The USDA meal pattern requirement certification specifications developed by the Food and Nutrition service (FNS) will be used to certify school food authorities (SFAs) who demonstrate compliance with the updated meal pattern requirements to receive the additional 6 cent lunch reimbursement.
For more information on the Meal Pattern certification requirements, please see USDA Meal Pattern Requirement Certification Specifications (pdf)
- USDA Meal Pattern for School Lunch and School Breakfast (pdf)
- Vegetable Subgroups
- USDA Technical Assistance and Guidance Materials
- Comparison of Current and New Regulatory Requirements (pdf)
- New Meal Pattern Implementation Timeline (pdf)
- USDA Meal Pattern Regulations (pdf)
- USDA Policy Memo 10-2012 Questions and Answers on the Final Rule, "Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs" (pdf)
To receive the additional 6 cent lunch reimbursement, all SFAs must submit the following three items:
- Menus – One week of every menu offered by the SFA is required to be submitted by all School Food Authorities.
- Meal Certification Worksheets (see below) a detailed menu worksheet for each menu in the school showing all food components and quantities for each reimbursable meal served in the week. For example, if the SFA serves an elementary, middle, and high school menu, the SFA must submit three menus and three menu worksheets. If an SFA has one breakfast menu for K-12, three distinct lunch menus for its high schools, and two lunch for the middle and one for the elementary schools, the SFA must submit 7 certification worksheets.
- Nutrient analysis or a simplified nutrient assessment –
- A nutrient analysis, using FNS-approved software, or a simplified nutrient assessment, following standards set by FNS, for each menu.
- A Simplified Nutrient Assessment is considered a proxy for a complete nutrient analysis. The USDA created Simplified Nutrient Assessment form is the final page of each of the certification worksheets. Assessment Directions (pdf)
- Attestation (pdf) – SFAs must attest in writing that the documentation submitted for certification is representative of the ongoing meal service within the SFA, and that the minimum required food quantities for all meal components are available to students in every serving line.