Skip Navigation
Child Nutrition
Main Content
Office of Child Nutrition logo

Info You Need to Know

The Cycle Menus and Recipes provided on this website were created with the following considerations:

Variety

Some recipes may be children's favorites, while others may cause more push-back, which is okay. You may need to adjust the recipes according to taste preferences and food availability. In order to meet the guidelines, choose fruits, vegetables, spices and lean meats/meat alternates to add to or replace other ingredients.

Nutritional Value

Recipes were created in alignment with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. They do not exceed 35% of calories from fat or 7% of calories from saturated fat per serving. Grain products have no more than 25% of calories from sugar per serving.

Combination Foods

Most recipes are combination foods, meaning they satisfy two or three meal component requirements. When it is noted that a food satisfies a fruit/vegetable component for a meal, each serving contains approximately 1/4 cup.

Before viewing the Menu Cycles and Recipes, here are some tips to help you better understand the contents of this section.


Cycle Menus

Processed Meats and Sweet Grains/Breads

These products may be served once in a two-week cycle. However, because of high fat, sodium and sugar content, it is highly recommended they are not served at all. For this reason, they are not included in the Cycle Menus on this website.

Whole Grains

A whole grain product must be served at least once per day. Following recommendations by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to make half of grain servings whole, most grain/bread products in the Cycle Menus are listed as whole grains. Other grain products may be substituted as long as one whole grain is served each day.

Water

Water should be available at all times throughout the day. Encourage children to drink water during play, at snacks and as a second beverage option after serving milk at meals. Note: Water cannot be substituted for milk at meals. Water is not a creditable food item.

Note: It is important to be as clear as possible when filling out cycle menus for reimbursement. State the brand of the product or be specific when describing it. This will ensure you receive credit for meeting the guidelines. Examples of how to fill in grain/bread are shown throughout the cycle menus. Other examples include: "cheddar cheese" and "baked turkey breast." Be specific. Be sure to state if a product is homemade on the menu (e.g., "homemade meat sauce," "homemade chicken soup"). If serving commercially-prepared combination foods for meat/meat alternate components, please serve a second source of meat/meat alternate to be sure there is enough to meet the guidelines (e.g., serve commercially-prepared meat sauce with beans).


Recipes

Servings

The number of servings provided by each recipe is based on the WV CACFP/Leap of Taste meal pattern requirements for children 3 through 5 years of age. You are encouraged to prepare at least 10-20% more servings than needed to ensure there is enough food for children who will eat extra as well as for the staff at your center or home.

Nutrition Labels

The nutrition labels are based on one 3- to 5-year-old serving that satisfies the WV CACFP/Leap of Taste meal requirements for each meal/snack.

CACFP Reimbursable Meal Components

The shaded boxes at the bottom of each recipe show which meal components are fulfilled with one serving. The empty boxes show which meal components must still be served to complete meal pattern requirements and receive reimbursement (if applicable).

Shopping Lists

Lists

The Shopping Lists cover the ingredients needed for each two-week Cycle Menu.

Amount

The amounts needed for each ingredient will vary depending on the number of children served. Check the Recipes and Cycle Menus prior to shopping to determine how many times items are used.