The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons. Through the CACFP, more than 4.2 million children and 130,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks. The objectives of the CACFP are to:
- Provide a subsidy to eligible child and adult care institutions for serving nutritious meals
- Serve nutritious meals and snacks to children and adults in care
- Foster lifelong healthy eating and physical activity habits
In 2016, the USDA made changes in required meal pattern guidelines. These changes have been difficult for some childcare providers to interpret, which has led to increased errors involving the purchasing of non-creditable food items for their child care center or home.