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Grain / Bread Guidelines
1 - 2 Years

Click to download a handy quick reference sheet for the grain and bread guidelines. (pdf)


  • Whole grains are preferred for all grains, pastas, and breads. Look for whole grain to be listed as the first ingredient, or that the food contains the entire grain kernel. Examples include whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice.
  • Brown rice is preferred for all rice dishes when possible.
  • A food should have no more than 35% of its calories from total sugars. Using this calculation is preferred. However, a simple alternative is to choose items that do not have sugars listed as the first, second, or third ingredients or have several listed.
  • A grain or bread should have no more than 35% of its calories from fat and no more than 10% of its calories from saturated fat.
  • All foods must have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat.
  • Choose foods that are highest in fiber (cereals, breads, pastas, etc.).
  • Try to offer items that have no more than 200 mg of sodium per serving.
* A grain product must be enriched or whole grain to be reimbursable.

Not Recommended

  • Cereals or grains with more than 6 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Baked goods for breakfast that are high in sugar and fat such as cinnamon rolls,toaster pastries, muffins, donuts.
  • Baked snacks that are high in sugar and fat such as cookies, cakes, rice treats.

Portion Size

Item Meals Snacks
Bakery items including, but not limited to bread, bagels, and other bakery items 1/2 slice
Cereals, hot or cold 1/4 cup (2 oz.) 1/4 cup (2 oz.)


Why serve whole grain?
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend making half our grains whole grains and that all age levels consume 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories. For children aged 12 to 36 months the recommended level of intake is 19 grams of fiber per day.