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Nutrition Requirements for Fluid Milk

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information, Action Required

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: USDA-SNP-07-2011

Attention: Food Service Directors

Date: June 2011

Subject: Nutrition Requirements for Fluid Milk

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memo SP 29-2011; Federal Register Vol.76, No. 9, January 13, 2011 Proposed Rules
Supersedes: Management Bulletin NSD-SNP-05-105

This Management Bulletin (MB) notifies National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program sponsors that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently issued a Policy Memo regarding new requirements for fluid milk. 


On December 13, 2010, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Act), reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Programs. The Act amended section 9(a)(2)(A) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, modifying requirements for fluid milk. It removes the requirement that schools must serve milk in a variety of fat contents and instead requires that schools offer at least two milk choices from fat-free or low-fat (one percent) fluid milk options.

The Institute of Medicine recommended this change to align the School Nutrition Programs (SNP) with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend that persons over two years of age consume fat-free or low-fat fluid milk.


To comply with these requirements, School Food Authorities (SFAs) must offer at least two of the following types of milk:

  • Fat-free
  • Low-fat (one percent)
  • Fat-free or low-fat reduced lactose
  • Fat-free or low-fat lactose-free
  • Fat-free or low-fat buttermilk
  • Fat-free or low-fat acidified milk

These requirements are effective July 1, 2011.

Guidance on Flavored Milk

The proposed rule, Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, addresses flavored milk. It requires that only fat-free flavored milk be allowed in the SNPs.

Until the proposed rule becomes final, sponsors may still offer flavored milk as either low-fat or  fat-free. However, the California Department of Education encourages SFAs to work toward serving only fat-free flavored milk in school meals.

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact Ashley Osterman, Child Nutrition Consultant, by phone at 916-445-1261, or by e-mail at, or you can contact Lori Porter, Child Nutrition Consultant, by phone at 916-323-4100 or by e-mail at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 7, 2016

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