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Q and A on the New Meal Pattern, Sixth Revision

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information
To: National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Sponsors Number: USDA-SNP-22-2013
Attention: Food Service Director Date: October 2013
Subject: Questions and Answers on the Final Rule, Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs—Revised
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memo SP 10‑2012 (v.7), revised August 7, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), has issued Policy Memo SP 10-2012 (v.7)—Revised, Questions and Answers on the Final Rule, Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The FNS issued the memo to provide additional responses and clarification to questions regarding the New Meal Pattern (NMP) requirements established under Section 201 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296.

The revised memo includes original, revised, and new questions and answers on a number of important topics. The complete questions and answers are located in Policy Memo SP 10-2012 (v.7). For ease of reference, new, revised, and deleted questions along with their corresponding numbers are listed below by category.


6.   Meal requirements for pre-kindergarten children (Revised)

Fruits and Vegetables

19. Allowing 100 percent frozen fruit juice without added sugar (Revised)


15. Counting breading for 2013–14 school year under the NSLP (Revised)

20. Fortified cereal grains (Revised)

21. Grains considered non-creditable (Revised)

24. Evaluating ready-to-eat cereals for fortification under the NMP (Revised)


5.    Allowing nutritionally equivalent milks (New)


3.    Maximum calorie limits on school meals under the NMP (Revised)

Meal Patterns

4.    Serving the same meal pattern to pre-kindergarten and elementary students (Revised)

Menu Planning

6.    Second serving for students (Revised)

12. Counting foods offered at no charge after the Point of Service in dietary specifications (Revised)

16. Crediting fruit in desserts toward the NMP for lunch (Revised)

Offer versus Serve

2.    Meeting Offer versus Serve (OVS) requirement for fruit or vegetable from a mixed dish (Revised)

3.    Meeting fruit or vegetable requirement under OVS by selecting ¼ cup fruit and ¼ cup   vegetables (Revised)


2.   Adopting NMP requirements for SBP early (Revised)


3.   Beginning of three-year review cycle (Revised)

4.   Determining if School Food Authorities’ menus are in compliance (Revised)

Nutrient Analysis

1.   Calculating based on a weighted average of all foods (Revised)

2.   Differentiating between planned, offered, and selected/served (Revised)

3.   Basis of a weighted nutrient analysis (Revised)

Meal Identification

1.   Identifying all foods on the serving line that are part of the reimbursable meal (Deleted)

3.   Compliance with the identification of a reimbursable meal (Renumbered (2) and Revised)

Other Child Nutrition Programs

1.   Implementing the NMP for schools operating Seamless Summer Option (SSO) (Revised)

5.   Receiving six cents reimbursement for SSO meals (Revised)

The FNS will continue to revise this memo as questions arise during implementation of the NMP requirements. To support School Nutrition Program implementation efforts, the Nutrition Services Division will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Contact Information

For more information regarding this subject, please contact Rema El-Mahmoud, Child Nutrition Assistant, by phone at 916-323-5757 or by e-mail at

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