Districts, Schools and Educators

Nutritional Quality and Meal Pattern Lessons 1-7

After these videos were recorded, several USDA regulations were changed. While watching these videos please keep the following in mind:

New Creditable Foods

  • Dried and semi-dried meat, poultry and seafood products
  • Surimi seafood
  • Tempeh
  • Coconut
  • Hominy (whole)
  • Hominy grits
  • Products made with corn masa, corn flour and cornmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Pasta made of vegetable flour

For more information on meal pattern changes, please visit the Meal Patterns page. For more information on the newly creditable foods, please visit the Menu Crediting page.

The practice activities and knowledge checks may not reflect these changes. Updates to the videos and activities will be posted soon. Thank you for your understanding.

Lesson 1: Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern Overview

Lessons in this module focus on meal patterns, required food items and portion sizes for all school nutrition program meal options. This lesson provides a high level overview of the Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern content. Key Areas: Nutrition/Operations. Learning Code: 1100, 2100.

Video: Coming in 2020

Practice Activity: Coming in 2020

Knowledge Check: Coming in 2020

Lesson 2: Food Components Basics

Five food components make up the basis for all school nutrition program meal patterns. Each component group has unique characteristic and planning requirements. Key Area: Nutrition/Operations. Learning Codes: 1100, 2200.

Video: Food Components Basics (46 minutes)

Practice Activity: Lesson 2 Practice

Knowledge Check: Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern Lesson 2

Lesson 3: Meal Patterns and Grade Groups

Portions for each food component required at each meal pattern are based on grade groups. There are three basic grade groups, plus pre-kindergarten. Some flexibilities exist between these grade groups. Key Area: Operations. Learning Code: 2200.

Video: Meal Patterns and Grade Groups (49 minutes) Preschool Meal Pattern (36 minutes)

Practice Activity: Lesson 3 Practice

Knowledge Check: Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern Lesson 3

Lesson 4: Food Production Records

Schools are required to maintain records the show meals served provided the required food components in the correct portions for each grade group. Food production records provide this documentation along with other important information. Key Area: Operations. Learning Code: 2100.

Video: Food Production Records (48 minutes)

Practice Activity: Lesson 4 Practice

Knowledge Check: Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern Lesson 4

Lesson 5: Labels, Labels, Labels

Child nutrition, nutrition facts and ingredient labels validate how food items served contributed to meal pattern requirements. Different labels are required for each food component group. Key Area: Operations. Learning code: 2200.

Video: Labels, labels, labels (17 minutes)

Practice Activity: Lesson 5 Practice

Knowledge Check: Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern Lesson 5

Lesson 6: Standardized Recipes

Recipes are required for food items served that were prepared with two or more ingredients. Meal pattern crediting is calculated from recipes for these food items. Key Area: Operations. Learning Code: 2200.

Video: Standardized Recipes

Practice Activity: Lesson 6 Practice

Knowledge Check: Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern Lesson 6

Lesson 7: Offer vs. Serve (OVS) for Breakfast and Lunch

The goals of OVS are to reduce food waste and to permit students to choose the foods they want to eat. Due to the fact that students may choose fewer selections under OVS, guidance is provided o what constitutes a reimbursable breakfast and lunch. Key Area: Operations. Learning Code: 2200.

Video: Offer vs. Serve for Breakfast and Lunch (37 minutes)

Practice Activity: Lesson 7 Practice - Breakfast

Lesson 7 Practice - Lunch

Knowledge Check: Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern Lesson 7-Breakfast

Nutrition Quality and Meal Pattern Lesson 7-Lunch