New Meal Patterns Implemented
View the new meal pattern summaries by clicking on the links below:
Obligation to Offer and Reimbursement of Infant Meals
Day care homes participating in CACFP must offer program meals to all eligible children enrolled in their day care home. As long as an infant is in care during the meal service period, day care homes must offer the infant a meal that complies with program requirements. Decisions on offering infant meals must be based on whether the child is enrolled in care, not if the child is enrolled in the CACFP.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommends a storage time of 72 hours for refrigerated milk. Bottles of fresh breastmilk must be stored in a refrigerator kept at 39°F or below. Centers and day care homes should continue to follow all other breastmilk handling and storage guidelines listed in Feeding Infants: A Guide for Child Nutrition Programs.
DHA Enriched Infant Foods
Docosahexaenoic acid, known as DHA, is an omega-3 fatty acid that may be added to infant formulas and infant foods. While the science is mixed on the benefits of DHA, some studies suggest they may have positive effects on visual function and neural development.
Previously, any infant foods containing DHA was prohibited due to the concern that it may result in a food sensitivity or food allergy. However, DHA itself cannot cause allergic reactions and, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no current convincing evidence to delay the introduction of foods considered to be highly allergic, including eggs. Child care centers and day care home providers now may serve infant foods containing DHA, as long as they meet all other crediting requirements.