breakfast cereal (dry,
     cold) 7 8.
    Flakes or rounds............  \1/2\ cup.........  \1/2\ cup
    Puffed cereal...............  \3/4\ cup.........  \3/4\ cup
    Granola.....................  \1/8\ cup.........  \1/8\ cup
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Must serve all three components for a reimbursable meal.
\2\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be
  unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk for
  children two through five years old.
\3\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the
  vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal, including snack, per day.
\4\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be
  whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do not count towards meeting
  the grains requirement.
\5\ Meat and meat alternates may be used to meet the entire grains
  requirement a maximum of three times a week. One ounce of meat and
  meat alternates is equal to one ounce equivalent of grains.
\6\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine
  the quantity of creditable grains.
\7\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry
  ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of
  dry cereal).
\8\ Beginning October 1, 2019, the minimum serving size specified in
  this section for ready-to-eat breakfast cereals must be served. Until
  October 1, 2019, the minimum serving size for any type of ready-to-eat
  breakfast cereals is \1/4\ cup for children ages 1-2, and \1/3\ cup
  for children ages 3-5.

    (p) Breakfast requirements for infants--(1) Breakfasts served to 
infants. Schools serving breakfasts to infants ages birth through 11 
months under the School Breakfast Program must serve the food 
components and quantities required in the breakfast meal pattern 
established for the Child and Adult Day Care Food Program, under Sec.  
226.20(a), (b), and (d) of this chapter. In addition, schools serving 
breakfasts to infants must comply with the requirements set forth in 
paragraphs (a), (c)(3), (k), (l), and (m) of this section as 
applicable.
    (2) Infant breakfast meal pattern table. The minimum amounts of 
food components to be served at breakfast are as follows:

                      Infant Breakfast Meal Pattern
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Birth through 5
           Infants                   months          6 through 11 months
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Breakfast...................  4-6 fluid ounces      6-8 fluid ounces
                               breastmilk \1\ or     breastmilk \1\ or
                               formula \2\.          formula \2\; and

[[Page 24377]]

 
                                                    0-4 tablespoons
                                                    infant cereal 2 3
                                                    meat,
                                                    fish,
                                                    poultry,
                                                    whole egg,
                                                    cooked dry beans, or
                                                    cooked dry peas; or
                                                    0-2 ounces of
                                                     cheese; or
                                                    0-4 ounces (volume)
                                                     of cottage cheese;
                                                     or,
                                                    0-8 ounces or 1 cup
                                                     of yogurt \4\; or a
                                                    combination of the
                                                     above \5\; and
                                                    0-2 tablespoons
                                                     vegetable or fruit,
                                                     or a combination of
                                                     both 5 6
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Breastmilk or formula, or portions of both, must be served; however,
  it is recommended that breastmilk be served in place of formula from
  birth through 11 months. For some breastfed infants who regularly
  consume less than the minimum amount of breastmilk per feeding, a
  serving of less than the minimum amount of breastmilk may be offered,
  with additional breastmilk offered at a later time if the infant will
  consume more.
\2\ Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron-fortified.
\3\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine
  the quantity of creditable grains.
\4\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6
  ounces.
\5\ A serving of this component is required when the infant is
  developmentally ready to accept it.
\6\ Fruit and vegetable juices must not be served.

Sec.  220.23  [Removed]

0
7. Remove Sec.  220.23.

PART 226--CHILD AND ADULT CARE FOOD PROGRAM

0
8. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 226 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 9, 11, 14, 16, and 17, Richard B. Russell 
National School Lunch Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1758, 1759a, 1762a, 
1765 and 1766).

0
9. Revise Sec.  226.1 to read as follows:


Sec.  226.1  General purpose and scope.

    This part announces the regulations under which the Secretary of 
Agriculture will carry out the Child and Adult Care Food Program. 
Section 17 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as 
amended, authorizes assistance to States through grants-in-aid and 
other means to initiate, maintain, and expand nonprofit food service 
programs for children and adult participants in non-residential 
institutions which provide care. The Program is intended to provide aid 
to child and adult participants and family or group day care homes for 
provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy 
growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness 
of older adults and chronically impaired persons.

0
10. In Sec.  226.2, add definitions of Tofu and Whole grains in 
alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  226.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Tofu means a commercially prepared soy-bean derived food, made by a 
process in which soybeans are soaked, ground, mixed with water, heated, 
filtered, coagulated, and formed into cakes. Basic ingredients are 
whole soybeans, one or more food-grade coagulates (typically a salt or 
acid), and water.
* * * * *
    Whole grains means foods that consist of intact, ground, cracked, 
or flaked grain seed whose principal anatomical components--the starchy 
endosperm, germ, and bran--are present in the same relative proportions 
as they exist in the intact grain seed.
* * * * *

0
11. In Sec.  226.7, revise paragraph (m) to read as follows:


Sec.  226.7  State agency responsibilities for financial management.

* * * * *
    (m) Financial management system. Each State agency must establish a 
financial management system in accordance with 2 CFR part 200, subpart 
D, and USDA implementing regulations 2 CFR parts 400, 415, and 416, as 
applicable, and FNS guidance to identify allowable Program costs and 
set standards for institutional recordkeeping and reporting. These 
standards must:
    (1) Prohibit claiming reimbursement for meals provided by a 
participant's family, except as authorized by Sec. Sec.  226.18(e) and 
226.20(b)(2), (g)(1)(ii), and (g)(2)(ii); and
    (2) Allow the cost of the meals served to adults who perform 
necessary food service labor under the Program, except in day care 
homes. The State agency must provide guidance on financial management 
requirements to each institution and facility.

0
12. Revise Sec.  226.20 to read as follows:


Sec.  226.20  Requirements for meals.

    (a) Food components. Except as otherwise provided in this section, 
each meal served in the Program must contain, at a minimum, the 
indicated food components:
    (1) Fluid milk. Fluid milk must be served as a beverage or on 
cereal, or a combination of both, as follows:
    (i) Children 1 year old. Children one year of age must be served 
unflavored whole milk.
    (ii) Children 2 through 5 years old. Children two through five 
years old must be served either unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or 
unflavored fat-free (skim) milk.
    (iii) Children 6 years old and older. Children six years old and 
older must be served unflavored low-fat (1 percent), unflavored fat-
free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk.
    (iv) Adults. Adults must be served unflavored low-fat (1 percent), 
unflavored fat-free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk. Six 
ounces (weight) or \3/4\ cup (volume) of yogurt may be used to fulfill 
the equivalent of 8 ounces of fluid milk once per day. Yogurt may be 
counted as either a fluid milk substitute or as a meat alternate, but 
not as both in the same meal.
    (2) Vegetables. A serving may contain fresh, frozen, or canned 
vegetables, dry beans and peas (legumes), or vegetable juice. All 
vegetables are credited based on their volume as served, except that 1 
cup of leafy greens counts as \1/2\ cup of vegetables.

[[Page 24378]]

    (i) Pasteurized, full-strength vegetable juice may be used to 
fulfill the entire requirement. Vegetable juice or fruit juice may only 
be served at one meal, including snack, per day.
    (ii) Cooked dry beans or dry peas may be counted as either a 
vegetable or as a meat alternate, but not as both in the same meal.
    (3) Fruits. A serving may contain fresh, frozen, canned, dried 
fruits, or fruit juice. All fruits are based on their volume as served, 
except that \1/4\ cup of dried fruit counts as \1/2\ cup of fruit.
    (i) Pasteurized, full-strength fruit juice may be used to fulfill 
the entire requirement. Fruit juice or vegetable juice may only be 
served at one meal, including snack, per day.
    (ii) A vegetable may be used to meet the entire fruit requirement 
at lunch and supper. When two vegetables are served at lunch or supper, 
two different kinds of vegetables must be served.
    (4) Grains--(i) Enriched and whole grains. All grains must be made 
with enriched or whole grain meal or flour.
    (A) At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions of 
bread, cereals, and grains, must be whole grain-rich. Whole grain-rich 
foods contain at least 50 percent whole grains and the remaining grains 
in the food are enriched, and must meet the whole grain-rich criteria 
specified in FNS guidance.
    (B) A serving may contain whole grain-rich or enriched bread, 
cornbread, biscuits, rolls, muffins, and other bread products; or whole 
grain-rich, enriched, or fortified cereal grain, cooked pasta or noodle 
products, or breakfast cereal; or any combination of these foods.
    (ii) Breakfast cereals. Breakfast cereals are those as defined by 
the Food and Drug Administration in 21 CFR 170.3(n)(4) for ready-to-eat 
and instant and regular hot cereals. Breakfast cereals must contain no 
more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose 
and other sugars per 100 grams of dry cereal).
    (iii) Desserts. Grain-based desserts do not count towards meeting 
the grains requirement.
    (5) Meat and meat alternates. (i) Meat and meat alternates must be 
served in a main dish, or in a main dish and one other menu item. The 
creditable quantity of meat and meat alternates must be the edible 
portion as served of:
    (A) Lean meat, poultry, or fish;
    (B) Alternate protein products;
    (C) Cheese, or an egg;
    (D) Cooked dry beans or peas;
    (E) Peanut butter; or
    (F) Any combination of these foods.
    (ii) Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds and their butters are allowed 
as meat alternates in accordance with FNS guidance. For lunch and 
supper meals, nuts or seeds may be used to meet one-half of the meat 
and meat alternate component. They must be combined with other meat and 
meat alternates to meet the full requirement for a reimbursable lunch 
or supper.
    (A) Nut and seed meals or flours may be used only if they meet the 
requirements for alternate protein products established in appendix A 
of this part.
    (B) Acorns, chestnuts, and coconuts cannot be used as meat 
alternates because of their low protein and iron content.
    (iii) Yogurt. Four ounces (weight) or \1/2\ cup (volume) of yogurt 
equals one ounce of the meat and meat alternate component. Yogurt may 
be used to meet all or part of the meat and meat alternate component as 
follows:
    (A) Yogurt may be plain or flavored, unsweetened, or sweetened;
    (B) Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6 
ounces;
    (C) Noncommercial or commercial standardized yogurt products, such 
as frozen yogurt, drinkable yogurt products, homemade yogurt, yogurt 
flavored products, yogurt bars, yogurt covered fruits or nuts, or 
similar products are not creditable; and
    (D) For adults, yogurt may only be used as a meat alternate when it 
is not also being used as a fluid milk substitute in the same meal.
    (iv) Tofu and soy products. Commercial tofu and soy products may be 
used to meet all or part of the meat and meat alternate component in 
accordance with FNS guidance and appendix A of this part. Non-
commercial and non-standardized tofu and soy products cannot be used.
    (v) Beans and peas (legumes). Cooked dry beans and peas may be used 
to meet all or part of the meat and meat alternate component. Beans and 
peas include black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, kidney beans, mature 
lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, and split peas. Beans and peas may 
be counted as either a meat alternate or as a vegetable, but not as 
both in the same meal.
    (vi) Other meat alternates. Other meat alternates, such as cheese, 
eggs, and nut butters may be used to meet all or part of the meat and 
meat alternate component.
    (b) Infant meals--(1) Feeding infants. Foods in reimbursable meals 
served to infants ages birth through 11 months must be of a texture and 
a consistency that are appropriate for the age and development of the 
infant being fed. Foods must also be served during a span of time 
consistent with the infant's eating habits.
    (2) Breastmilk and iron-fortified formula. Breastmilk or iron-
fortified infant formula, or portions of both, must be served to 
infants birth through 11 months of age. An institution or facility must 
offer at least one type of iron-fortified infant formula. Meals 
containing breastmilk or iron-fortified infant formula supplied by the 
institution or facility, or by the parent or guardian, are eligible for 
reimbursement.
    (i) Parent or guardian provided breastmilk or iron-fortified 
formula. A parent or guardian may choose to accept the offered formula, 
or decline the offered formula and supply expressed breastmilk or an 
iron-fortified infant formula instead. Meals in which a mother directly 
breastfeeds her child at the child care institution or facility are 
also eligible for reimbursement. When a parent or guardian chooses to 
provide breastmilk or iron-fortified infant formula and the infant is 
consuming solid foods, the institution or facility must supply all 
other required meal components in order for the meal to be 
reimbursable.
    (ii) Breastfed infants. For some breastfed infants who regularly 
consume less than the minimum amount of breastmilk per feeding, a 
serving of less than the minimum amount of breastmilk may be offered. 
In these situations, additional breastmilk must be offered at a later 
time if the infant will consume more.
    (3) Solid foods. The gradual introduction of solid foods may begin 
at six months of age, or before or after six months of age if it is 
developmentally appropriate for the infant and in accordance with FNS 
guidance.
    (4) Infant meal pattern. Infant meals must have, at a minimum, each 
of the food components indicated, in the amount that is appropriate for 
the infant's age.
    (i) Birth through 5 months--(A) Breakfast. Four to 6 fluid ounces 
of breastmilk or iron-fortified infant formula, or portions of both.
    (B) Lunch or supper. Four to 6 fluid ounces of breastmilk or iron-
fortified infant formula, or portions of both.
    (C) Snack. Four to 6 fluid ounces of breastmilk or iron-fortified 
infant formula, or portions of both.
    (ii) 6 through 11 months. Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula, or 
portions of both, is required. Meals are reimbursable when institutions 
and facilities provide all the components in the meal pattern that the 
infant is developmentally ready to accept.

[[Page 24379]]

    (A) Breakfast, lunch, or supper. Six to 8 fluid ounces of 
breastmilk or iron-fortified infant formula, or portions of both; and 0 
to 4 tablespoons of iron-fortified dry infant cereal, meat, fish, 
poultry, whole egg, cooked dry beans, or cooked dry peas; or 0 to 2 
ounces (weight) of cheese; or 0 to 4 ounces (volume) of cottage cheese; 
or 0 to 8 ounces of yogurt; and 0 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable, fruit, 
or portions of both. Fruit juices and vegetable juices must not be 
served.
    (B) Snack. Two to 4 fluid ounces of breastmilk or iron-fortified 
infant formula; and 0 to \1/2\ slice bread; or 0-2 crackers; or 0-4 
tablespoons infant cereal or ready-to-eat cereals; and 0 to 2 
tablespoons of vegetable or fruit, or portions of both. Fruit juices 
and vegetable juices must not be served. A serving of grains must be 
whole grain-rich, enriched meal, or enriched flour.
    (5) Infant meal pattern table. The minimum amounts of food 
components to serve to infants, as described in paragraph (b)(4) of 
this section, are:

                          Infant Meal Patterns
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Birth through 5
           Infants                   months          6 through 11 months
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Breakfast, Lunch, or Supper.  4-6 fluid ounces      6-8 fluid ounces
                               breastmilk \1\ or     breastmilk \1\ or
                               formula \2\.          formula \2\; and
                                                    0-4 tablespoons
                                                    infant cereal 2 3
                                                    meat,
                                                    fish,
                                                    poultry,
                                                    whole egg,
                                                    cooked dry beans, or
                                                    cooked dry peas; or
                                                    0-2 ounces of
                                                     cheese; or
                                                    0-4 ounces (volume)
                                                     of cottage cheese;
                                                     or,
                                                    0-8 ounces or 1 cup
                                                     of yogurt \4\; or a
                                                     combination of the
                                                     above \5\; and
                                                    0-2 tablespoons
                                                     vegetable or fruit,
                                                     or a combination of
                                                     both 5 6
Snack.......................  4-6 fluid ounces      2-4 fluid ounces
                               breastmilk \1\ or     breastmilk \1\ or
                               formula \2\.          formula \2\; and
                                                    0-\1/2\ slice bread
                                                     3 7; or
                                                    0-2 cracker 3 7; or
                                                    0-4 tablespoons
                                                     infant cereal 2 3 7
                                                     or ready-to-eat
                                                     breakfast cereal 3
                                                     5 7 8; and
                                                    0-2 tablespoons
                                                     vegetable or fruit,
                                                     or a combination of
                                                     both 5 6
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Breastmilk or formula, or portions of both, must be served; however,
  it is recommended that breastmilk be served in place of formula from
  birth through 11 months. For some breastfed infants who regularly
  consume less than the minimum amount of breastmilk per feeding, a
  serving of less than the minimum amount of breastmilk may be offered,
  with additional breastmilk offered at a later time if the infant will
  consume more.
\2\ Infant formula and dry infant cereal must be iron-fortified.
\3\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine
  the quantity of creditable grains.
\4\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6
  ounces.
\5\ A serving of this component is required when the infant is
  developmentally ready to accept it.
\6\ Fruit and vegetable juices must not be served.
\7\ A serving of grains must be whole-grain rich, enriched meal, or
  enriched flour.
\8\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry
  ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of
  dry cereal).

    (c) Meal patterns for children age 1 through 18 and adult 
participants. Institutions and facilities must serve the food 
components and quantities specified in the following meal patterns for 
children and adult participants in order to qualify for reimbursement.
    (1) Breakfast. Fluid milk, vegetables or fruit, or portions of 
both, and grains are required components of the breakfast meal. Meat 
and meat alternates may be used to meet the entire grains requirement a 
maximum of three times per week. The minimum amounts of food components 
to be served at breakfast are as follows:

                                 Breakfast Meal Pattern for Children and Adults
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Ages 13-18 \1\
                                                                                     (at-risk
                                                                                    afterschool
                                     Ages 1-2        Ages 3-5        Ages 6-12     programs and        Adult
                                                                                     emergency
                                                                                     shelters)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Food Components and Food Items
               \2\                                              Minimum Quantities
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk \3\..................         4 fl oz         6 fl oz         8 fl oz         8 fl oz        8 fl oz.
Vegetables, fruits, or portions        \1/4\ cup       \1/2\ cup       \1/2\ cup       \1/2\ cup      \1/2\ cup.
 of both \4\....................
Grains (oz eq) 5 6 7
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ slice     \1/2\ slice         1 slice         1 slice       2 slices.
     bread......................
    Whole grain-rich or enriched   \1/2\ serving   \1/2\ serving       1 serving       1 serving     2 servings.
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin......
    Whole grain-rich, enriched         \1/4\ cup       \1/4\ cup       \1/2\ cup       \1/2\ cup          1 cup.
     or fortified cooked
     breakfast cereal,\8\ cereal
     grain, and/or pasta........

[[Page 24380]]

 
Whole grain-rich, enriched or
 fortified ready-to-eat
 breakfast cereal (dry, cold) 8
 9
    Flakes or rounds............       \1/2\ cup       \1/2\ cup           1 cup           1 cup         2 cups.
    Puffed cereal...............       \3/4\ cup       \3/4\ cup     1 \1/4\ cup     1 \1/4\ cup   2 \1/2\ cups.
    Granola.....................       \1/8\ cup       \1/8\ cup       \1/4\ cup       \1/4\ cup      \1/2\ cup.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Larger portion sizes than specified may need to be served to children 13 through 18 year olds to meet their
  nutritional needs.
\2\ Must serve all three components for a reimbursable meal. Offer versus serve is an option for only adult and
  at-risk afterschool participants.
\3\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-
  free (skim) milk for children two through five years old. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent), unflavored
  fat-free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk for children six years old and older and adults. For adult
  participants, 6 ounces (weight) or \3/4\ cup (volume) of yogurt may be used to meet the equivalent of 8 ounces
  of fluid milk once per day when yogurt is not served as a meat alternate in the same meal.
\4\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal,
  including snack, per day.
\5\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do
  not count towards meeting the grains requirement.
\6\ Meat and meat alternates may be used to meet the entire grains requirement a maximum of three times a week.
  One ounce of meat and meat alternates is equal to one ounce equivalent of grains.
\7\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine the quantity of creditable grains.
\8\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose
  and other sugars per 100 grams of dry cereal).
\9\ Beginning October 1, 2019, the minimum serving size specified in this section for ready-to-eat breakfast
  cereals must be served. Until October 1, 2019, the minimum serving size for any type of ready-to-eat breakfast
  cereals is \1/4\ cup for children ages 1-2; \1/3\ cup for children ages 3-5; \3/4\ cup for children ages 6-12
  and ages 13-18; and 1\1/2\ cups for adults.

    (2) Lunch and supper. Fluid milk, meat and meat alternates, 
vegetables, fruits, and grains are required components in the lunch and 
supper meals. The minimum amounts of food components to be served at 
lunch and supper are as follows:

                                                  Lunch and Supper Meal Pattern for Children and Adults
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                             Ages 13-18 \1\ (at-
                                                                                                              risk  afterschool
                                            Ages 1-2                Ages 3-5               Ages 6-12             programs and              Adult
                                                                                                             emergency  shelters)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Food Components and Foot Items \2\                                                   Minimum Quantities
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk \3\.....................  4 fl oz...............  6 fl oz...............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz.\4\
Meat/meat alternates
Edible portion as served:
    Lean meat, poultry, or fish....  1 ounce...............  1\1/2\ ounces.........  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.
    Tofu, soy products, or           1 ounce...............  1\1/2\ ounces.........  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.
     alternate protein products \5\.
    Cheese.........................  1 ounce...............  1\1/2\ ounces.........  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.............  2 ounces.
    Large egg......................  \1/2\.................  \3/4\.................  1....................  1....................  1.
    Cooked dry beans or peas.......  \1/4\ cup.............  \3/8\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
    Peanut butter or soy nut butter  2 Tbsp................  3 Tbsp................  4 Tbsp...............  4 Tbsp...............  4 Tbsp.
     or other nut or seed butters.
    Yogurt, plain or flavored        4 ounces..............  6 ounces or \3/4\ cup.  8 ounces or 1 cup....  8 ounces or 1 cup....  8 ounces or 1 cup.
     unsweetened or sweetened \6\.   or \1/2\ cup..........
The following may be used to meet
 no more than 50 percent of the
 requirement:
    Peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts,    \1/2\ ounce = 50%.....  \3/4\ ounce = 50%.....  1 ounce = 50%........  1 ounce = 50%........  1 ounce = 50%.
     or seeds, as listed in program
     guidance, or an equivalent
     quantity of any combination of
     the above meat/meat alternates
     (1 ounce of nuts/seeds = 1
     ounce of cooked lean meat,
     poultry or fish).
Vegetables \7\.....................  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
Fruits 7 8.........................  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
Grains (oz eq) 9 10                  ......................  ......................  .....................  .....................  .....................
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ slice...........  \1/2\ slice...........  1 slice..............  1 slice..............  2 slices.
     bread.

[[Page 24381]]

 
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ serving.........  \1/2\ serving.........  1 serving............  1 serving............  2 servings.
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched or    \1/4\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  1 cup.
     fortified cooked breakfast
     cereal,\11\ cereal grain, and/
     or pasta.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Larger portion sizes than specified may need to be served to children 13 through 18 year olds to meet their nutritional needs.
\2\ Must serve all five components for a reimbursable meal. Offer versus serve is an option for only adult and at-risk afterschool participants.
\3\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk for children two
  through five years old. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent), unflavored fat-free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk for children six years
  old and older and adults. For adult participants, 6 ounces (weight) or \3/4\ cup (volume) of yogurt may be used to meet the equivalent of 8 ounces of
  fluid milk once per day when yogurt is not served as a meat alternate in the same meal.
\4\ A serving of fluid milk is optional for suppers served to adult participants.
\5\ Alternate protein products must meet the requirements in appendix A to this part.
\6\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6 ounces.
\7\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal, including snack, per day.
\8\ A vegetable may be used to meet the entire fruit requirement. When two vegetables are served at lunch or supper, two different kinds of vegetables
  must be served.
\9\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do not count towards the grains
  requirement.
\10\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine the quantity of the creditable grain.
\11\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of dry
  cereal).

    (3) Snack. Serve two of the following five components: Fluid milk, 
meat and meat alternates, vegetables, fruits, and grains. Fruit juice, 
vegetable juice, and milk may comprise only one component of the snack. 
The minimum amounts of food components to be served at snacks are as 
follows:

                                                       Snack Meal Pattern for Children and Adults
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                             Ages 13-18 \1\  (at-
                                                                                                              risk  afterschool
                                            Ages 1-2                Ages 3-5               Ages 6-12             programs and              Adult
                                                                                                             emergency  shelters)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Food Components and Food Items \2\                                                   Minimum Quantities
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fluid milk \3\.....................  4 fl oz...............  4 fl oz...............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz..............  8 fl oz.
Meats/meat alternates
Edible portion as served
    Lean meat, poultry, or fish....  \1/2\ ounce...........  \1/2\ ounce...........  1 ounce..............  1 ounce..............  1 ounce.
    Tofu, soy products, or           \1/2\ ounce...........  \1/2\ ounce...........  1 ounce..............  1 ounce..............  1 ounce.
     alternate protein products \4\.
    Cheese.........................  \1/2\ ounce...........  \1/2\ ounce...........  1 ounce..............  1 ounce..............  1 ounce.
    Large egg......................  \1/2\.................  \1/2\.................  \1/2\................  \1/2\................  \1/2\.
    Cooked dry beans or peas.......  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup.
    Peanut butter or soy nut butter  1 Tbsp................  1 Tbsp................  2 Tbsp...............  2 Tbsp...............  2 Tbsp.
     or other nut or seed butters.
    Yogurt, plain or flavored        2 ounces or \1/4\ cup.  2 ounces or \1/4\ cup.  4 ounces or \1/2\ cup  4 ounces or \1/2\ cup  4 ounces or \1/2\
     unsweetened or sweetened \5\.                                                                                                  cup.
    Peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts,    \1/2\ ounce...........  \1/2\ ounce...........  1 ounce..............  1 ounce..............  1 ounce.
     or seeds.
Vegetables \6\.....................  \1/2\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup.............  \3/4\ cup............  \3/4\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
Fruits \6\.........................  \1/2\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup.............  \3/4\ cup............  \3/4\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
Grains (oz eq) 7 8
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ slice...........  \1/2\ slice...........  1 slice..............  1 slice..............  1 slice.
     bread.
    Whole grain-rich or enriched     \1/2\ serving.........  \1/2\ serving.........  1 serving............  1 serving............  1 serving.
     bread product, such as
     biscuit, roll, muffin.
    Whole grain-rich, enriched or    \1/4\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup............  \1/2\ cup.
     fortified cooked breakfast
     cereal,\9\ cereal grain, and/
     or pasta.

[[Page 24382]]

 
    Whole grain-rich, enriched or
     fortified ready-to-eat
     breakfast cereal (dry, cold) 9
     10.
        Flakes or rounds...........  \1/2\ cup.............  \1/2\ cup.............  1 cup................  1 cup................  1 cup.
        Puffed cereal..............  \3/4\ cup.............  \3/4\ cup.............  1 \1/4\ cup..........  1 \1/4\ cups.........  1 \1/4\ cups.
        Granola....................  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/8\ cup.............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup............  \1/4\ cup.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Larger portion sizes than specified may need to be served to children 13 through 18 year olds to meet their nutritional needs.
\2\ Select two of the five components for a reimbursable snack. Only one of the two components may be a beverage.
\3\ Must be unflavored whole milk for children age one. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent) or unflavored fat-free (skim) milk for children two
  through five years old. Must be unflavored low-fat (1 percent), unflavored fat-free (skim), or flavored fat-free (skim) milk for children six years
  old and older and adults. For adult participants, 6 ounces (weight) or \3/4\ cup (volume) of yogurt may be used to meet the equivalent of 8 ounces of
  fluid milk once per day when yogurt is not served as a meat alternate in the same meal.
\4\ Alternate protein products must meet the requirements in appendix A to this part.
\5\ Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6 ounces.
\6\ Pasteurized full-strength juice may only be used to meet the vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal, including snack, per day.
\7\ At least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be whole grain-rich. Grain-based desserts do not count towards meeting the grains
  requirement.
\8\ Beginning October 1, 2019, ounce equivalents are used to determine the quantity of creditable grains.
\9\ Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce (no more than 21 grams sucrose and other sugars per 100 grams of dry
  cereal).
\10\ Beginning October 1, 2019, the minimum serving sizes specified in this section for ready-to-eat breakfast cereals must be served. Until October 1,
  2019, the minimum serving size for any type of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals is \1/4\ cup for children ages 1-2; 1/3 cup for children ages 3-5; \3/4\
  cup for children ages 6-12, children ages 13-18, and adults.

    (d) Food preparation. Deep-fat fried foods that are prepared on-
site cannot be part of the reimbursable meal. For this purpose, deep-
fat frying means cooking by submerging food in hot oil or other fat. 
Foods that are pre-fried, flash-fried, or par-fried by a commercial 
manufacturer may be served, but must be reheated by a method other than 
frying.
    (e) Unavailability of fluid milk--(1) Temporary. When emergency 
conditions prevent an institution or facility normally having a supply 
of milk from temporarily obtaining milk deliveries, the State agency 
may approve the service of breakfast, lunches, or suppers without milk 
during the emergency period.
    (2) Continuing. When an institution or facility is unable to obtain 
a supply of milk on a continuing basis, the State agency may approve 
service of meals without milk, provided an equivalent amount of canned, 
whole dry or fat-free dry milk is used in the preparation of the 
components of the meal set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.
    (f) Statewide substitutions. In American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, 
and the Virgin Islands, the following variations from the meal 
requirements are authorized: a serving of starchy vegetable, such as 
yams, plantains, or sweet potatoes, may be substituted for the grains 
requirement.
    (g) Exceptions and variations in reimbursable meals--(1) Exceptions 
for disability reasons. Reasonable substitutions must be made on a 
case-by-case basis for foods and meals described in paragraphs (a), 
(b), and (c) of this section for individual participants who are 
considered to have a disability under 7 CFR 15b.3 and whose disability 
restricts their diet.
    (i) A written statement must support the need for the substitution. 
The statement must include recommended alternate foods, unless 
otherwise exempted by FNS, and must be signed by a licensed physician 
or licensed health care professional who is authorized by State law to 
write medical prescriptions.
    (ii) A parent, guardian, adult participant, or a person on behalf 
of an adult participant may supply one or more components of the 
reimbursable meal as long as the institution or facility provides at 
least one required meal component.
    (2) Exceptions for non-disability reasons. Substitutions may be 
made on a case-by-case basis for foods and meals described in 
paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section for individual 
participants without disabilities who cannot consume the regular meal 
because of medical or special dietary needs.
    (i) A written statement must support the need for the substitution. 
The statement must include recommended alternate foods, unless 
otherwise exempted by FNS. Except for substitutions of fluid milk, as 
set forth below, the statement must be signed by a recognized medical 
authority.
    (ii) A parent, guardian, adult participant, or a person on behalf 
of an adult participant may supply one component of the reimbursable 
meal as long as the component meets the requirements described in 
paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section and the institution or 
facility provides the remaining components.
    (3) Fluid milk substitutions for non-disability reasons. Non-dairy 
fluid milk substitutions that provide the nutrients listed in the 
following table and are fortified in accordance with fortification 
guidelines issued by the Food and Drug Administration may be provided 
for non-disabled children and adults who cannot consume fluid milk due 
to medical or special dietary needs when requested in writing by the 
child's parent or guardian, or by, or on behalf of, an adult 
participant. An institution or facility need only offer the non-dairy 
beverage that it has identified as an allowable fluid milk substitute 
according to the following table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Nutrient                         Per cup (8 fl oz)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Calcium...................................  276 mg.
Protein...................................  8 g.
Vitamin A.................................  500 IU.
Vitamin D.................................  100 IU.
Magnesium.................................  24 mg.
Phosphorus................................  222 mg.
Potassium.................................  349 mg.
Riboflavin................................  0.44 mg.
Vitamin B-12..............................  1.1 mcg.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 24383]]

    (h) Special variations. FNS may approve variations in the food 
components of the meals on an experimental or continuing basis in any 
institution or facility where there is evidence that such variations 
are nutritionally sound and are necessary to meet ethnic, religious, 
economic, or physical needs.
    (i) Meals prepared in schools. The State agency must allow 
institutions and facilities which serve meals to children 5 years old 
and older and are prepared in schools participating in the National 
School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to substitute the meal 
pattern requirements of the regulations governing those Programs (7 CFR 
parts 210 and 220, respectively) for the meal pattern requirements 
contained in this section.
    (j) Meal planning. Institutions and facilities must plan for and 
order meals on the basis of current participant trends, with the 
objective of providing only one meal per participant at each meal 
service. Records of participation and of ordering or preparing meals 
must be maintained to demonstrate positive action toward this 
objective. In recognition of the fluctuation in participation levels 
which makes it difficult to estimate precisely the number of meals 
needed and to reduce the resultant waste, any excess meals that are 
ordered may be served to participants and may be claimed for 
reimbursement, unless the State agency determines that the institution 
or facility has failed to plan and prepare or order meals with the 
objective of providing only one meal per participant at each meal 
service.
    (k) Time of meal service. State agencies may require any 
institution or facility to allow a specific amount of time to elapse 
between meal services or require that meal services not exceed a 
specified duration.
    (l) Sanitation. Institutions and facilities must ensure that in 
storing, preparing, and serving food proper sanitation and health 
standards are met which conform with all applicable State and local 
laws and regulations. Institutions and facilities must ensure that 
adequate facilities are available to store food or hold meals.
    (m) Donated commodities. Institutions and facilities must 
efficiently use in the Program any foods donated by the Department and 
accepted by the institution or facility.
    (n) Family style meal service. Family style is a type of meal 
service which allows children and adults to serve themselves from 
common platters of food with the assistance of supervising adults. 
Institutions and facilities choosing to exercise this option must be in 
compliance with the following practices:
    (1) A sufficient amount of prepared food must be placed on each 
table to provide the full required portions of each of the components, 
as outlined in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section, for all 
children or adults at the table and to accommodate supervising adults 
if they wish to eat with the children and adults.
    (2) Children and adults must be allowed to serve the food 
components themselves, with the exception of fluids (such as milk). 
During the course of the meal, it is the responsibility of the 
supervising adults to actively encourage each child and adult to serve 
themselves the full required portion of each food component of the meal 
pattern. Supervising adults who choose to serve the fluids directly to 
the children or adults must serve the required minimum quantity to each 
child or adult.
    (3) Institutions and facilities which use family style meal service 
may not claim second meals for reimbursement.
    (o) Offer versus serve. (1) Each adult day care center and at-risk 
afterschool program must offer its participants all of the required 
food servings as set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this 
section. However, at the discretion of the adult day care center or at-
risk afterschool program, participants may be permitted to decline:
    (i) For adults. (A) One of the four food items (one serving of 
fluid milk; one serving of vegetable or fruit, or a combination of 
both; and two servings of grains, or meat or meat alternates) required 
at breakfast;
    (B) Two of the six food items (one serving of fluid milk; one 
serving of vegetables; one serving of fruit; two servings of grain; and 
one serving of meat or meat alternate) required at lunch; and
    (C) Two of the five food items (one serving of vegetables; one 
serving of fruit; two servings of grain; and one serving of meat or 
meat alternate) required at supper.
    (ii) For children. Two of the five food items (one serving of fluid 
milk; one serving of vegetables; one serving of fruit; one serving of 
grain; and one serving of meat or meat alternate) required at supper.
    (2) In pricing programs, the price of the reimbursable meal must 
not be affected if a participant declines a food item.
    (p) Prohibition on using foods and beverages as punishments or 
rewards. Meals served under this part must contribute to the 
development and socialization of children. Institutions and facilities 
must not use foods and beverages as punishments or rewards.

0
13. In paragraph Sec.  226.25, add paragraph (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  226.25  Other provisions.

* * * * *
    (i) Drinking water. A child care institution or facility must offer 
and make potable drinking water available to children throughout the 
day.

    Dated: April 19, 2016.
Kevin Concannon,
Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.
[FR Doc. 2016-09412 Filed 4-22-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-30-P