|Meat and Meat Alternates
Nuts and seeds may fulfill:
- all of the meat/meat alternate requirement for the snack; and
- up to one-half of the required portion for lunch or supper.
Nuts and seeds must be combined with another meat/meat alternate to fulfill the lunch or supper requirement. For determining combinations, 1 ounce of nuts or seeds is equal to l ounce of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish. The nuts and seeds that may be used as a meat alternate include peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, and pecans), and seeds (sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin).
Caution: Children under 4 are at the highest risk of choking. USDA recommends that nuts and/or seeds only be served to them ground or finely chopped in a prepared food. Refer to page 140 in the Reference Section for more information on choking risks.
Yogurt is very popular with children. It has a smooth texture, and can be flavored for children’s tastes. Low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt may be used as a topping on potatoes (instead of butter or sour cream). Flavored yogurt goes well with fruit and fresh vegetables at meals. Plain, flavored, or sweetened yogurt, made with low-fat or fat-free milk, provides additional sources of calcium. Commercially prepared yogurt may be served as a meat/meat alternate.
For breakfast and snack you may serve 4 oz (weight) or ½ cup (volume) of plain, sweetened or flavored yogurt to equal 1 ounce of the meat/meat alternate component. For lunch and supper you may serve 8 oz. (weight) or 1 cup (volume) yogurt to equal 2 ounces of the meat/meat alternate component. For younger children, 2 ounces (weight) or ¼ cup (volume) fulfills the equivalent of ½ ounce of the meat/meat alternate requirement. Homemade yogurt, frozen yogurt or other yogurt flavored products (i.e., yogurt bars, yogurt-covered fruit and/or nuts) or similar products may not be credited. (Fruit-flavored yogurt is credited equally as plain or sweetened yogurt.)
Question: Is the fruit flavoring within yogurt creditable towards the fruit component?
Answer: No, the fruit within yogurt whether blended, mixed, or presented on top cannot be credited towards the fruit requirement. It is considered part of the creditable yogurt. Extra fruit provided, as a separate component, i.e. fresh strawberries, canned peaches, or banana slices can count towards the fruit component.