Calculating Grains Oz Eq: CN-Labeled Products

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This web page provides step-by-step guidance on how to calculate grains oz eq for commercially-prepared combination main dish products that contain grains and include a Child Nutrition (CN) Label. For example, commercially-prepared burritos, pizza, and chicken nuggets.

Calculation Steps

  • Step 1: Verify the validity of the CN Label

    • To verify the validity of the CN Label, access the CN Label Verification Report on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) USDA/USDC Authorized Labels and Manufacturers web page. Use the numbers at the top of the CN Label (the CN Label identification number) on the product’s package to verify that the product is included in the verification report and that it provides the contribution to the meal pattern, as indicated on the CN Label. CN Labels are certified by the USDA and are only valid for five years.

    Tip! If the CN Label is not found in the CN Label Verification Report, you cannot use the CN Label to verify the contribution to the meal pattern for any component listed on the CN Label.

  • Step 2: Read the serving size and the oz eq grains contribution on the CN Label

    • For example, a CN Label may read: One 5.0 oz slice of cheese pizza provides 2.0 oz eq meat alternate, ¼ cup vegetable, and  2.0 oz eq grain.

  • Step 3: Determine the required serving size

    • To determine the required serving size, refer to the minimum serving size for the grains component for the age group and meal or snack being served on page two in the USDA Nutrition Standards for CACFP Meals and Snacks web page.

    • For example, the minimum serving size for the grains component for adults at supper is 2.0 oz eq; therefore, the minimum serving size is one piece of pizza, which provides 2.0 oz eq.

    Tip! If the commercially-prepared combination main dish product does not have a CN Label, the CACFP Operator must obtain a product formulation statement (PFS) from the manufacturer that provides the amount of grains oz eq in one serving of the product. Access the California Department of Social Services Calculating Grains Oz Eq: PFSs for guidance on crediting grains as oz eq using a PFS.

Additional Resources

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Questions:  CACFP Meal Patterns Team |

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