It’s back-to-school time! Our August issue features highlights of the new USDA school meal standards and Kellogg’s® resources to help you navigate them. It also showcases teaching tools to help your clients of all ages enjoy a nutritious breakfast.
New K – 12 School Meal Standards
The new US Department of Agriculture (USDA) meal standards for the National School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs aim to improve school meals by increasing the availability of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while limiting the amounts of fat, sodium and calories.
Changes to school lunches, such as implementing limits on calories, sodium and fat, began last school year. In the 2013-2014 school year, changes continue for lunches and begin for school breakfast. Some highlights:
- Food-based menu planning is required.
- Half of all grains must be whole grain-rich and grain crediting changes from 14.75g per serving to 16g per “ounce equivalent.”
- Meals must fit average minimum and maximum calorie ranges according to age/grade ranges.
- Grains and meats must meet daily minimums, but no longer must adhere to a maximum (through the 2013-2014 school year).
- Only half of fruit offered may come from 100% fruit juice.
- Only nonfat flavored and nonfat or low-fat unflavored milk are allowed.
Next school year, the standards increase the quantity of fruit offered at breakfast to at least one cup, require that all grains at breakfast and lunch be whole grain-rich, and implement the first set of sodium limits for both meals.