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at breakfast, iron at lunch (for middle and high school levels), and sodium (because of the high sodium content of many foods). Options for standards for meals as selected by students are presented along with strengths and limitations of each. Options are provided because P.L. 94-105, Sec. 6(a) states that state and local educational agencies and students are to participate in the establishment of administrative procedures for reducing plate waste.


Recommendation 1. The Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should adopt the Nutrient Targets shown in Table 7-1 as the scientific basis for setting standards for menu planning for school meals but should not adopt a nutrient-based standard for school meal planning and monitoring.

The Nutrient Targets in Table 7-1 were developed using methods recommended by the Institute of Medicine for planning diets for groups using the Dietary Reference Intakes (IOM, 2003) and the application of the criteria in Box 2-2 of Chapter 2. Although a Nutrient Target was not set for vitamin D or trans fat, the standards for menu planning cover these dietary components (see later section “Recommended Meal Requirements for School Meals”).

Uses of the Nutrient Targets

The main purpose for the recommended Nutrient Targets is to provide a firm scientific basis for setting standards for menu planning—that is, standards that will lead to menus that meet or nearly meet the recommended Nutrient Targets. The Nutrient Targets are not intended to be used directly for menu planning (that is, they are not intended to be used for nutrient-based menu planning). Moreover, they are not intended to be used for the monitoring of school meals (see Chapter 10). Such activities would be unrealistic in that the recommended Nutrient Targets include many nutrients for which nutrient composition data are not readily available from nutrition labels, manufacturer’s specifications, or software approved by USDA for the nutrient analysis of school menus. The Nutrient Targets may be useful in evaluation and research, however.

Comparison of Recommended Targets with the Preliminary Nutrient Targets

Based on its decision regarding appropriate uses of the Nutrient Targets, the committee made no changes in the values of the preliminary nu-

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