An introduction to the new school foodservice breakfast requirements

Just as school food authorities across the country are finally settling into the new requirements for lunch offerings, revamped mandates on breakfast programs are heading their way. These rules call for much the same work as was done this school year on lunches and are based around a similar premise – that government-supported meal programs should be healthy and well-balanced to create a healthy next generation of Americans. That means creating strictly followed breakfast program menus that meet a weekly average for nutrient and vitamin intake, as well as calorie and fat limits.

Among the key points of the breakfast portion of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 as administered by the USDA are:

My Plate Graphic

  • All schools must use a food-based menu planning approach for breakfast. This process will be similar to that already being used for school lunch programs. The breakfast rules require at least 1 ounce of grains each day, ½ cup of fruits and/or vegetables, and 1 cup of fluid milk (fat-free unflavored or flavored, or unflavored low-fat) for all students every day. Each student is allowed to refuse to be served any one item on the menu each day.
  • Limiting percent of calories from fat to 30 percent of actual calories offered, saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories, and overall amounts of cholesterol, salt, and sodium.
  • Eliminating entirely any trans fats either in foods offered or used in cooking.
  • There is no meat or meat alternative requirement for breakfast menus. However, one may be provided in place of part of the grains component, provided the minimum grains serving required is offered.
  • Schools must keep production and menu records for breakfasts they produce, with those documents required to show how each meal contributes to required food components, food items, or menu items each day. They must also show how the meals contribute to overall nutrition standards.
  • Each serving requirement is calculated based on the age group of children being served, so that younger children get appropriately-sized meals, while older students get the nutrition they need to support healthy growth. For the most part, the servings for each My Plate category for grades K-12 are double than they are for preschool-aged children ages 3-5.
  • We found a delicious recipe that fits into these guidelines nicely, offering a 2-ounce equivalent meat/meat alternative serving, 1/4 cup vegetable serving, and 1.5 servings of grains/breads. This plan for a breakfast burrito with salsa comes directly from the USDA and it’s crafted for school foodservice. That means it’s in the scale you need and includes all the required nutrition information.

    KaTom’s customer service representatives are ready to assist you in finding the equipment and supplies you need to ensure you’re meeting these requirements.

    Please call us at 800.541.8683 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern or email us at info@katom.com if we can serve you.

    *For informational use only. Not intended as legal or professional advice.

    Lyndsay Gower
    Lyndsay Gower

    A University of Tennessee graduate with a degree in advertising, she coordinates KaTom’s marketing efforts. When she’s not doing that, she can typically be found sharing a meal with friends, cruising Knoxville’s craft beer joints, or floating down one of East Tennessee’s numerous rivers. Her life’s goal is to visit every U.S. national park and she likes giving pets opposite-gender names.

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