Adult Day Care Resource Manual for the USDA CACFP
40 National Food Service Management Institute
Each center should strive to offer a menu that meets the nutritional and cultural preferences of the
participants being served.
Survey participants, their families, and their caregivers to learn the types of foods and
methods of food preparation they prefer.
Spend some time talking with participants about their food preferences during the menu
Use participant food preference information for planning or revising menus and for special
Menu planning is an essential part of every successful CACFP adult day care program.
The nutritional value of the meals and compliance with Federal program requirements depend
on careful menu planning.
The menu determines what foods are purchased, how foods are prepared, staff qualifications
for food preparation, and food preparation equipment.
The easiest menu format to use is a cycle menu. A
cycle menu is one which is planned for a specified
period of time and then repeated.
Special occasions and seasonal foods are
added to the menus at the beginning of the
The State Agency or other funding source
may require a specific number of weeks for
the cycle menu.
The basic cycle menu is designed for
participants without special nutrition needs.
A registered dietitian will need to write
menus for participants with special nutrition
needs, such as those requiring therapeutic
diets, consistency-modified diets, or
All CACFP adult day care programs are required to have planned menus.
A registered dietitian will
need to write menus for
participants with special