Nutritional Quality and Meal Pattern

The meal pattern is the foundation of federal school nutrition programs and is built upon nutrition standards that: ensure students are offered fruits and vegetables every day of the week; increase offerings of whole grain-rich foods, fat-free or low-fat milk varieties; base calories on the age of students; and, focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium in meals.

Resources in this section assist School Food Authorities in meeting meal pattern and nutrition requirements, including crediting of foods, meal patterns, record-keeping requirements, analyzing nutritional content of meals, offer vs. serve and special dietary needs.

For information and resources related to the School Breakfast program, visit the Breakfast Encourages Students to Thrive page.