According to the “Final Rule Nutrition Standards in the NSLP and SBP,” the daily requirement for a complete, grades 9-12 school lunch “meal” consists of one fifth of the following:
Fruits – 5 cups/week of whole recognizable fresh, canned, or dried whole or cut fruit pieces of which half may be in the form of 100% juice
Vegetables – 5 cups/week of dark green, red, orange, or starchy vegetables, or legumes
Grains – 10 to 12 oz. equivalent of which at least half must be whole grain as of 01JUL12
Meat/Meat Alternatives – 10 to 12 oz. equivalent
Fluid Milk – 5 cups per week
Schools across the country have already been successfully implementing the new standards within current resources. Many schools have been making healthy changes to their menus in recent years, and providing a healthy, good tasting meal.
The HHFKA sets common-sense business standards that complement the Federal resources included in the Act in order to ensure that enough revenue is being brought in to cover the cost of producing healthy school meals. When taken together, these additional resources will, on average, provide enough revenue for schools to meet the new meal requirements.Why isn’t every school meeting the new standards today?
Schools are in a transition year. Naturally, some places are adjusting to the new standards more easily than others, but it can be done. In fact, thousands of schools are already at or near the new standards. As mentioned in a previous blog, I would recommend eating at your child’s school.