Hummus in the CACFP De-Mystified

Hummus in the CACFP De-Mystified

Do you have a go-to SNACK? Something that all the kiddos really like and will always eat? Everybody loves having that kind of a resource, especially if the item is also super healthy! Today we are going to discuss hummus and how to successfully incorporate this amazing snack into your daycare menu plans. Most children love to “dip”… it can be fresh veggies, bites of cheese or savory crackers, as long as they can smear something on it before they pop it into their little mouths.

Hummus PFS

Sabra Classic Hummus Product Formulation Statement (PFS)

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    Hummus in the CACFP De-Mystified

    For those providers who participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, USDA regulations can sometimes be a tad difficult. The first rule to understand is that beans can be credited as a vegetable component OR a meat component, but not both in the same meal. The difficulty arises when claiming hummus as a meat component. There is no Standard of Identity for hummus as a meat product, so USDA requires additional documentation in the form of a child nutrition (CN) label or Product Formulation Statement.

    A product formulation statement (PFS) is a document developed by manufacturers that provides specific information about how a product credits toward the USDA meal patterns for Child Nutrition Programs.

    A child nutrition (CN) label goes a step or two further and provides meal pattern contribution information for commercially prepared combination food items, usually main dish entrees. These dishes are usually quite processed.

    In other words, a PFS and CN Labels are necessary to prove the creditable component in processed meals.

    These documents must be specific to the exact product being purchased and served and can be notoriously hard to locate. But don’t stress! There are a couple of work arounds that allow you to include hummus in your meal plans.


    1. First, if hummus is credited as the VEGETABLE COMPONENT, there is no requirement to obtain a CN/PFS.
    2. Second, keep reading to the end and you will find a link for a product formulation statement for Sabra brand Classic Hummus.
    3. Finally, we are going to spend the remainder of this article discussing wonderful homemade hummus recipes!

    Making Your Favorite Homemade Hummus

    If your hummus is homemade, you only need to note “HM” on your menus and can credit the hummus as either the vegetable or meat component without additional documentation. HOMEMADE HUMMUS for the WIN!


    Peruse multiple different hummus recipes and you will find the same basic ingredients. The basis of this tasty Mediterranean dish is the chickpea. Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans, but they are the same thing. I found recipes that used other types of beans as well, like butter beans, white beans and cannellini beans. Recipes usually call for canned beans, but dry beans that have been soaked overnight can be used as well.

    Tip: A great tip to make the skins slip off easily is to heat the (canned) beans to boiling, covering with a couple of inches of water and adding ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Cook over medium to high heat for about 20 minutes, then rinse for 1 minute in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water. The “skins” of the chickpeas were literally falling off when I did this, however I did not remove them. They blended easily and made a very smooth finished product. The scientific explanation behind this is the baking soda makes the water more alkaline, which softens the chickpeas more quickly by weakening their pectic bonds. In plain English, this step helps make the legume softer, easier to digest and creates a very smooth hummus!

    Tahini (sesame paste)

    The second staple in the dish is tahini, which is a ground sesame butter or paste. Tahini is gluten-free, vegan and best of all, creditable in the CACFP. Tahini is necessary to thicken the finished product.


    Most hummus recipes usually include olive oil, fresh lemon juice and aquafaba or water to thin the paste. You might be wondering what aquafaba is? Aquafaba is the starchy liquid in a can of beans, or the bean cooking liquid if you started with dry beans (aka bean juice).


    Hummus is usually seasoned with one or more of the following items: garlic cloves, cumin, sea salt, cayenne pepper or roasted red peppers. While experimenting with a few different recipes, I found that I wanted to be a little heavy with my seasonings or add ins. My first batch was the most bland, but each one became tastier after that. Most recipes advise several trips through the food processor, three to four minutes total. Next you are ready to garnish. Pour your hummus into a dish that seals well, drizzle with a little olive oil and top with fabulous Mediterranean spices like Sumac or Za-atar. These spices are colorful, earthy and lemony. Other favorite garnishes are Smoked Paprika, Roasted Red Peppers, Pine Nuts, a pinch of Cayenne Pepper or even a few whole chickpeas.
    Storage You can store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week. You may also freeze homemade hummus, topped with a thin layer of olive oil, for up to one month. 

    Hummus Recipes

    Simple recipes for homemade classic, roasted red pepper, and butter bean hummus. Scaled for home daycare.

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