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BOX 2-2

Criteria for the Nutrient Targets and Meal Requirements for the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program

Criterion 1. The Nutrient Targets and Meal Requirements are consistent with current dietary guidance and nutrition recommendations to promote health—as exemplified by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes—with the ultimate goal of improving children’s diets by reducing the prevalence of inadequate and excessive intakes of food, nutrients, and calories.

Criterion 2. The Nutrient Targets and Meal Requirements will be considered on the basis of age-grade groups that are consistent with the current age-gender categories used for specifying reference values and with widely used school grade configurations.

Criterion 3. The Nutrient Targets and Meal Requirements will result in the simplification of the menu planning and monitoring processes, and they will be compatible with the development of menus that are practical to prepare and serve and that offer nutritious foods and beverages that appeal to students of diverse cultural backgrounds.

Criterion 4. The Nutrient Targets and Meal Requirements will be sensitive to program costs and school administrative concerns.

  1. Set key parameters including age-grade groups and total daily mean calorie requirements for each group. The methods used to set these parameters are described later in this chapter.

  2. Assessed schoolchildren’s dietary intakes and considered relevant laboratory data and health effects of inadequate or excessive intakes. Dietary intakes included food groups, food subgroups, energy, and nutrients. The purpose was to identify the food and nutrient intakes of concern for specified age-grade groups. Chapter 3 covers this topic.

  3. Examined and tested various approaches for developing the Nutrient Targets, including energy targets. The committee used methods recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2003) when applicable. Chapter 4 covers this topic.

  4. Determined that only one approach to meal planning would be recommended and that the Nutrient Targets would be the scientific basis of the standards for menu planning, but they would be only one of the elements considered when developing these standards. Chapter 5 covers the development of the Meal Requirements.

  5. Using an iterative approach (described in Chapter 6), applied the criteria listed in Box 2-2 to finalize the committee’s recommendations for the Nutrient Targets and Meal Requirements, giving special emphasis to

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