The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services issued a proposed rule on January 15, 2015 to change the meal pattern requirements for day care homes receiving federal dollars under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The proposed dietary guidelines are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans made by the Institute of Medicine in the report entitled “Child and Adult Care Food Program: Aligning Dietary Guidance for All,” and as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

The major provisions of the proposed rule include:

  1. incentivizing mothers to breastfeed infants up to 6 months of age by allowing reimbursement when the mother directly breastfeeds her child at the day care facility or supplies meals containing breast-milk or iron-fortified infant formula;
  2. mandating that drinking water is available throughout the day to all children upon request;
  3. disallowing frying as an onsite food preparation method;
  4. allowing tofu as a meat alternate;
  5. allowing a meat or meat alternate as a substitute for up to one-half of the required grains at breakfast meals;
  6. limiting flavored milk to fat-free only; and
  7. allowing for daily milk substitutions to be served if requested in writing by a child’s parent or guardian or adult participant.

The comment period for the proposed rule ends on April 15, 2015.

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