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Daycare Menus, Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Ideas>Cracker Portion Question
Baby Beluga 09:35 AM 10-24-2018
For those of you on the food program:

CACFP guidelines for grains under snack says "1/2 serving or 1/2 oz equivalent"

So, if I were to serve ritz crackers would the serving size for a child be 2.5 crackers since the serving size listed on the box is 5 crackers?

I am not on the food program, and don't serve crackers often but was reading a post where a parent complained that she picked up her child and the provider had given the children 2 crackers along with something else and the parent didn't think that was enough food for a snack. So, I peeked at the guidelines out of curiosity and if I am reading them correctly the provider did get the serving size for crackers correct, correct?
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Cat Herder 09:50 AM 10-24-2018
For a while, they were not creditable at all. Personally, I give 6 with a cheese wedge on each. I have seen two served as a serving in centers, though.

I just found out that we can serve graham crackers and animal crackers again. https://content.govdelivery.com/acco...letins/1a74a6c

They made the decision based on extensive stakeholder input that sweet crackers are appetizing, low-cost, shelf stable, and frequently served in at-risk after school programs and rural areas because of these attributes. They acknowledge disallowing them would be particularly challenging and that flexibility is needed. The Grain Chart in the Handy Guide to Creditable Food and updated CACFP Administrative Manual have been revised to include sweet crackers as creditable.

Information was slow in trickling down.
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Baby Beluga 10:41 AM 10-24-2018
Thank you CH It seems like such a small portion. Especially for something as un-filling as crackers.

Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
For a while, they were not creditable at all. Personally, I give 6 with a cheese wedge on each. I have seen two served as a serving in centers, though.

I just found out that we can serve graham crackers and animal crackers again. https://content.govdelivery.com/acco...letins/1a74a6c

They made the decision based on extensive stakeholder input that sweet crackers are appetizing, low-cost, shelf stable, and frequently served in at-risk after school programs and rural areas because of these attributes. They acknowledge disallowing them would be particularly challenging and that flexibility is needed. The Grain Chart in the Handy Guide to Creditable Food and updated CACFP Administrative Manual have been revised to include sweet crackers as creditable.

Information was slow in trickling down.
I remember working in a center years ago and being given 1 sleeve of riz crackers for 12 kids.
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Josiegirl 11:12 AM 10-24-2018
At the workshop I attended Monday night, an activity we had to do was go through grocery flyers and pre-plan a day's menu, along with the total cost. I never keep track of portion sizes that I give the dcks because I just eyeball it; don't even know what the requirements are. When my partner was telling me how much some of the portion sizes are, I'm thinking I always give them more than that!!! My dcks are good healthy eaters and if I only served them 4 oz. of yogurt, or 2 crackers, they'd be crying an hour later due to hunger. I know lots of people stick right to portion sizes but I don't. If I know it's something they likely won't eat much of, then I do just put a little bit on their plate.

And for the most part, they eat healthy foods but I'm not going to force them to eat say...broccoli when they really want more clementines instead. That'd be like making me eat sushi(which I have refused to try so far Lol) instead of letting me have more carrots.
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Baby Beluga 11:22 AM 10-24-2018
Originally Posted by Josiegirl:
At the workshop I attended Monday night, an activity we had to do was go through grocery flyers and pre-plan a day's menu, along with the total cost. I never keep track of portion sizes that I give the dcks because I just eyeball it; don't even know what the requirements are. When my partner was telling me how much some of the portion sizes are, I'm thinking I always give them more than that!!! My dcks are good healthy eaters and if I only served them 4 oz. of yogurt, or 2 crackers, they'd be crying an hour later due to hunger. I know lots of people stick right to portion sizes but I don't. If I know it's something they likely won't eat much of, then I do just put a little bit on their plate.

And for the most part, they eat healthy foods but I'm not going to force them to eat say...broccoli when they really want more clementines instead. That'd be like making me eat sushi(which I have refused to try so far Lol) instead of letting me have more carrots.
Yeah...I don't really measure either. I remember while ago I did and then I stopped and went off of what the the kids ate. I know who my big eaters are and who my light eaters are and serve accordingly with the option for extras.

However, I won't give seconds unless their plate is clean. To me: if you are truly hungry, you'll eat the broccoli to get more clementines. But that is just my thinking. I know everyone handles that their own way
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LittleExplorers 06:19 PM 10-24-2018
There is a chart of how many of various brand crackers are needed. It is just a minimum though. I forget where I saw it though. Providers choice food program maybe.
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flossie 04:01 PM 11-03-2018
I try to go by serving sizes, mostly. Though the teachers often have extra of something available. For instance, on yogurt snack day I put about 3-4 oz in a cup (chart I have says that snack yogurt amount is 2 oz) and set a box of granola in each bucket. The granola is supposed to be 1/8 c serving (according to one chart) or 1/4 c (according to another). I give them a 2 oz scoop and the suggested serving size and let them determine how much. The boxes usually come back empty, which means they are serving larger sizes. (Note that they are served lunch 1 - 1&1/2hr after snack.)

Fruits are supposed to be 1/2c. Typically I figure half an apple/banana/orange/pear to be that amount when served with crackers (which confuse me, too, so I eyeball it at about 1/4c) and there are generally extra crackers for each room. When it's just a banana and milk for snack, it's usually a whole banana (depending on the size and if it's for toddlers or preschoolers). They often return some of the fruit, nearly half at times. But the crackers are always gone. I've told them the serving size, but apparently I should put a post-it on the buckets to remind them. It kind of bothers me because they aren't giving them the full fruit serving to fill up on and I can't use that leftover fruit anymore either as it's been out of the kitchen or it's not going to hold over (think apples and pears going brown).

Babies transitioning to solids has been troublesome to me lately. I wish the manager would just get legit baby foods for them or have parents send it in. A teacher assistant came into the kitchen and was trying to find food for them and I ended up opening the last #10 can of applesauce, which had been planned for the next day, to feed the three of them. I am one person serving 50+kids each day (not including babies), along with the teachers and assistants and making another meal for babies is just not an option. Anyone work in a larger center and have input about this?

I think portion sizes for snacking has become too much. I see some teachers giving less than I'd expect, but for the most part, I see the "brown" snacks (crackers/cereal/granola/breads) being too much, especially in comparison with the fruit or veggie snack sizes. While it's in my control to only put so much in their buckets, they all know where the kitchen is, ha ha.
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Tags:cacfp, grains
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