Lunch - Section 9, Lunch Update Guide
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.1 Lunch Section 9, Lunch Update Guide June 28, 2017 Updated Section 9, Lunch to incorporate the following United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) memos and guidance as well as incorporate Texas law: USDA Memo SP 32-2017, School Meal Flexibility for School Year 2017-2018 (May 22, 2017) USDA Memo SP 15-2017, Flexibility for the Target 2 Sodium Requirements for School Year 2017-2018 (January 6, 2017) USDA Memo SP 59-2016, Policy Memorandum on Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the School Meal Program (September 27, 2016) USDA Memo SP 32-2015, Statements Supporting Accommodations for Children with Disabilities in the Child Nutrition Programs (March 30, 2015) Provided clarification or information on the following issues Milk substitutes Non-creditable juice products labeled juiced Pre-kindergarten meal pattern Sodium targets August 29, 2016 Updated Section 8, Breakfast to incorporate the following United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) memos and guidance: USDA Memo SP 10-2012 (v.9), Questions & Answers on the Final Rule, “Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs” (August 3, 2015) USDA Memo SP 10-2014 (v.3), Smoothies Offered in Child Nutrition Programs-Revised (July 22, 2015) USDA Memo SP 41-2015, Updated Offer versus Serve Guidance for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Effective Beginning School Year 2015-2016 (July 21, 2015) Provided clarification or information on the following issues Definitions Extra items offered beyond the point of service Menuing grain items Requirements related to grains and milk Resources Shorter and longer weeks Smoothies Updated Child and Adult Care Food Program meal pattern Water Removed guidance on the following topic that has been relocated to Section 7, Counting and Claiming Severe Need Lunch Removed guidance on the following topic that have been relocated to Section 7, Counting and Claiming and Section 14, Financial Information Concerning School Nutrition
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.2 Funds Universal free feeding sites Removed guidance on following topics that have been relocated to Section 19, Other Operational Issues Point of service (POS) Meal service methods Sulfiting agents Home canned foods A la carte In school suspension Meal pricing May 18, 2015 Updated Section 9, Lunch to correct a typo related to calculating weekly grains. April 28, 2015 Updated Section 9,Lunchto incorporate the following United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) memos and guidance: USDA Memo SP 20-2015, Requests for Exemption from the School Meals’ Whole GrainRich Requirement for School Years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 (February 10, 2015) USDA Memo SP 10-2012 (v.8), Questions & Answers on the Final Rule, “Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs” (August 4, 2014) USDA Memo SP 57-2014, Updated Offer versus Serve Guidance for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program in School year 2014-2015 (August 1, 2014) Provided clarification on the following issues Additional or extra beverages Combination food items Communicating with students about the contents of a reimbursable meal Condiments or accompaniments Crediting Dietary specifications Fruit (Vegetables) Grains (breading and whole-grain rich) Home-canned products Juice Maximum serving recommendation for grains and meat/meat alternates Meat/meat alternates (maximum recommendations) Minimizing plate waste Milk (choice and smoothies) Nutrient analysis Planned, offered, and selected/served Potable water Reimbursable meal
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.3 Meal service (double servings, family style meals, large food items, offer versus serve, point of service, refused item, seconds or additional servings, and vending machines Smoothies Vegetables (grits and starchy) October 28, 2013 Updated Section 9, Lunch to incorporate the following United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidance: Memo SP 49-2013, Frozen Fruit Products in NSLP and SBP in SY 2014-2015 (June 25, 2013) USDA Memo SP 45-2013, Updated OVS Guidance for NSLP and SBP in SY 2013-2014 (June 13, 2013) USDA Memo SP 26-2013, Extending Flexibility in the Meat/Meat Alternate and Grains Maximum for School Year 2013-2014 (February 25, 2013) USDA Memo TA 07-2010 Revised, Guidance for Accepting Processed Product Documentation for Meal Pattern Requirements (MPR)(January 15, 2013) USDA Memo SP 02-2013, Corn Masa (Dough) for Use in Tortilla Chips, Taco Shells, and Tamales (October 3, 2012) USDA Memo SP 10-2012, (v.
7), Revised, Final Rule, Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, Questions and Answers for Program Operators (August 7, 2013) USDA Memo SP 20-2012, Frozen Fruit Products and Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs(September 11, 2012) USDA Memo SP 39-2012, Existing Inventory of USDA Foods and Commercial Products(August 3, 2012) USDA Memo SP36-2012, Smoothies Offered in Child Nutrition Programs (July 11, 2012) Memo SP 31-2013, Revised, Salad Bars in NSLP (March 27, 2013) Clarified information on the additional following topics: Access to water Methods of serving meals Milk and choice of beverages Point of service Pre-kindergarten menu planning Added Contact Information page for the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) August 2012 Updated Section 9, Lunch to incorporate newly released United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidance (SP-31-2012, July 16, 2012) July 2012 Revised Section 9, Lunch to reflect new meal patterns and nutrition standards requirements
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.4 Table of Contents Definitions for This Section . . 9.12 Meal Pattern . . 9.14 Lunch Meal Pattern . . 9.15 Lunch Menu Planning . . 9.18 Food Component . . 9.19 Food Items . . 9.19 Menu Items . . 9.19 Crediting Foods . . 9.20 Age/Grade Groups . . 9.20 Residential Child Care Institutions . . 9.21 Menu Planning for Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Students . . 9.21 Weekly Menu Planning . . 9.22 CEs with Shorter and Longer Weeks . . 9.23 CEs with Multiple Age/Grade Groups . . 9.25 Overlapping Age/Grade Groups . . 9.26 Non-Overlapping Menus for Age/Grade Groups .
9.26 Strategies for Mixed Age/Grade Groups . . 9.27 Fruit and Vegetable Components of the Reimbursable Lunch . . 9.28 Fruits . . 9.29 Dried Fruit . . 9.29 Frozen Fruit with Added Sugar . . 9.29 Fruit Desserts . . 9.29 Fruit (or Vegetables) in Gelatin . . 9.30 Vegetables . . 9.30 Order of Serving Vegetables During the Week . . 9.31 Multiple Serving Lines . . 9.31 Pre-Packaged Salads . . 9.31 Roasted Legumes . . 9.32 Fruit or Vegetable Juice . . 9.32 Calculating the Weekly Juice Limit When Multiple Fruit/Vegetable Juices Are Offered . . 9.33 Juice Concentrate . . 9.33 Creditable Juice . . 9.33
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.5 Creditable Juice Blends . . 9.34 Creditable Blended Dish Items with Pureed Fruit or Vegetables . . 9.34 Non-Creditable Juice . . 9.35 Crediting Fruits and Vegetables . . 9.35 Crediting Combination Entrees That Include Fruit and Vegetables . . 9.36 Crediting Dry Peas and Beans . . 9.36 Crediting Extruded Vegetable Products . . 9.36 Crediting Herbs As Vegetables . . 9.37 Crediting Leafy Salad Greens . . 9.37 Crediting Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Dishes . . 9.37 Crediting Salsas or Picante Sauce . . 9.38 Non-Creditable Fruit or Vegetable Food Items .
9.38 Non-Creditable Amount of Fruit or Vegetable . . 9.38 Offer Versus Serve (OVS) and the Fruit and Vegetable Components . . 9.38 Common Problems: Fruits and Vegetables . . 9.39 Grains Component of the Reimbursable Lunch . . 9.39 Minimum Grains Requirement . . 9.39 Recommended Maximum Grain Offerings . . 9.40 Whole Grain-Rich Foods . . 9.40 Criteria for Whole Grain-Rich Foods for Lunch . . 9.41 Fifty Percent Guideline . . 9.41 Adding Whole Grains to Menus . . 9.41 Determining Whole Grain Rich Products . . 9.42 Cereal Grains . . 9.43 Corn Masa Products . . 9.43 Formulated Grain-Fruit Products .
9.44 Grains and Combination Food Items . . 9.44 Grits . . 9.44 Ready to Eat Breakfast Cereal . . 9.44 Allowable Whole Grains . . 9.45 Non Creditable Grain Products . . 9.45 Offering Non Whole Grain-Rich Products . . 9.45 Determining Daily Grain Contribution . . 9.46 Food Buying Guide for School Nutrition Programs . . 9.46
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.6 Criteria for Determining Ounce Equivalent Serving Sizes . . 9.46 Weekly Grain Minimum Requirement and Maximum Recommendation . . 9.47 Breaded Products . . 9.47 Fully Cooked Grains, Water As First Ingredient . . 9.47 Crediting Grains . . 9.47 Reminders Regarding Grains . . 9.48 Grain Product Labeling . . 9.49 Common Problems: Grains . . 9.49 Whole Grain Rich (WGR) Product Exemption . . 9.50 Meat/Meat Alternate Component of the Reimbursable Lunch . . 9.51 Minimums Meat/Meat Alternate Requirement . . 9.51 Recommended Maximum Meat/Meat Alternate Offering .
9.52 Using Combinations . . 9.52 Cooked Dry Beans or Peas (Legumes . . 9.53 Yogurt . . 9.53 Tofu and Soy Yogurt . . 9.53 Creditable Tofu . . 9.53 Types of Not Creditable Tofu . . 9.54 Purchasing and Crediting Tofu . . 9.55 Nuts and Seeds . . 9.55 Cheese Substitutes . . 9.55 Cheese Food and Cheese Spread Substitutes . . 9.55 Non-Meat Alternate Protein Foods . . 9.56 Enriched Macaroni Products with Fortified Protein . . 9.56 Alternate Protein Products . . 9.56 Crediting Meat/Meat Alternate Items . . 9.57 Minimum Amounts to Be Credited . . 9.58 Non-Creditable Shelf-Stable, Dry, or Semi-Dry Meat Snacks .
9.58 Creditable Meat Sticks . . 9.58 Crediting Low-Fat and Reduced-Fat Cheeses . . 9.59 Determining the Contribution of a Menu Item to the Meat/Meat Alternate Component . . 9.59 Basis for Crediting Meat, Poultry and Seafood Products . . 9.61 Steps Before Purchasing Any Meat, Poultry, Fish, or Tofu Product . . 9.61 Common Problems: Meat/Meat Alternate . . 9.62
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.7 Fluid Milk Component of the Reimbursable Lunch . . 9.63 Lactose Free Milk . . 9.63 Organic . . 9.63 Requirement to Take Milk . . 9.64 Guidance for Offering Milk and Other Beverages . . 9.64 Milk Substitutes . . 9.65 Milk Substitute Specifications . . 9.65 Special Guidance, Milk Substitutes . . 9.66 Recombined/Reconstituted Milk Dispensed from a Machine . . 9.66 Water . . 9.66 Smoothies . . 9.67 Program Operator Prepared Smoothie . . 9.67 Commercially Prepared Smoothie . . 9.69 Guidance about Smoothie Content and Crediting . . 9.70 Common Problems: Milk .
9.71 Low-Fat Flavored Fluid Milk Exemption . . 9.71 Menu Substitutions . . 9.72 Substitution, Emergency Situation . . 9.72 Reimbursable Lunch Requirements . . 9.73 Special Guidance for Reimbursable Meals . . 9.73 Combination Foods Containing More Than One Component . . 9.73 Double Servings . . 9.73 Field Trips . . 9.74 Free or Extra Food Offered After the Point of Service (POS . . 9.74 Large Food Items . . 9.74 Leftovers . . 9.74 OVS . . 9.74 OVS, Extra Food Items . . 9.74 Refusing an Item . . 9.74 Seconds or Additional Servings . . 9.75 Student Identification of a Reimbursable Meal . . 9.76 Fruit(s) and Vegetable(s) Serving for a Reimbursable Meal .
9.77 Grains for Serving for a Reimbursable Meal . . 9.78 Meat/Meat Alternate Serving for a Reimbursable Meal . . 9.79
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.8 Milk Serving for a Reimbursable Meal . . 9.79 Reimbursable Meal Determination . . 9.79 Nutrient Standards Target or Range . . 9.80 Calculating Dietary Specifications for the Week . . 9.81 Calculating Dietary Specifications for a Single Condiment or Accompaniment for a Designated Menu Item . . 9.82 Choice Among Various Condiments or Accompaniments for a Designated Menu Item . . 9.82 Extra Items Served after the Point of Service . . 9.82 Calories . . 9.83 Saturated Fat . . 9.83 Sodium . . 9.83 Flexibility for the Implementation of Target 2 Sodium Levels .
9.83 Trans Fat . . 9.83 Commercially-Prepared Products . . 9.84 Nutrition Labels and Manufacturer Specifications . . 9.84 Nutrition Software . . 9.84 Nutrition Goals . . 9.84 Nutrient Analysis of Meals . . 9.85 Weighted Averages . . 9.86 Determining Planned Servings for Weighted Averages . . 9.86 Processed Foods . . 9.87 Standardized Recipes and Preparation Techniques . . 9.88 Recipes Salad or Theme Bars . . 9.88 Minimize Plate Waste . . 9.89 Water Availability During Meal Service . . 9.89 Location of and Access to Water . . 9.90 Water Fountain . . 9.90 Cups for Water . . 9.91 Reasonable Costs of Providing Water .
9.91 Providing Potable Water in Other School Nutrition Programs . . 9.92 Seamless Summer Option (SSO . . 9.92 Afterschool Care Snack Program (ASCP . . 9.92 Water Dispensers, Food Safety . . 9.92
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.9 Meal Pattern Resources . . 9.93 TDA Resources . . 9.93 USDA Resources . . 9.93 TDA Forms . . 9.94 Records Retention . . 9.94 Food Production Documentation . . 9.94 Planned, Offered, and Selected/Served . . 9.95 Compliance . . 9.96
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.10 Chart Table of Contents Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch Program(NSLP)—Meal Pattern Chart—As of October 1, 2017 . . 9.16 Pre-Kindergarten Traditional Food-Based Meal Pattern Chart . . 9.17 Measurement Conversion Chart .
9.18 Lunch Menu Planning Example Chart . . 9.19 Lunch Menu Planning Chart—Multiple Components in One Menu Item Chart . . 9.20 Short and Long Week Adjustments for Lunch Chart . . 9.24 Fruit and Vegetable Components of the Reimbursable Lunch Chart . . 9.28 Calculation of Weekly Juice Amount Chart . . 9.33 Crediting Fruits and Vegetables for a Reimbursable Meal Chart . . 9.35 Information Box 1, Additional Information on Meat Products . . 9.62 Milk Substitute Nutritional Profile Chart . . 9.65 Crediting Smoothie Ingredients Chart . . 9.67 Options for Meeting the Requirement for a Half (1/2) Cup of Fruit and/or Vegetable Component(s) Chart .
9.78 How to Recognize a Reimbursable Meal Chart—OVS Lunch . . 9.80 Lunch Nutrient Standard Chart . . 9.80 Calculation Condiment or Accompaniment Amount Chart . . 9.82 Sodium Limits and Timeline Chart—OVS Lunch . . 9.83 Sample Estimate of Number of Servings Needed Chart . . 9.87 Information Box 2, Records Retention . . 9.94
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.11 Contact Information for the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), Food and Nutrition When contacting TDA by phone, Contracting Entities (CEs) need to have their CE Identification Number (CE ID) (and site ID, if applicable). CEs should include their name and CE ID (and site name and ID if applicable) in all communication or documentation. Physical Address Mailing Address 1700 N. Congress, 11th Floor, Austin, TX 78701 PO Box 12847, Austin, TX 78711-2847 Phone Fax 877-TEXMEAL, (877) 839 -6985 (888) 203-6593 Website Email Contact www.squaremeals.org squaremeals@TexasAgriculture.gov Email Contact for Issues Related to Applications National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, & Special Milk Program NSLP-SBP.BOps@TexasAgriculture.gov Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program FFVP.Bops@TexasAgriculture.gov Seamless Summer Option: SSO.BOps@TexasAgriculture.gov Child & Adult Care Food Program CACFP.BOps@TexasAgriculture.gov Summer Food Service Program SFSP.BOps@TexasAgriculture.gov Email Contact for CE Flexibility Options Grains and Milk Exemptions, Milk Substitute Notifications Nutrition@TexasAgriculture.gov Breakfast Waiver, Seamless Summer Operation (SSO) Age/Grade Waiver, Summer Mandate, Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Exemption SNPWaivers@TexasAgriculture.gov Email Contact for Issues Related to Program Operation: Commodity Operations CommodityOperations@TexasAgriculture.gov Community Operations (Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program) Commuinty.Ops@TexasAgriculture.gov Local Products LocalProducts.SquareMeals@TexasAgriculture.gov Procurement CE.ProcurementReviews.BOps@TexasAgriculture.gov School Operations (National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program) School.Operations@TexasAgriculture.gov
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.12 Lunch The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and operated by public schools, charter schools, nonprofit private schools, and residential child care institutions (RCCIs). The NSLP provides nutritionally balanced, economically priced, or free lunch to students each day. Contracting entities (CEs) that choose to participate in the NSLP receive reimbursement from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for each lunch they serve. In return, CEs must serve lunches that meet the meal pattern requirements and offer free or reduced-priced meals to eligible students.
The guidance in the section does not address the regulations related to the Competitive Food Nutritional Standards. For information on competitive foods, see the Administrator’s Reference Manual, Section 20, Competitive Food Nutritional Standards. The guidance from the Administrator's Reference Manual, Section 19, Other Operational Issues, also provides guidance related to meal service issues that apply to the National School Lunch Program. Definitions for This Section For this subsection, the following definitions will be useful: Bran Seed husk or outer coating of cereal grains such as wheat, rye, and oats.
Breakfast Cereal Any cereal grain served in a cold and dry form. Breakfast cereals are traditionally served as a breakfast menu item but may be served in meals other than breakfast.
Cereal Grain Edible part of a whole grain that has been processed for consumption. Corn Product labeled as whole corn (or other whole corn designations, such as whole grain corn, whole ground corn, whole cornmeal, whole corn flour, etc.) or enriched corn (or other enriched corn designations, such as enriched yellow cornmeal, enriched corn flour, enriched corn grits, etc.). Dietary Specifications Specifications for calories, sodium, and saturated and trans fat for each age/grade group Enriched Product conforms to the Food and Drug Administration’s Standard of Identity for levels of iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
The terms enriched means nutrients that were lost during food processing have been added back into the product, such as adding back certain vitamins lost in processing wheat to make white flour.
Flour Product derived by finely grinding and bolting (sifting) wheat or other grains. Flour includes all grains (wheat, rye, corn, etc.).
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.13 Extra Item Beverage or food item offered to a student in the one or more of the following circumstances: Beverage or food item that is not menued as part of the reimbursable meal and is located before or after the point of service (POS) that a student may take, such as salad dressing or condiments Additional serving of a food or beverage item that is menued as part of a reimbursable meal that a student may take such as crackers or chips Extra items must be included in the weekly dietary specifications.
Food Component (Breakfast) One of the three food groups—fruit (or vegetable), grain, and fluid milk—that make up a reimbursable breakfast meal.
Food Items (Breakfast) Food items means a specific food offered that contains one or more of the three food components. Juice Undiluted product obtained by extraction from sound fruit.1 It may be fresh, canned, frozen, or reconstituted from concentrate and may be served in either liquid or frozen state. Diluted juice is no longer allowed. Meal (in Grain Products) Product derived by coarsely grinding corn, oats, wheat, etc. Meat ByProducts Pork stomachs or snouts; beef, veal, lamb or goat tripe; beef, veal, lamb, goat or pork hearts, tongues, fat, lips, weasands, and spleen; and partially defatted beef fatty tissue or partially defatted pork fatty tissue.
Menu Items (Breakfast) Actual food listed on the menu to be served such as breakfast tacos, fruit salad, or muffins. Menu items may contain one or more components or food items. Offered Menu Food items that are actually prepared and set out on the serving lines for students to take. This information is recorded on the CE’s food production records. Partially Defatted Beef (Pork) Fatty Tissue By-product produced from fatty trimmings of less than 12 percent lean meat (contains 88 percent or more fat). Partially Defatted Chopped Beef (Pork) Prepared from fatty trimmings that contain at least 12 percent lean meat (may contain up to 88 percent fat).
Planned Menu Food items the menu planner intends to offer to students. This information is recorded on the CE’s food production records. It represents the CE’s calculation of the items that will need to be prepared for a school’s usual average daily participation (ADP). Selected/Served Menu Food items that are actually served to, or selected by, students. Menu planners should use selected/served food item data to inform future menu planning and reduce food waste, so the school does not offer items that students do not select. Production records should be updated to indicate actual selected/service food items after the meal service so that production records reflect serving trends.
1 In this definition, sound fruit means a product made from 100% fruit.
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.14 Sound Fruit Product made from 100% fruit Tofu Soybean-derived food that is made by a process in which soybeans are soaked, ground, mixed with water, heated, filtered, coagulated, and formed into cakes. Basic ingredients are whole soybeans, one or more food-grade coagulants (typically a salt or an acid), and water. Variety Meats Meat by-products (above) except that the term variety meats is used specifically in reference to frankfurters, hotdogs, bologna, and similar cooked sausages. A label that states Frankfurter with Variety Meats indicates the use of meat byproducts.
Yields in the Food Buying Guide for School Nutrition Programs2 for frankfurters, bologna, knockwurst, and Vienna sausage are based on products that contain no meat or poultry by-products, cereals, or extenders. Therefore, these products, if containing variety meats, may not be CN labeled. Whole Grain Edible part of wheat, corn, rice, oats, rye, barley, etc. Parts of the grains such as the germ or the bran are not considered whole-grain. Whole-grain flour or meal is the product derived by grinding the entire grain minus the husk/hull. If a flour or meal does not contain all edible parts of the grain, it is not whole-grain.
Whole GrainRich Grain products containing at least 50 percent whole grains and enriched grains for the remaining amount.
Meal Pattern Under NLSP lunches must meet the regulations outlined in the final rule (77 FR 4088) titled Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The meal pattern outlined in this rule is food-based and divided by age/grade groups. The meal pattern focuses on specific nutrient standards: calories, sodium (beginning School Year [SY] 2014–2015), and saturated and trans fat.
Adopting the meal pattern results in the following changes: Five-component meal pattern: fruit, vegetables, grains, meat/meat alternate, and milk.
A required daily serving of fruit. A required daily serving of vegetables plus a weekly requirement for Dark Green, Red/Orange, Beans/Peas (legumes), Starchy, and Other Vegetable subgroups. Increased quantities fruits and vegetables. Weekly grain ranges plus daily minimum requirements. Starting SY 2014–2015, all grains offered during the serving week must be whole grain-rich. Fat-free (unflavored or flavored) and unflavored 1 percent (1%) low-fat milk only. Weekly meat/meat alternate ranges plus a daily requirement. 2 Available at www.fns.usda.gov/tn/food-buying-guide-school-meal-programs.
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.15 Under Offer versus Serve (OVS), the student must select at least ½ cup of the fruit and/or the vegetable component to be considered a reimbursable meal. Calorie minimum and maximum levels based on age/grade groups. Sodium limits starting SY 2014–2015. Limit on saturated fat; elimination of trans fat. Lunch Meal Pattern The meal requirements are food-based and specify kinds and amounts of food for the five food components required for lunch. The Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP)—Meal Pattern Chart provides detailed information on the minimum meal pattern requirements for meals to be served for each age/grade group.
Components must meet requirements for both daily and weekly servings. The nutrient specifications must be met weekly.
[NOTE: CEs may use the Traditional Food Based Meal Pattern for Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Children, ages 1–2 and ages 3–4 years,3 or they may use K-5 age/grade meal pattern. USDA will be re-evaluating the meal patterns for pre-K in the coming years.] The meal pattern is food-based and consists of five components: Fruit Vegetables (with five vegetable subgroups) Grains [NOTE: The term bread is no longer used.] Meat/meat alternates Milk The meal pattern is divided into four age/grade groups: Pre-Kindergarten students4 Grades K–5 (ages 5–10) Grades 6–8 (ages 11–13) Grades 9–12 (ages 14–18) 3 See the Meal Planning for Pre-Kindergarten Children subsection in this section for additional information on this topic.
4 CEs providing meals to pre-kindergarten students must use the pre-K meal pattern starting October 1, 2017.
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.16 Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)—Meal Pattern Chart—As of October 1, 2017 Minimum Amount of Each Food Component Per Week (Minimum Offering Per Day) Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Lunch Daily School Age Daily and Weekly Meal Pattern Components Age 1-2 Age 3-5 Meal Pattern Components Grades K–5 Grades 6–8 Grades K-8 Grades 9–12 Fluid Milk5 (1 percent or less low fat or fat free, unflavored) (½) cup or (4) fl oz (¾) cup or (6) fl oz Fluid Milk (1 percent or less low fat, unflavored; fat free, unflavored or flavored) 5 (1) cups 5 (1) cups 5 (1) cups 5 (1) cups Fruits6 (⅛) cup (¼) cup Fruits 2 ) cups 2 ) cups 2 ) cups 5 (1) cups Vegetables (⅛) cup (¼) cup Vegetables 3 ) cups 3 ) cups 3 ) cups 5 (1) cups Dark Green ½ cup ½ cup ½ cup ½ cup Red/Orange ¾ cup ¾ cup ¾ cup 1¼ cups Beans/Peas(Legumes) ½ cup ½ Starchy ½ cup ½ cup ½ cup ½ cup Other ½ cup ½ cup ½ cup ¾ cup Additional Vegetable 1 cup 1 cup 1 cup 1½ cups Grains (whole grain-richor enriched)7 Grains (whole grain-rich) 8.0-9.0 (1.0) oz eq 8.0-10 .0 (1.0) oz eq 8.0-9.0 (1.0) oz eq 10.0-12.0 (2.0) oz eq Bread product such as biscuit, roll, or muffin (0.5) oz or (½) serving Cooked breakfast cereal, cereal grain, and/or pasta (0.5) oz or (¼) cup Meat/Meat Alternates8 Meat/Meat Alternates 8-10 (1) oz eq 9-10 (1) oz eq 9-10 (1) oz eq 10-12(2)ozeq Lean meat, poultry, or fish (1.0) oz (1.5) oz Other Nutrient Specifications: Daily Amount Based on the Average for a 5-Day Week Tofu, soy product, or alternate protein products (1.0) oz (1.5) oz Min-Max Calories (kcal) 550-650 600-700 600-650 750-850 Cheese (1.0) oz (1.5) oz Saturated Fat (% of total calories) < 10 < 10 < 10 < 10 Large egg (1.0) oz eq or (⅛) cup (1.5)ozeq or (⅓) cup Cooked dry beans or peas (0.50) oz (0.75) oz Sodium Target 1 (mg) T1: ≤ 1230 mg T2: ≤ 935 mg T1: ≤ 1360 mg T2: T2: ≤ 1035 T1: ≤ 1230 mg T2: ≤ 935 mg T1: ≤ 1420 mg T2: ≤ 1080 mg Peanut butter, soy nut butter, or other nut or seed butter (1.1) oz or (2) Tbsp (1.7) oz or (3) Tbsp Trans Fat Product nutrition label/manufacturer specification must indicate 0 grams of trans fat per serving.
Yogurt, plain, or flavored unsweetened or sweetened (4.0) oz (6.0) oz Peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts, or seeds (0.50) oz (0.75) oz 5 Pre-K meal students are not given a choice of milk. 6 Juice must be full strength (100 percent juice) and may be used to meet the vegetable or fruit requirement at one meal per day, including snack. A vegetable may be used to meet the entire fruit requirement. When two vegetables are served at lunch or supper, two different kinds of vegetables must be served. 7 Grain-based desserts (i.e., graham crackers, donuts, pop tarts, cinnamon rolls, granola bars etc.) are not creditable.
toward meeting the grains component.
8 Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of total sugars per 6 ounces. Any combination of peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts, or seeds may be credited to meet 50% of the minimum amount to be served.
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.17 CEs may use the Pre-Kindergarten Traditional Food-Based Meal Pattern Chart until October 1, 2017. After October 1, 2017, CEs must use the pre-K meal pattern described in the Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)—Meal Pattern Chart. Pre-Kindergarten Traditional Food-Based Meal Pattern Chart until October 1, 20179 Daily Requirements Food Component Food Items Ages 1–2 Ages 3–4 Meat or Meat Alternate1, 2 (Quantity of the edible portion served) A serving of one of the following or a combination to give an equivalent quantity: Alternate Protein Products 1.0 oz eq 1.5 oz Lean meat, poultry or fish 1.0 oz eq 1.5 oz Cheese 1.0 oz eq 1.5 oz Large egg(s) ½ ¾ Cooked dry beans or peas (legumes) ¼ cup ⅜ cup Peanut butter or other nut or seed butters 2 tbsp 3 tbsp Yogurt, plain or flavored, unsweetened or sweetened (frozen yogurt is not allowed) ½ cup (4.0 oz) ¾ cup (6.0 oz) Peanuts, soynuts, tree nuts, or seeds, meet no more than 50% of the requirement and must be combined in the meal with at least 50% of other meat/meat alternates (1.0 oz of nuts/seeds = 1.0 oz of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish) 0.5 oz = 50% 0.75 oz = 50% Vegetables or Fruits3, 4 Two or more servings from different sources of vegetables or fruits or both to total ½ cup ½ cup Grains5 Servings of grains must be enriched or whole grain.
A serving is a slice of bread or an equivalent serving of a grain (biscuits, rolls, etc.), or ½ cup of cooked rice, macaroni, noodles, other pasta products or cereal grains or a combination of any of the above.
5 servings per week6 (0.5 eq oz) 8 servings per week6 (1.0 eq oz) Milk7 Fluid as a beverage ¾ cup (6.0 fl oz) ¾ cup (6.0 fl oz) 1 Must be served in the main dish or the main dish and only one other menu item. 2 Alternate protein products (APP), sometimes referred to as vegetable protein products (VPP), and enriched macaroni with fortified protein may be used to meet part of the meat or meat alternate requirement. 3 No more than one-half of the total requirements may be met with full-strength fruit or vegetable juice. 4 Cooked dry beans or peas (legumes) may be used as a meat alternate or as a vegetable, but not as both in the same meal.
5 Enriched macaroni with fortified protein may be used as a meat alternate or as a grain but not as both in the same meal. 6 For the purposes of this chart, one week equals 5 days.
7 Serve a variety of milk. Milk must be fat free (flavored or unflavored) or 1% (unflavored). 9 CEs may use the Traditional Food-Based Meal Pattern for pre-K children or the SBP K-5 age/grade group meal pattern for SY 2016-2017. For SY 2017-2018, CEs must use Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 for pre-K students (released April 25, 2016).
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.18 The following chart may assist CEs as they determine the appropriate serving sizes based on different methods of measurement.
Measurement Conversion Chart (Converting Common Serving Portion Sizes into Applicable Measurement Methods)10 Component Other Volume Weight Scoop Size (Scoop serving per quart) Level Measure (cup, Tbsp) Fluid Ounce (fl oz) Ounce (oz) Ounce Equivalent (oz eq) Fluid Milk -- ½ cup 4 - - -- ¾ cup 6 - - Fruits/Vegetables -- ¼ cup - 16 -- ½ cup - 8 Grains Bread Product: (biscuit, roll, muffin) ½ serving - 0.5 oz 0.5 oz eq -- Cooked: Cereal, Cereal Grain, Pasta -- ¼ cup -- 0.5 oz 0.5 oz eq 16 Ready-To-Eat Breakfast Cereal (Dry /Cold) Flakes/Rounds ½ cup -- 0.5 oz 0.5 oz eq 8 Puffed ¾ cup -- 1.0 oz 1.0 oz eq 4 Granola ⅛ cup -- 0.5 oz 0.5 oz eq 30 Meat/Meat Alternates Lean meat, poultry, or fish - 1.0 oz 1.0 oz eq -- - 1.5 oz 1.5 oz eq -- Tofu, soy product, or alternate protein products -- ⅛ cup -- 1.1 oz 0.25 oz eq 30 -- ⅓ cup -- 1.5 oz 0.33 oz eq 12 Cheese -- ¼ cup -- 1.0 oz 1.0 oz eq 16 -- ⅓ cup -- 1.5 oz 1.5 oz eq 12 Large egg ½ serving ⅛ cup - 1.0 oz eq 30 ¾ serving ⅓ cup - 1.5 oz eq 12 Cooked dry beans or peas -- ¼ cup -- 0.5 oz 1.0 oz eq 16 -- ⅜ cup -- 1.5 oz 1.5 oz eq 10 Peanut butter, soy nut butter, or other nut or seed butter -- 2 Tbsp -- 1.1 oz 1.0 oz eq 30 -- 3 Tbsp -- 1.7 oz 1.5 oz eq 20 Yogurt, plain, or flavored unsweetened or sweetened -- ¼ cup -- 2.0 oz 0.5 oz eq 16 -- ½ cup -- 4.0 oz 1.0 oz eq 8 -- ¾ cup -- 6.0 oz 1.5 oz eq 4 Peanuts, soy nuts, tree nuts, or seeds - 0.5 oz 1.0 oz eq -- - 0.75 oz 1.5 oz eq -- Lunch Menu Planning To meet the requirements of the meal pattern, a reimbursable lunch must contain a specified quantity of each of the food components.
The quantities for the food components vary by age/grade group. Refer to the lunch meal pattern part of the Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) Chart for information regarding specific quantities per age/grade group. Understanding the difference between components, food items, and menu items is essential when planning menus that meet requirements. The 10 The Child Nutrition Food Buying Guide available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/food-buying-guide-for-child-nutritionprograms provides additional information on converting amounts.
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.19 Lunch Menu Planning Chart provides examples of components, food items, and menu items. Lunch Menu Planning Example Chart Components Food Items Menu Items 1. Meat/Meat Alternates 1. Chicken 1. Southwest Baked Chicken 2. Fruit 2. Peaches 2. Fresh Fruit of the Day 3. Vegetable (Dark Green) 3. Spinach 3. Seasoned Spinach 4. Grains 4. Whole Wheat Roll 4. Roll 5. Milk 5. Fat Free Milk 5. Milk or Chocolate Milk Food Component A food component11 means one of the five food groups—meat/meat alternates, fruit, vegetable, grains, and fluid milk—that make up a reimbursable meal.
A minimum of five food components must be offered prior to the point of service (POS)12 in order to meet requirements for a reimbursable meal.
Food Items Food items means a specific food offered that contains one or more of the five lunch food components. Menu Items Menu items are the actual foods served such as potato casserole, grilled chicken, or fresh apples. Menu items may contain one or more components or food items.13 The Lunch Menu Planning Chart provides examples of components, food items, and menu items. Whether a menu item consists of one or more components, all five required food components must be offered in the required amount for the meal to be reimbursable. All menu items should be offered prior to the POS.14 While a menu item may contain only one food component as shown in the Menu Planning Chart, a menu item may also contain two or more food components by combining food items as shown in the Lunch Menu Planning Chart—Multiple Components in One Menu Item Chart.
All menu items must be offered prior to the POS.
11 For lunch there are five components. 12 See the Point of Service (POS) subsection in this section for additional information on this topic. 13 See the Reimbursable Breakfast Requirements subsection in this section for additional information on combined food items. 14 See the Point of Service (POS) subsection in this section for additional information on this topic.
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.20 Lunch Menu Planning Chart—Multiple Components in One Menu Item Chart Components Food Items Menu Item 1.0 oz eq, Meat/Meat Alternate ⅛ cup, Other vegetable ⅛ cup, Red/Orange vegetable 1.5 oz eq, Whole grain-rich grain Beef patty Lettuce Tomato Bun Hamburger 1.5 oz eq, Meat/Meat Alternate ¼ cup, Dark Green vegetable ⅛ cup Red/Orange vegetable 1.0 oz eq Grains Ground beef Cheese garnish Spinach Tomato Taco shell Spicy Tacos ¼ cup Fruit: apple ⅛ cup Fruit: raisins ¼ cup Grain: oat and whole grain Apple Raisins Oatmeal & whole grain topping Apple Surprise Crediting Foods Crediting is determined by rounding the food component down to the nearest 0.25 ounce equivalent (oz eq) for the grain and meat/meat alternate components or ⅛ cup for fruit, vegetable, and milk components.
Age/Grade Groups The meal pattern is divided into three age/grade groups: Grades K–5 (ages 5–10) Grades 6–8 (ages 11–13) Grades 9–12 (ages 14–18)
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.21 CEs must use the meal pattern age/grade groups to plan the menus. Because of the three distinct age/grade groups, CEs cannot offer the same meal portions to all grade levels. In cases where a CE has an unusual grade configuration for grades K–8 that prevents the use of the required age/grade groups, it may serve the same lunch to students in grades K–8 as requirements across these age/grade groups overlap. However, in these cases, the CE must be careful to meet calorie requirements for each age/grade group. The CE must meet the lower age/grade group sodium standard when serving meals to more than one age/grade group beginning in SY 2014–2015.
CEs with sites with students in both age/grade groups 6–8 and 9–12 must serve different meal portion sizes for each age/grade group. No customization of the age/grade group in the meal pattern is allowed across these age/grade groups.
[NOTE: CEs are allowed to offer age-appropriate meals to individual students in unique situations. For Example: A 16-year old student placed in a K–5 educational setting can be served portion sizes for age/grade group 9–12. This may also apply to students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). A CE must follow the IEP for any student that has one.]15 Residential Child Care Institutions Residential child care institutions (RCCIs) are not waived from the meal pattern requirements including the nutrient standards.16 To meet the caloric needs of students in RCCIs, the menu planner may increase the calories provided through other meal services such as snacks and the supper meal.
If it is not possible to use the established age/grade groups, RCCI CEs do have some flexibility. See the Administrator's Reference Manual, Section 26, Residential Child Care Institutions, for additional information on this topic.
Menu Planning for Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Students Pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) students are generally grouped by ages 1–2 and 3–4 for meal planning. CEs may use Traditional Food Based Menu Planning or the NSLP K-5 age/grade group meal pattern for pre-K students until October 1, 2017. The Pre-Kindergarten Traditional FoodBased Meal Pattern Chart provides detailed information on pre-K Traditional Food-Based Menu Planning. Starting October 1, 2017, CEs must implement the updated Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) pre-kindergarten (pre-K) meal pattern which is described on the Nutrition Standards in the School Lunch Program (NSLP)—Meal Pattern Chart.
See Administrator's Reference Manual, Section 11, Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Meal Pattern for School Nutrition Program (SNP) Operators or the Child and Adult 15 See Administrator’s Reference Manual, Section 13, Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs for more information on this topic.
16 See the Administrator's Reference Manual, Section 26, Residential Child Care Institutions, for additional information on this topic.
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.22 Care Food Program—Child Care Centers Handbook for detailed information on the pre-K meal pattern.17 CEs may implement the pre-K meal pattern at the beginning of School Year (SY) 2017-2018. If a CE chooses to implement the pre-K meal pattern at the beginning of the SY, the CE must document implementation in food production records and menus as appropriate. However, while, while CEs are required to implement the pre-K meal pattern for SBP pre-K students beginning on October 1, 2017, other CACFP requirements do not apply unless a site is also operating a CACFP At Risk or center).
Weekly Menu Planning The weekly range requirement applies to both the grains and meat/meat alternate components. For menu planning purposes, CEs must offer a weekly menu so that the sum of all daily minimum offering meets at least the weekly minimum requirement. For grades K‒5 and 6‒8, the daily grains minimum is only 1.0 oz eq and the weekly grains minimum is 8.0 oz eq Offering a minimum of only 1.0 oz eq daily would only total 5.0 oz eq across the week. Therefore, on some days, CEs must offer more than 1.0 oz eq of grains as a minimum offering. The same applies to the weekly minimum amount of meat/meat alternates.
For Example: A menu planner has created a menu that gives age/grade K-5 students two options every day: a 1.0 oz eq grain item (crackers with a salad) or a 2.0 oz eq grain item (pizza). Each student is instructed to select one option only. For the 1.0. oz eq daily option, the total weekly grains offered is 5.0 oz eq For the 2.0 oz eq daily option, the total weekly grains offered is 10.0 oz eq (1.0 oz eq x 5 days = 5.0) (2.0 x 5 days =10.0) This option does not meet the minimum weekly grains requirement of 8.0 oz eq for age/grade group K‒5. This option does meet the minimum weekly grains requirement of 8.0 oz eq for age/grade group K‒5.
Because the lowest weighing menu option for the week offers less than 8.0 oz eq over the period of a week, this menu does not meet the required weekly minimum.
17 Available at www.squaremeals.org
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.23 CEs should also plan their menus so that the sum of the daily recommended maximum offerings18 for grains and meat/meat alternates is equal to or less than the weekly recommended maximum offerings in order to meet the weekly dietary specifications. Therefore, the sum of daily minimums must meet the weekly minimum requirement and the sum of the daily recommended maximum offerings should not exceed the weekly recommended maximum offerings. For Example: A menu planner for an age/grade 9‒12 site offers a variety of grains each day from which students may choose a grain item.
Each day the largest grain option offered is 2.0 oz eq grain item. Even though there are lower weighted grain options offered during the week, the menu planner uses the highest weighted grain option to determine the maximum grain servings for the week. When the site offers 2.0 oz eq each day, the total for the week would be 10.0 oz eq. This menu would not exceed the recommended weekly maximum of 12.0 oz eq.
CEs with Shorter and Longer Weeks CEs that regularly and consistently serve lunch more than five days per week must increase the weekly component quantities by 20 percent (⅕) for each additional day. Similarly, CEs that regularly and consistently serve lunch less than five days per week must decrease the weekly component quantities by 20 percent (⅕) for each day less than five. The Short and Long Week Adjustments for Lunch Chart provides detailed information for planning menus for shorter and longer weeks.
For CEs with occasional decreases in the week length because of holidays, snow days, etc., the menus do not have to be adjusted.
However, menu planners must plan their menus in a way that is consistent with the intent of the meal patterns. CEs should make sure they do not consistently fail to offer certain grains in portions that would exceed the weekly recommended ranges or menus that consistently eliminate required vegetable subgroups. 18 USDA has waived the maximum serving amounts for grains and meat/meat alternates.
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.24 Short and Long Week Adjustments for Lunch Chart* Grades K–5 Weekly (Daily) Grades 6–8 Weekly (Daily) Grades 9–12 Weekly (Daily) Three-Day School Week Fruits (cups) (1) Vegetables (cups) (1) Dark Green ½ Red/Orange ½ ½ 1 Beans/Peas (Legumes ½ Starchy ½ Other ½ Additional Vegetables to Reach Total 0 0 0 Grains (oz eq) 5.0–5.5 (1.0) 5.0–6.0 (1.0) 6.0–7.0 (2.0) Meat/Meat Alternates (oz eq) 5.0–6.0 (1.0) 5.0–6.0 (1.0) 6.0–7.0 (2.0) Fluid Milk (cups) 3 (1.0) 3 (1.0) 3 (1.0) Four-Day School Week Fruits (cups) 2 (½) 2 (½) 4 (1) Vegetables (cups) 3 (¾) 3 (¾) 4 (1) Dark Green ½ Red/Orange ¾ ¾ 1¼ Beans/Peas (Legumes ½ Starchy ½ Other ¾ Additional Vegetables to Reach Total ½ Grains (oz eq) 6.5 –7.0 (1.0) 6.5 –8.0 (1.0) 8.0–9.5 (2.0) Meat/Meat Alternates (oz eq) 6.5–8.0 (1.0) 7.0–8.0 (1.0) 8.0–9.5 (2.0) Fluid Milk (cups) 4 (1.0) 4 (1.0) 4 (1.0) Six-Day School Week Fruits (cups) 3 (½) 3 (½) 6 (1) Vegetables (cups) (1) Dark Green ½ Red/Orange ¾ ¾ 1¼ Beans/Peas (Legumes ½ Starchy ½ Other ¾ Additional Vegetables to Reach Total 1¾ 1¾ 2½ Grains (oz eq) 9.5 –11.0(1.0) 9.5 –12 (1.0) 12.0–14.5 (2.0) Meat/Meat Alternates (oz eq) 9.5–12.0 (1.0) 11.0–12.0 (1.0) 12.0–14.5 (2.0) Fluid Milk (cups) 6 (1.0) 6 (1.0) 6 (1.0)
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.25 Short and Long Week Adjustments for Lunch Chart* Grades K–5 Weekly (Daily) Grades 6–8 Weekly (Daily) Grades 9–12 Weekly (Daily) Seven-Day School Week Fruits (cups) (1) Vegetables (cups) (1) Dark Green ½ Red/Orange ¾ ¾ 1¼ Beans/Peas (Legumes ½ Starchy ½ Other ¾ Additional Vegetables to Reach Total 2½ 2½ 3½ Grains (oz eq) 11.0–12.5 (1.0) 11.0–14.0 (1.0) 14.0–17.0 (2.0) Meat/Meat Alternates (oz eq) 11.0–14.0 (1.0) 12.5–14.0 (1.0) 14.0–17.0 (2.0) Fluid Milk (cups) 7 (1) 7 (1) 7 (1) * These calculations are rounded to the nearest 0.5 oz eq and ¼ cup.
[NOTE: Since the dietary specifications are based on average daily amounts, these are unaffected by varied week lengths, average over the length of the week, whether consisting of three or seven days. However, because of the weekly vegetable subgroup requirements, the 20 percent reduction for each day is not practical. Therefore, for shorter weeks, the CE should make adjustments to the Additional vegetable category only.] CEs with Multiple Age/Grade Groups Some CEs include pre-kindergarten (pre-K) students as well as students in other age/grade groups in their lunch meal service. CEs that operate half day pre-K programs may choose to serve pre-K students both breakfast and lunch or only one of these meals.
See Administrator's Reference Manual, Section 11, Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Meal Pattern for School Nutrition Program (SNP) Operators or the Child and Adult Care Food Program—Child Care Centers Handbook for additional information on the pre-K meal pattern.19 19 Available at www.squaremeals.org
Texas Department of Agriculture—June 28, 2017 Lunch | 9.26 Overlapping Age/Grade Groups If a K–8 site is unable to effectively offer different meal patterns for the K–5 students and the grade 6–8 students, the CE may offer students in these grades the same quantities of the food components because the quantities required by the lunch meal patterns for the age/grade groups K–5 and 6–8 are the same or overlap. However, in order to accommodate the average daily nutrient limits and weekly required minimums and recommended maximum offerings for both grains and meat/meat alternates, CEs should work within the following parameters: ̶ Eight to nine (8.0–9.0) oz eq grains per week ̶ Nine to ten (9.0–10.0) oz eq meat/meat alternates per week ̶ Average daily calorie range of 600–650 per week ̶ Average daily sodium limit of ≤1230 mg per week beginning SY 2014–2015 For Example: The CE would have to offer 8.0–9.0 oz equivalent of grains and 9.0–10.0 oz equivalent of meat/meat alternates to all students to meet the requirements for age/grade groups K–5 and 6–8.
In addition, the meals offered to these students must consist of 600–650 calories to meet the nutrient standards for both groups. Also, the sodium content of these meals (beginning in SY 2014–2015), must meet the sodium specifications for the youngest group: grades K–5. Non-Overlapping Menus for Age/Grade Groups Menu planners must plan separate menus for age/grade groups 6–8 and 9–12 when grades 6–8 and 9–12 are located at a single site. The meal pattern does not allow for sites with a grade configuration with one grade above or below the age/grade grouping to follow the predominant age/grade group requirements, which was allowed in previous years.
CEs may offer the same menu items to varied age/grade groups, but the portion size served to each student must match the student’s age/grade group. See the Residential Child Care Institutions subsection in this section for additional information on age/grade requirements specific to RCCIs as well as the Administrator's Reference Manual, Section 26, Residential Child Care Institutions.