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TABLE 8-1 School Breakfast Program: Current Requirements Compared to Recommendations for a 5-Day School Weeka

Grade Levels

Current Requirements

Recommendations

K–12

K–5

6–8

9–12

Fruit (cups)

2.5

5

5

5

Vegetable (cups)

0

0

0

0

Grain/Bread (oz eq)

0–10b,c

7–10d

8–10d

9–10d

Meat/Meat Alternates (oz eq)

0–10c

5

5

7–10

Milk (cups)

5

5

5

5

NOTE: oz eq = ounce equivalent.

aRequirements and recommendations are for meals as offered for a 5-day school week. Requirements are minimum portion sizes based on the Traditional Food-Based Menu planning approach.

bMust be enriched or whole grain.

cRequirements call for two grains, two meats, or one of each.

dAt least half of which must be whole grain-rich (i.e., meet the criterion in Box 7-1).

SOURCE: USDA/FNS, 2008e.

METHODS USED TO EVALUATE COSTS AND CHANGES IN THE COST OF FOOD FOR REPRESENTATIVE BASELINE SCHOOL MENUS

Assessing the impact of changes to the Meal Requirements on the food costs of reimbursable1 breakfast and reimbursable lunch meals requires data on (1) the changes in the amounts and types of foods used when a representative (typical or average) meal is compared with the same meal modified to meet the Meal Requirements and (2) the prices of the individual food items used in each meal.

Data from recent, nationally representative school surveys were used in establishing the representative baseline menus and the food costs used in this report. In overview, the committee

  1. Selected a set of 12 representative baseline menus (each of which covered 5 school days) for the breakfast and lunch meals, drawing from menus available in the third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment study (SNDA-III) data, as described and illustrated in Chapter 6. The complete set of baseline menus included five school-day menus from each age-grade level for each of the two meals and for the two major menu-planning approaches (food- and nutrient-based);

1

Reimbursable meals are meals that meet the requirements outlined in the section “School Meals Program Overview” in Chapter 1.



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