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I sat down and figured out my avg cost per meal, using 4-5 different meal options for snacks, breakfast and lunch/dinner. It totaled out to be a little higher than the standard amount. How do you record this in Minute Menu? I know you can record the receipts, but if you're just using these average costs per meal for deductions, where does it go? Also, do I claim the difference between my average cost and what the food program reimbursed me? Thanks again!


Yes, record your food receipts into Minute Menu. Then you must do your own calculation to come up with your food deduction. Enter you food expenses on Schedule C under Other Expenses on the back of the form. Don't claim the difference between your average cost and the food program reimbursement. Instead, report your food program reimbursement as income and report all your food expenses as a deduction.

Virginia Albarran

From my understanding we cannot claim our children for the standard food deduction. Does this include nephew that lived with me temporarily?


If you are being paid to care for your nephew you can count the meals he eats during the time other daycare children are present. If you are not paid, then don't count his meals.

Jill Rothwein

Hi Tom, Can a provider who is using a corporate business entity still use the standard meal allowance to calculate food costs, or is there a better way?


It doesn't matter how your business is structured (self employed, corporation, partnerships) to be able to use the standard meal allowance rate.


Do you claim Standard Meal Allowance rate under schedule c other expenses or is this only for actual food expenses?


Claim food expenses on Schedule C under Other Expenses if you use either the standard meal allowance rate or the actual food expenses method.


No matter which method you use, always put your food expenses on Schedule C, Other Expenses.

Tom copeland

Claim food expenses on Schedule C under Other Expenses with either method.

Kitty Combs

If the standard deduction and reimbursement is the same, wouldn't it just be a wash? Unless you use actual expenses or claim more meals than CACFP allows for reimbursement, the number would always be zero. If it is zero, why does it have to be tracked? It doesn't make sense unless you are claiming you spend more than the reimbursements.


No, it's not a wash. The reimbursement you receive from the food program always goes up in July. The standard meal allowance deduction is based on the higher Tier I rate in effect on January 1. So, if you received Tier I reimbursements, the reimbursements would be higher for the second half of the year than the meal allowance rate. If you received the Tier II rate, you are receiving about half the standard meal allowance rate, so if you washed this out you would lose hundreds of dollars in deductions each year. Finally - if you serve even one non-reimbursed meal or snack during the year, that pushes your food deductions above your reimbursements. Don't wash this out! You are likely losing a lot of food deductions.

Kate Sweet

Tom: Can I claim the meals my assistant ate with the children throughout the year? I seem to recall reading something about it but I can't remember where. She eats lunch with us 4x a week so it could really add up.


what food receipts do I enter into Minute Menu? and what do I put them under?


Put food receipts under the "food" category in Minute Menu. If you are using the standard meal allowance rate, you don't need to save food receipts, so don't enter them into Minute Menu.


Can I get money back for my own children in my childcare?


You can only get reimbursed by the Food Program for your own children if your family meets the test of being low income. Contact your Food Program sponsor to see if your family qualifies.




Neither. Meals for children are 100% deductible. Don't list them under Travel, Meals and Entertainment. Instead, list them on a separate line on the back of Schedule (Other expense).

Donna Urzendowski

My daycare kids are here sometimes 10-11 hrs. The food program will pay me for 3 meals/snack. How and what can I do if I give them a snack around 8pm when I have already given them lunch/snack/dinner and used the food program. How can I get credit for the last snack? I use the standard meal allowance for the food program.


You can use the standard meal allowance for up to one breakfast, one lunch, one supper and three snacks per day, per child. So, you can count the 8pm snack as $.71 just like the other snacks. If you serve more than just a snack at 8pm, you can call it supper.


I read somewhere snacks and meals have to be 2 hours from the last food served. Is there any truth to that? If there isn't any rules regarding this, would it raise a red flag if I give 3 snacks, a breakfast and a lunch in a 730 to 430 shift?


Food Program rules do regulate what times meals and snacks may be served. But, IRS rules do not say anything about when you can serve meals and snacks. I don't see any problem with you deducting five servings during the times you indicate.

Jeanna Jackson

If I serve 2 snacks and 2 meals a day and I get reimbursed 2 meals and 1 snack, what would I claim for the standard meal allowance? I'm just confused if I only claim any "extra" meals and snacks or all of them, even the ones that I was reimbursed for?


You can deduct all meals and snacks served, including those you are reimbursed for. So, you would count 2 snacks and 2 meals in your example.

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