CASY CACFP Quarterly Newsletter

FY22 First Quarter Food Program Newsletter

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Have You Made the Switch to Grains Ounce Equivalents?

Effective October 1, 2021, CACFP menus must be updated using ounce equivalents for grains.

Grains ounce equivalents (oz eq) replaces grain "servings" as credited under the previous meal pattern requirements. Oz eq serving size ensures children are served the recommended amount of grains. This USDA meal pattern change is consistent with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which provide grain recommendation's in oz eq.

This oz eq change will increase the serving size of several grain items. Refer to Ounce Equivalents charts for proper serving sizes. Resource links to Ounce Equivalent charts and worksheets are available at A resource packet is also available in print or electronic form at the CASY Food Program office. Contact the Food Program at for the print or electronic resource packet.

Implementation of grains ounce equivalents will be now be checked at all monitor reviews. Ensure your grains servings are meeting the grains ounce equivalent serving size requirements. Also ensure posted menus and/or serving size chart reflects grain serving sizes as ounce equivalents. For any questions regarding the grains ounce equivalent requirements contact the CASY Food Program staff.

Grains Oz Eq Resources:

Grains Oz Eq Training Resources (eligible for CASY Food Program training credits):

Sources: United States Department of Agriculture

Indiana Department of Education

On Site Monitor Reviews are Back

As of October 1st, on site Monitor Reviews are back. Sherrie, CASY Food Program Monitor, is excited to be on the road and able to see our Food Program providers and their children in person. She will be conducting on site reviews as long as it is safe within your community to do so. To keep you, your children and herself healthy, Sherrie will be taking precautions such as wearing disposable masks, washing and sanitizing her hands before and after each review, etc. If there are other precautions you have implemented in your facility please inform Sherrie and she will be glad to follow them.

Also returning is the USDA requirement of three successful monitor reviews per fiscal year. We plan to conduct on site monitor reviews throughout the year. However the USDA waiver allowing remote reviews to be conducted is still in place. We may conduct remote reviews if a remote review is the safest option for everyone at that time. For any questions or concerns regarding Monitor Reviews contact the CASY Food Program staff.

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Smart CACFP Meal Planning

Why plan meals?

Meal planning can save you time and money. It prevents food waste and reduces mealtime stress. Planning ahead lets you spend more time with the children in your care and less time worrying about what the next meal should be.

Where to start?

1. Calculate your food budget. Look at past receipts, the number of children in your care, food program reimbursement, and your expenses to calculate your food budget.

2. Plan meals for at least a week ahead. See the Meal Pattern Chart and the “CACFP Best Practices” information below to guide your food choices and meal planning.

3. Make a shopping list. Look at what foods you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Then, figure out which foods you need to buy and add them to your list.

4. Prep for the week. Cutting up produce or making freezer meals when you have free time can make weekdays much smoother.

5. Keep a well-stocked pantry. Having a full pantry can make meal planning much easier. Great items to have on hand include: whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, canned beans, canned tuna, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables (without added sugar), nuts, and spices.

Nutrition Best Practices

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Make at least 1 of the 2 required components of snack a fruit or a vegetable.
  • Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose whole fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned or dried) more often than juice.

  • Provide at least one serving per week each of dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas (legumes), starchy vegetables and other vegetables.


  • Provide at least two servings of whole-grain rich grains per day.
  • Purchase 100% whole grain items

Meat/Meat Alternates

  • Serve only lean meats and meat alternates.
  • Limit processed meats such as hot dogs and chicken nuggets to once per week or less.
  • Serve only natural cheeses and choose low-fat or reduced-fat cheeses.

Fluid Milk

  • Serve plain milk instead of flavored milk to all participants


  • Incorporate seasonal and locally produced foods into meals.
  • Limit serving purchased pre-fried foods to no more than one serving per week.
  • Avoid serving non-creditable foods that are sources of add sugars, such as sweet toppings (e.g., honey, jam, syrup), mix-in ingredients sold with yogurt (e.g., candy or cookie pieces) and sugar sweetened beverages (e.g., fruit drinks or sodas).
  • Offer water on a regular basis

Source: National CACFP Sponsors Association

Meal Planning Resources:

Menu Planning Training (eligible for 4 CASY Food Program Related training hours):

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Fun Food Jokes for the Kids

  • When potatoes have babies, what are they called?
    • Answer: Tater tots
  • When do you go at red and stop at green?
    • Answer: When you’re eating a watermelon
  • Why shouldn’t you tell a secret on a farm?
    • Answer: Because the potatoes have eyes and the corn have ears
  • What is twins’ favorite fruit?
    • Answer: Pear!