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TABLE S-2 Options for Standards for Meals as Selected by the Student under the Offer Versus Serve Provision of P.L. 94-105a


Number of Items the Student May Decline and Required Items



1. Preferred

One itemb may be declined, must take at least one fruit or juice

Two items may be declined, must take at least one fruit or vegetable

2. Alternative

Two items may be declined, must take at least one fruit or juice

Three items may be declined, must take at least one fruit or vegetable

NOTE: Options are provided for consideration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working cooperatively with state educational agencies and with participation by local educational agencies and student to develop new regulations.

aUnder current traditional food-based menu planning standards, high school students are required to take 3 out of 4 (or 5) food items at breakfast and 3 out of 5 food items at lunch. Offer versus serve is optional for elementary and middle schools.

bA specific food offered in the specified portion sizes that will meet the recommended as offered Meal Standards.

selection of a fruit or vegetable. A rule that allows more options to decline foods clearly could reduce waste, but it would increase the chance that the nutritional integrity of the children’s meals would not be maintained, and vice versa. Foods need to be appealing to students to encourage selection and consumption.

Summary of Changes in the Meal Requirements

Major changes in the Meal Requirements are summarized in Box S-3.


The Meal Requirements will be beneficial only to the extent that program participation is maintained or increased and the participants’ food consumption improves. The effectiveness of revised Meal Requirements will be determined in a large part by the manner in which they are implemented. Strategies that can be used to promote change include engaging the school community; involving students, parents, and the community; providing nutrition education; training and mentoring of food service workers; and providing technical assistance. An essential element of the implementation processes will be industry involvement to develop appealing foods that are lower in sodium and saturated fat and that have a higher ratio of whole grain to refined grain. Effective monitoring can lead to improvements in implementation efforts.

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