Crediting Grains Using Ounce Equivalents
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) developed the guidance on this web page to assist CACFP Operators serving children and adults to understand how to credit grains as ounce equivalents (oz eq) to ensure they are providing the grain component in the minimum quantities required to meet the CACFP meal pattern requirements for each age group for all meals and snacks.
Guidance to assist CACFP Operators serving infants on crediting grains as oz eq is available on the CDSS Crediting Grains Using Oz Eq for Infants web page.
The final rule, Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, published in the Federal Register on April 25, 2016, specified that grains served as part of reimbursable meals and snacks must be credited as oz eq.
Prior to October 1, 2021, CACFP Operators credited grains as slices and servings, where 14.75 grams of creditable grain equals 1 slice or serving.
Effective October 1, 2021, when crediting grains as oz eq, 16 grams of creditable grain equals 1 oz eq. Therefore, a larger amount of a grain product must be served to meet the minimum serving size listed in the CACFP meal patterns charts with the conversion from using slices and servings to oz eq.
The CACFP Meal Patterns
The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 7 CFR, Section 226.20 web page includes the CACFP meal patterns chart with the serving size for the grains component listed in oz eq for infants at 7 CFR, Section 226.20(b) and for children and adults at 7 CFR, Section 226.20(c).
Crediting Grains as Oz Eq
Select the links below to determine how to calculate grains oz eq for the various types of products served in the CACFP.
Access the CDSS Calculating Grains Oz Eq: Nutrition Facts Label web page for step-by-step instructions on crediting grains as oz eq for commercially-prepared grain products with a Nutrition Facts label on the package. Examples: Bread, crackers, and tortillas purchased at a grocery store or through a distributor.
Access the CDSS Calculating Grains Oz Eq: CN-Labeled Products web page for step-by-step instructions on crediting grains as oz eq for commercially-prepared combination main dish products that contain grains and have a Child Nutrition (CN) Label on the package. Examples: Commercially prepared burritos, pizza, and chicken nuggets.
Access the CDSS Calculating Grains Oz Eq: PFSs
for step-by-step instructions on crediting grains as oz eq for commercially-prepared products containing grains that do not have a CN Label or a Nutrition Facts label on the package. Examples: Breads, rolls, and pizza purchased from a local bakery.
Access the CDSS Calculating Grains as Oz Eq: Recipes
for step-by-step instructions on crediting grains as oz eq for grain products made using a recipe. Examples: Muffins, waffles, cornbread, dinner rolls, breaded chicken strips, and casseroles.
Compliance with the Grains Oz Eq Requirement
Guidance on the CDSS review process for meal pattern compliance for the administrative review (AR) is available on the CDSS CACFP Administrative Manual Section 16.1 web page for the month of the AR
and the CDSS CACFP Administrative Manual Section 16.2 web page for the day of the AR.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) CACFP Grains Oz Eq Resources web page (includes training worksheets in English and Spanish, presentation slides in English and Spanish, digital tools, recorded webinars, and policy documents)
CACFP Meal Patterns Team | CACFPMealPatterns@dss.ca.gov
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