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Table 1 USDA reimbursable snack pattern for child carea, ages 3–5, with examples of snacks served

From: A comparison of snack serving sizes to USDA guidelines in healthy weight and overweight minority preschool children enrolled in Head Start

Food group

Minimum serving size

Examples of snacks served at the Head Start centers


 Fluid milk

1/2 cupb

2 % reduced fat milk


 Full strength juice or

1/2 cup

Orange slices, grapes, applesauce, canned pineapple, fruit cocktail, banana, canned peaches, carrots

 Fruit and/or vegetable

1/2 cup


 Bread or

1/2 slice

Pumpkin bread, whole-wheat bagel, raisin bran muffin, blueberry muffin, oatmeal cookie, peanut butter cookie, whole-wheat crackers, animal crackers, Rice Krispies, Honey Nut Cheerios, Raisin Bran, cupcake, yellow cake, tortilla chips

 Cornbread, biscuits, rolls, muffins or

1/2 serving

 Cold dry cereal or

1/4 cup

 Hot cooked cereal or

1/4 cup

 Cooked pasta or noodles or grains

1/4 cup

Meat/Meat Alternate

 Meat or poultry or fishd or

1/2 oz

Sliced turkey, turkey and beans chili, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, peanut butter, Light & Fit yogurt, vanilla yogurt, strawberry yogurt

 Alternate protein product or

1/2 oz

 Cheese or

1/2 oz

 Egge or

1/2 egg

 Cooked dry beans or peas or

1/8 cup

 Peanut or other nut or seed butter or

1 Tbsp.

 Nuts and/or seeds or

1/2 oz


2 oz or 1/4 cup

  1. aAdapted from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Federal regulations, part 226-Child and Adult Care Food Program [33]
  2. bA cup means a standard measuring cup
  3. cBreads and grains must be made from whole-grain or enriched meal or flour. Cereal must be whole-grain or enriched or fortified
  4. dA serving consists of the edible portion of cooked lean meat or poultry or fish
  5. eOne-half egg meets the required minimum amount (1 oz or less) of meat alternate
  6. fYogurt may be plain or flavored, unsweetened or sweetened