Do you need help with great snack ideas for your childcare program for the new CACFP childcare requirements? The choices are unlimited, here are some ideas.

CACFP Snack Ideas for Childcare

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Do you need help with great snack ideas for your childcare program for the new CACFP childcare requirements? The choices are unlimited, but here are some suggestions you can use to spark your creativity and make your snack planning easy.

CACFP Meal Pattern for Snack

For snack, you must select 2 of the 5 components available. These components include: Milk, meat or meat alternate, vegetable, fruit, or grains. I love that the new requirements allow us to serve a fruit and a veggie for snack. What a great and healthy idea for our kids! 

Click here to see the new USDA meal pattern requirements for CACFP October 2017. Click here for help making it simple.

And for more support for running a home daycare, check this out. 

Do you need help with great snack ideas for your childcare program for the new CACFP childcare requirements? The choices are unlimited, but here are some suggestions you can use to spark your creativity and make your snack planning easy.

Toddler food ideas

So, let’s think of some great ideas that would make awesome snacks. We will use some whole grains so if used in the snack ideas, they would meet the whole grain requirement for the food program. Check out the amounts required on this chart below for each age group.


The New CACFP Meal Requirements for Childcare Made Simple, snack ideas, lunch ideas, breakfast ideas

Daycare menu ideas

CACFP snacks with milk

Milk and whole wheat crackers such as wheat goldfish

Milk and carrot sticks

Milk and raisins

Milk and grapes

Milk and oranges

Milk and apples

Milk and celery sticks

Milk and cucumbers

Milk and cherry tomatoes

Milk and pretzels

Milk and cereal

(Some approved cereals include: Best choice: Bran Flakes, Corn Crisps, Frosted Shredded Wheat, Happy O’s, Nutty Nuggets, Rice Crisps and Wheat Crisps, Great Value: Bran Flakes, Corn Flakes, Crunchy Oat Squares, Shredded Wheat, Toasted Corn, Toasted Rice, Toasted Wheat and Toasted Whole Grain Oats, Frosted Mini Wheats, Frosted Mini Wheat Little Bites, Plain Mini Wheats, Plain Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Complete All-Bran, Fiber One, Shredded Wheat, Frosted Mini Spooners, Blueberry and Strawberry, Grape Nuts, Grape Nuts Flakes, Alpha Bits, Whole Grain Honey Bunches of Oats plain, almond and vanilla, Kix, Berry Berry Kix, Honey Kix, Total, Plain Life, Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Wheaties)




Milk and whole wheat toast

(click here to see how to make homemade whole wheat bread)

Milk and whole wheat pancakes

Milk and whole wheat bagels

Milk and peanuts

Milk and cottage cheese

Milk and cheese sticks or slices

Milk and graham crackers

Milk and slices of ham (you can take a whole ham to the deli or butcher and have it sliced however thick you like it for making into sandwiches or small sticks)

Complete Guide of Snack Ideas for the New CACFP Meal Requirements for Childcare, kids making snack

CACFP Snack Ideas-meat or meat alternate

Cottage cheese and pretzels to dip

Cottage cheese and carrot sticks to dip

Cottage cheese and peaches

Peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla

Ham and cheese with whole wheat crackers

Cheese slices and apple slices

Cheese slices and bananas

Cheese sticks and sugar snap peas

Refried beans on a whole wheat tortilla

Boiled eggs and oranges

Deviled eggs and cherry tomatoes

Sunflower seeds and grapes

Yogurt and strawberries

Yogurt and cucumbers

Yogurt and whole wheat crackers

Yogurt parfaits with berries, yogurt and granola

Daycare snack ideas using vegetables

Refried beans and tortilla chips

Pickles and whole wheat goldfish

Pickles and cottage cheese

Tomato salad (like pico de gallo, but not too spicy) with tortilla chips

Carrots with refried beans

Carrots with pretzels

Celery with peanut butter

Celery with Ritz crackers

Cucumbers with whole wheat soft pretzels

(Click here to see how to make your own soft pretzels)

Cucumbers with grapes

Avocados with Ritz crackers

Sugar snap peas with apples

Cherry tomatoes with yogurt

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Childcare snack menu using fruit

Apples with peanut butter

Blueberries with yogurt

Strawberries with cheerios

Raisins with sunflower seeds

Kiwi with whole wheat banana bread

(click here for a great banana bread recipe)

Watermelon with string cheese

Cantaloupe with cucumbers

Oranges with whole wheat goldfish crackers

Pineapple with whole wheat pancakes

Peaches with yogurt

Grapes with celery sticks

Cherries with pretzels

Pears with frosted mini wheats

Bananas with milk

CACFP approved snack list

For snack ideas that meet the whole grain requirement, check this out. 

Childcare snack ideas using bread

Ladybugs (whole wheat English muffins with strawberry jam and raisins on top for the dots)

Whole wheat toast with cinnamon sugar and carrot sticks

Cheerios with milk

Whole wheat muffins with apples

Whole wheat toast with peanut butter

Whole wheat waffles with peaches

Whole wheat pancakes with carrot sticks

Oatmeal with raisins

(Click here to see how to make your own homemade flavored oatmeal)

Grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread

Ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread

Frosted mini wheats with oranges

Whole wheat goldfish with peaches

Ritz crackers with cottage cheese

Pretzels with melon

Whole wheat bagels with cream cheese and cheddar cheese

Ritz crackers with cucumbers

Whole wheat tortilla wrap with cream cheese and carrot sticks

Whole wheat tortilla wrap with mayo and cucumbers

Once you start thinking of great snack ideas, they keep coming. Use these as inspiration for great snack ideas that fit into your budget and the kids love. If you have more ideas, leave them in a comment and I’ll add them to the list.

Baby Snack

Baby snack ideas can be a little more limited. Once babies are 6 months old, they can have supplements to breast milk or formula. For snack they may have bread, crackers, infant cereal, ready to eat breakfast cereal, fruit, vegetables, or a combination of both. 

Click here for breakfast ideas and here for lunch ideas! And for even MORE snack ideas, check this out.

For more tips for daycare providers, click here. 

For preplanned menus with shopping lists included, check these out.

Don’t forget to pin for later!

CACFP Snack Ideas for Childcare

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  1. Keep in mind that most food programs require a double serving of cottage cheese or a 3rd creditable item to count as a snack!!

    1. cottage cheese is a meat alternate .. 2oz is equivalent to 1oz which is fine for 3-5 year olds

  2. Thanks so much Christina! I will be using this for my child care provider training on Thurs pm! I will refer them to your website. 😉 You rock!

  3. snacks are not allowed to serve just raisins, or just sunflower seeds or pickles as one food group…fyi

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