Meal Pattern Requirements & Sample Menus

Meals reimbursed through CACFP must follow the NYS Department of Health's meal patterns, which specify required food components and minimum serving sizes for different age groups.

Within these guidelines, CACFP sponsors can be flexible to meet the needs of their program, participants, and staff. Among other options, programs may choose to:

  • Serve hot or cold meals.
  • Serve “super snacks” that meet full meal requirements.
  • Create cycle menus to repeat each month or season.
  • Vend out meal preparation to a local school district or food service vendor, including another CACFP sponsor.

Follow the links below to view CACFP meal patterns and sample menus featuring creditable recipes: 

CACFP Healthy Meal Patterns for Infants & Children (Ages 1-18)

CACFP Crediting Handbook

NYS Department of Health Sample Menus

NYS Network for Youth Success Sample Menus

NYS Network for Youth Success Menu Planning Template