The NEW USDA Meal Pattern requires potable drinking water to be offered to
children throughout the day and available to children upon their request throughout
the day. This will particularly accommodate younger children who may not be able
to or know how to request it.
Water does not have to be available for children to self-serve. Water served at
mealtime is not creditable, does not replace milk or approved milk substitutes, and
will not be reimbursed. Suggestions for making water available:
• Cups at hand next to the kitchen sink faucet
• Pitchers of water and cups set out
• Bottled water set out
• Provide water upon the child’s request
Water at snack is recommended if no other beverage is served.
Water for Infants (children aged birth – one year old):
If you care for infants, any water served to infants or used to prepare Iron Fortified
Infant Formula (IFIF) must be either:
• Tap water which must be boiled for 1–2 minutes and cooled before serving.
If the home's water is not publicly supplied, the provider shall contact the
Ohio environmental protection agency (EPA) to determine if it qualifies as a
public water system. (a) If the water supply qualifies as a public water
system. Please refer to ODJFS 5101:2-13-13.
• Bottled water labeled as “Nursery Water”. Do not serve distilled water.
Child Nutrition Labels (CN labels)
Child Nutrition Labels will need to be kept on file for the combination
foods/processed protein food items served to children in the provider’s care.
Examples but not limited to: hot dogs, frozen pizzas, breaded or battered fish
sticks, chicken nuggets, bean burritos. Please refer to the following resources
from the USDA’s “Crediting Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program’
to identify which foods require a CN label.
The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs is also from USDA and has all
of the current information at one location to help buy the right amount of food and
the appropriate type of food for your program and determine the specific
contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements
The CN Label will serve to document the serving size needed for the processed
protein food/combination food items to be in compliance with CACFP. These labels
can be cut off the box or photocopies and placed in a file 34