5101:2-12-39 Requirements for meals and snacks in licensed child care centers.

(A) A meal or snack which meets the requirements of this rule shall be prepared and served to any toddler, preschool child or school child at intervals of not more than four hours.


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In addition, the following stipulations apply:


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(1) Children in evening or overnight care shall be accommodated to the above schedule, as applicable, during the hours the child is awake.

(2) A meal shall meet one-third of the recommended daily dietary allowances as most recently specified by the United States department of agriculture (USDA) child and adult care food program child care component as identified in 7 CFR 226.20 (Sept. 1, 2004). This includes at a minimum, one serving of fluid milk, one serving of meat or meat alternative, two servings of vegetables and/or fruits (one serving of each is recommended) and one serving of bread or grains.

The sizes of individual food servings may be varied according to the developmental needs of the child being served, but additional amounts of food shall be prepared and ready to serve in order to meet one-third the recommended daily dietary allowance for each child in attendance.

(3) A snack shall provide nutritional value in addition to calories and contain at least one food from two of the four basic food groups. The basic food groups are:

(a) Meat/meat alternate.

(b) Bread/grains.

(c) Fruit/vegetable.

(d) Milk.

(4) A breakfast shall include, at a minimum, one serving each of fluid milk, fruit or vegetable, and bread or grains.

(5) Only one hundred percent, undiluted fruit or vegetable juice shall meet the fruit or vegetable requirement for meals or snacks.

(6) For children over twenty-four months of age, the center shall provide fluid milk that is vitamin D fortified. Low fat and skim milk shall be vitamin A and vitamin D fortified. Reconstituted dry powdered milk shall be used only for cooking and shall not be used as a beverage.

(7) For children under twelve months of age the center shall use formula or breast milk unless otherwise directed in writing by a licensed physician. For children older than twelve months but under twenty-four months of age, the center shall provide and use whole homogenized vitamin D fortified cow's milk, unless otherwise directed in writing by a licensed physician.

(B) In order to verify compliance with this rule, the department may require the center to submit food preparation records that shall include:

(1) Menus which reflect quantities of all foods served by the center .

(2) A record of ingredients, from the four food groups, which were used to prepare mixed food recipes, such as pasta and cheese, casseroles, or soups.

(3) The total number of children of each age group and the adults served.

(C) Current dated menus for the entire week shall be displayed in a conspicuous place readily in view for parents or guardians at the center, and shall reflect all meals and snacks served by the center. Any substitute foods served shall be recorded on the posted menu at the time of the change.

(D) Modified diets shall be approved in writing by a licensed physician. If an entire food group is eliminated, the center shall obtain written instructions from a physician on the prescribed form provided by the department. When special diets are required for cultural or religious reasons, the center shall obtain written, dated and signed instructions from the child's parent or guardian unless the special diet is part of a center program.

(E) When the center provides the meal, the center shall set its own policy regarding the accommodation of a parent's alternate diet for a child, but the center shall assure that any alternate diet, except those required for religious, cultural, or medical reasons as specified in paragraph (D) of this rule, include items from each of the following categories: protein, grain, fruit/vegetable, dairy.

(F) Parents or guardians may provide food for the children's meals and snacks if the center meets the following requirements:

(1) Has provisions for safe storage of parent provided food.

(2) Has supplemental foods from all four food groups on the premises and readily accessible during meal times. Supplemental food which is needed to fulfill one-third of the child's recommended daily dietary allowances shall be readily available and offered to each child if the parent provided meal does not meet the requirements of paragraph (A) of this rule.

(3) Provides all parents or guardians and staff written nutritional information regarding meeting one-third of the child's recommended daily dietary allowance. A copy of this written nutritional information shall be on file at the center.

(G) The center shall provide for the safe storage of all food. If safe storage of milk is not available on routine trips or field trips, milk may be served at snack instead of at the meal.

(H) All surfaces, appliances and equipment in the kitchen area and in the classrooms used for food preparation shall be kept clean and in good repair.

(I) Food shall not be served on bare tables. Food for infants may be placed directly on an individual highchair tray if the tray is removed, washed and sanitized after each use.

(J) All eating utensils and dishes shall be suitable for the age and developmental level of the children.

(K) Drinking water shall be freely available to children. If drinking fountains are used, there shall be sufficient water pressure so that the child's mouth does not come in contact with the water dispensing mechanism.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/03/2010 and 02/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5104.011
Rule Amplifies: 5104.011
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/81, 2/8/82, 6/1/84, 9/1/86, 4/1/03, 9/1/05