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Food Buying Guide Updates:Vegetables/Fruit Section

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information
To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors Number: USDA-SNP-37-2012
Attention: Food Service Directors Date: September 2012
Subject: Updates in the Vegetables/Fruit Section of the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memo SP 37-2012

This Management Bulletin (MB) notifies School Nutrition Program sponsors that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated the Vegetables and Fruits Section of the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs (FBG). The final rule: Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, released on January 26, 2012, requires that fruits and vegetables be separate meal components in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Final Rule Overview

The final rule requires that SFAs offer, over the course of the week, all the identified 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans vegetable subgroups at minimum quantities as part of the lunch menus effective July 1, 2012 (school year 2012–13). This change encourages consumption of, and provides a variety from, all vegetable subgroups. Students who have access to more variety of fruits and vegetables in school benefit from ingesting important nutrients that help to maintain a healthy weight.

Food Buying Guide Updates in the Vegetable and Fruits Section

The USDA, by revising the Vegetables and Fruits section of the FBG, is working to help SFAs meet the new meal pattern requirements by making the information easier to access and understand. The FBG now:

  • Separates the once single Vegetables and Fruits section into two distinct subsections
  • Labels each vegetable with its appropriate vegetable subgroup (red/orange, dark green, beans and peas, starchy, or other)
Technical Revision to the Food Buying Guide

To accommodate the portion size changes with the new Food-Based Menu Plan (FBMP), a correction has been made to Bananas, Fresh 150 count petite on page 2-73. It is now recorded as Bananas, Fresh 150 count 7 to 7-7/8 inch. This changes the serving size from about 3/8 cup to 1/2 cup, which is a universal measurement for the FBMP.

Current Food Buying Guide Manual

The Vegetables and Fruits section of the FBG, which includes the portion size changes made to bananas, is only available electronically. SFAs that prefer a hard copy of the FBG may print this update and insert it into the 2001 FBG binder. The manual is available on the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Resource Library Web page at


The full USDA, FNS, Policy Memo SP 37-2012 is available on the USDA School Meals Policy Memos Web page at

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact Lori Porter, Child Nutrition Consultant (CNC), by e-mail at or by phone at 916-322-1454; or Ashley Osterman, Child Nutrition Consultant (CNC), by e-mail at, or by phone at 916-445-1261.

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