Food Production

Meal Pattern Information

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed USDA to update the National School Lunch Program’s meal pattern and nutrition standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new meal pattern increases the availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in the school menu; and reduces the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in school meals. New dietary specifications set specific calorie limits to ensure age-appropriate meals for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. While school lunches must meet Federal meal requirements, decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities.

Food Production Record Information

School Food Authorities (SFAs) must complete daily food production records to document the food items offered, portion sizes, amount of food used, and how many students were served.  This document is required to prove that enough food was prepared and that the meal pattern was followed.

Student Parent Input

SFAs should promote activities to involve students and parent in the program. Such activities may include menu planning, enhancement of the eating environment, program promotion, and related student-communnity support activities.  SFAs are encouraged to use the school food service program to teach students about good nutrition practices and to involve the school faculty and the general community in activities to enhance the program.

SFAs contracting with a food service management company should comply with the provisions of 210.16(a) regarding the establishment of an advisory board of parents, teachers, and students.