Meal Pattern Training for School Nutrition Programs

Overview

School Nutrition Programs | Program Guidance | Forms | Resources | Nutrition Education



What’s in a Meal: National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Meal Patterns for Grades K-12

What's in a Meal logo

The CSDE's What’s in a Meal training program is a series of recorded modules that provide comprehensive guidance on complying with the meal patterns for grades K-12 in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)School Breakfast Program (SBP), and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) of the NSLP.

Target audience: This training program is intended for school food service professionals in the NSLP, SBP, and SSO, including food service directors, managers, and staff.

Knowledge check and score: After viewing each module, participants will complete a brief knowledge check that will display a score after all questions are complete.

Training documentation: Participants may print their knowledge check score to document participation in each module.

Accessing the videos: The training module videos are housed in Qualtrics. Click on each module title below to register and view the video.


Module Resources

1: Introduction to Training (length: 11:51)

This module introduces the What’s in a Meal training program, provides an overview of the modules and training objectives, identifies common acronyms and abbreviations, and describes resources for guidance and training.

2: Introduction to School Meal Patterns (length: 36:39)

This module introduces the NSLP and SBP meal patterns, provides an overview of the federal legislation for school meals, identifies the requirements for food-based menu planning (including food components, servings, and meal pattern requirements), and describes resources for guidance and training on the school meal patterns.

3: National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Meal Pattern
(length: 15:27)

This module reviews the lunch meal pattern requirements (including the daily and weekly servings of each food component, the weekly requirements for vegetable subgroups and whole grain-rich (WGR) foods, the weekly limits for grain-based desserts and juice, and the weekly dietary specifications) and describes resources for guidance and training on the NSLP meal pattern.

4: School Breakfast Program (SBP) Meal Pattern (length: 18:37)

This module reviews the breakfast meal pattern requirements (including the daily and weekly servings of each food component, the weekly requirement for WGR foods, offering MMA at breakfast, the weekly limit for juice, the weekly dietary specifications) and describes resources for guidance and training on the SBP meal pattern.

5: Dietary Specifications (length: 17:54)

This module reviews the four dietary specifications for school meals (calories, saturated fat, sodium, and trans fat) and describes resources for guidance and training on the dietary specifications.

6: Meal Pattern Documentation (length: 1:16:45)

This module reviews the meal pattern documentation requirements for school meals. Topics include menus, production records, standardized recipes, and crediting documentation for commercial processed foods, i.e., Child Nutrition (CN) labels and product formulation statements (PFS), and the USDA’s Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on meal pattern documentation and includes a knowledge check on how to review the creditable ingredients in a PFS.

7: Milk Component (length: 35:43)

This module reviews the requirements and crediting information for the milk component. Topics include the required daily and weekly servings, allowable types of milk, requirements for fluid milk substitutes in school meals, serving considerations for milk, and noncreditable milk. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on the milk component and includes a knowledge check on milk substitutes for children without a disability.

 

8: Meat/Meat Alternates (MMA) Component (length: 56:28)

This module reviews the requirements and crediting information for the MMA component. Topic include the difference between MMA and protein, the required daily and weekly servings, offering MMA substitutions at breakfast, the main dish requirement for lunch, crediting requirements for different types of MMA, e.g., commercial processed products, dried meats, cheeses, eggs, legumes (including roasted legumes and pasta made of 100 percent legume flours), nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, yogurt and soy yogurt, tofu, tempeh, surimi, and alternate protein products (APPs), and noncreditable MMA. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on the MMA component.

 

9: Fruits Component (length: 45:46)

This module reviews the requirements and crediting information for the fruits component. Topics include the required daily and weekly servings, the weekly juice limit, crediting requirements for different types of fruits (whole fresh fruits, frozen fruits, canned fruits, dried fruits, fruit juice, coconut, and pureed fruits including fruit smoothies), and noncreditable fruits. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on the fruits component and includes knowledge checks on canned fruits and crediting fruits.

 

10: Vegetables Component (length: 1:03:47)

This module reviews the requirements and crediting information for the vegetables component. Topics include the required daily and weekly servings, vegetable subgroups, juice limit, and the crediting requirements for different types of vegetables (vegetable juice, raw leafy greens, canned vegetables, hominy, dried vegetables, pureed vegetables, soups, mixed vegetables, vegetable and fruit mixtures, and vegetable flour pasta), and noncreditable vegetables. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on the vegetables component and includes knowledge check on crediting vegetables.

 

11: Grains Component 

This module reviews the requirements and crediting information for the grains component. Topics include the required daily and weekly servings, the weekly limit for grain-based desserts at lunch, allowable grains and grain products, creditable grain ingredients, how to identify whole and enriched grains, and the crediting requirements for different types of grains (breakfast cereals, commercial grain products, commercial combination foods, and grain foods made from scratch). This module also describes resources for guidance and training on the grains component.

 
  • Handout of Slides for Module 11
  • Resource List for Module 11

12: Whole Grain-rich (WGR) Requirement 

This module reviews the weekly whole grain-rich (WGR) requirement and the WGR criteria for the grains component. Topics include the WGR criteria for different types of grains (breakfast cereals, commercial grain products, commercial combination foods, and grain foods made from scratch), the limit for noncreditable grains, when noncreditable grains do not count toward the limit, the required WGR documentation for commercial grain products, and when a PFS is required for WGR foods. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on the WGR criteria and includes a quiz about how to identify WGR foods.

 
  • Handout of Slides for Module 12
  • Resource List for Module 12
  • Worksheet: Are These Commercial Products Whole Grain-rich?
    • Answer Key for Worksheet: Are These Commercial Products Whole Grain-rich?

13: Grain Ounce Equivalents 

This module reviews the required ounce equivalents for the component. Topics include the USDA’s Exhibit A: Grain Requirements for Child Nutrition Programs (grain ounce equivalents for nine different grain groups, A-I), the required quantities for foods in groups A-I, the rounding requirements for ounce equivalents calculations, considerations for crediting sliced breads, how to use method 1 (Exhibit A) and method 2 (creditable grains) to determine the ounce equivalents contribution of a commercial grain food or standardized recipe, choosing a calculation method, when method 2 is required for commercial grain products, and examples of how to use methods 1 and 2. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on grain ounce equivalents.

 
  • Handout of Slides for Module 13
  • Resource List for Module 13

14: Water Availability during Meal Service (length: 14:49)

This module reviews the USDA’s requirement for making potable water available to students during the meal service (including examples of how to offer water, implementation considerations, and allowable costs) and identifies resources for guidance and training on the water requirement.

 

15: Offer versus Serve (OVS) in the NSLP

This module reviews the OVS requirements for the NSLP. Topics include the requirements for reimbursable lunches, menu planning considerations, required signage, identifying reimbursable meals, and best practices for OVS. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on OVS and includes Meal or No Meal: Lunch Edition, a quiz on identifying reimbursable lunches with OVS.

 
  • Handout of Slides for Module 15
  • Resource List for Module 15
  • Worksheet: Meal or No Meal: Lunch Edition
    • Answer Key for Worksheet: Meal or No Meal: Lunch Edition

16: Offer versus Serve (OVS) in the SBP

This module reviews the OVS requirements for the SBP. Topics include the requirements for reimbursable breakfasts, menu planning considerations, required signage, identifying reimbursable meals, and best practices for OVS. This module also describes resources for guidance and training on OVS and includes Meal or No Meal: Breakfast Edition, a quiz on identifying reimbursable breakfasts with OVS.

 
  • Handout of Slides for Module 16
  • Resource List for Module 16
  • Worksheet: Meal or No Meal: Breakfast Edition
    • Answer Key for Worksheet: Meal or No Meal: Breakfast Edition