Welcome to meal pattern and
certification training for new schools in the Georgia School Nutrition Program.
My name is Linda Azain and I’m one of the program compliance specialists for
the school nutrition program. The objectives of today’s training are that
participants will be able to plan meals that meet the school nutrition breakfast
and lunch requirements, and that participants will be able to complete
the documentation needed to approve meals for certification to begin the
school nutrition program. First I will review the meal pattern requirements for
the lunch program. There are five meal components required for lunch: fruits,
vegetables, grains, meat and meat alternate and milk. Fruits and vegetables
are separate components. This slide shows an overview of the meal pattern for
lunch. You have this one as one of your handouts. There are three age or grade
groups used for menu planning at lunch. They are K through 5, 6 through 8, and 9
through 12. The numbers in parentheses are daily requirements and the number or
range outside the parentheses are weekly requirements. Please note that there is a
weekly requirement for the vegetable subgroups that is not listed on this
slide, but we will discuss shortly. There a daily requirement for fruit and it
varies by grade. Looking at your meal pattern chart, you can see that the daily
requirement for each grade or grade group is: K through 5 is a half a cup, 6 through 8 is a half a cup, and grades 9 through 12 the minimum daily requirement is one cup.
Notice that there are not maximum levels listed on the chart.
You can offer as many fruits as you would like as long as the nutrient requirements are met.
You can meet the fruit requirement through any form of fruit. This includes fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or juice. If you choose to offer
juice, no more than fifty percent of the fruit offered can be from juice.
This is a weekly requirement. So if you offer five cups of fruit over
the course of the week, two and a half cups of those can be from juice.
Dried fruit credits as double its volume. If you serve a quarter cup of dried fruit,
like raisins, it would count as a half a cup. The next component is vegetables.
Pull out your vegetable subgroup hand out. Again, there is a daily requirement for
vegetables that varies by grade. Grades K through 5 and 6 to 8, the minimum daily
requirement is three-fourths of a cup, and for grades 9 through 12 it’s one
full cup. Notice there are not maximum levels listed on the meal chart. You can
offer as many vegetables as you would like as long as the nutrient
requirements are met. Just like fruit, no more than fifty percent of the vegetable
offerings can be from juice. You can meet the vegetable requirement through all
forms of vegetables, however, over the course of the week you must offer
vegetables from each of the five vegetable subgroups; which are dark green, red orange, starchy, beans and peas and other. The weekly requirement for dark
green vegetables is a half a cup. Raw lettuces or greens credit as half their
volume. For example, 1 cup of romaine lettuce or spinach will count as a half
cup of vegetable. What are some examples of the different vegetable subgroups? Well, for dark green it would be broccoli, romaine lettuce and spinach. Some examples of red orange vegetables are carrots sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Some examples of peas and beans would be legumes, kidney beans, lentils and chickpeas. For starchy vegetables there’s corn, green peas and white potatoes. And for the other vegetable subgroup it includes vegetables like onions, green
beans and cucumbers. The next component is grains. The biggest hurdle to this component is that all grains must be whole grain rich. Again, the requirement will vary by grade and there are daily and weekly minimums that must be met. For K through 5, and
6 to 8 the daily minimum is one ounce, and for grades 9 through 12 the daily minimum
is two ounces. If you offered the minimum daily
would you meet the weekly minimum for K through 5 and 6 through 8?
No, you would not be able to offer only the minimum daily for K through 8, and meet
the weekly requirements which are eight to nine or eight to ten minimum per week.
Another important note for grains is that at lunch you must limit the
grain-based desserts that you offer. You are able to offer no more than two ounce
equivalents of grain-based desserts over the course of the week. This includes
sweet crackers, like graham crackers
and animal crackers. All grains must be whole grain rich.
If the food item is a grain based product like bread or cereal, it must contain at least fifty percent or more whole grains by weight, or have a whole grain listed as the first ingredient
on the ingredients label. If the first ingredient of a grain product is water,
a whole grain may be listed as the second ingredient and still meet the
whole grain rich criteria. In order to know if a product is whole grain rich,
you need to know what a whole grain is. Whole grains are cereal grains that contain the germ and the sperm and bran, in contrast to refined grains which only
retain the endosperm. This slide presents some examples of whole grains, however, it is not meant to be all-inclusive. These examples include instant oatmeal and brown rice. The next component is meat or meat alternate. Like the other components, the requirement varies
by grade when there are daily and weekly minimums that must be met. What is the daily minimum?
Well, for grades K through 8 once again it’s one ounce daily and for grades 9
through 12 it’s two ounces daily. Again, if only the minimum is offered for
grades K through 8 you would not meet the weekly total, so the menu planner
must keep that in mind when planning meals. We encourage you to offer a variety
of meat/meat alternates over the week. Tofu and soy yogurt will credit as meat alternates.
Also beans and peas can credit as a meat alternate as long
as they are not counted as a vegetable on the same day. If you use nuts and
seeds, they must be paired with another meat or meat alternate to meet the full
requirement. For example, if you offer sunflower seeds as a meat or meat
alternate, you would need to pair that with another meat or meat alternate like
a cheese stick or yogurt. The requirement for milk is that you must offer one cup
daily from at least two milk types and only fat-free flavored and unflavored
and low-fat 1% unflavored milk may be offered to students. Only milk or
allowable milk substitutes may be offered to meet this component. Lactose
free or lactose reduced milk are acceptable as long as they follow the
milk types listed on this slide. Soy milk or other substitutes can be offered if approved. Next we will talk about nutrient requirements.
The nutrients of interest in school nutrition are calories, saturated fat, trans fat and
sodium. You will want to look at the meal pattern chart under the appropriate age
or grade group the specific level for
each nutrient required. Offer versus serve is required for
high school aged students. Offer versus serve is an option schools can choose that allows students to decline one or two of the components offered. With this option, all students must choose a minimum of a half cup fruits or vegetables or juice
to have a reimbursable meal. Some advantages of offer versus serve are
that it helps reduce waste and can decrease plate costs. If any of your schools
do not have offer versus serve, then the student must receive a full portion
of all components for the meal to be reimbursable, including milk.
Your area consultant can give you more information about this option.
This ends the portion of the training on lunch. The next segment we’ll cover breakfast.