Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

The Vegetable Subgroup List

A list of vegetables found in each of the required vegetable subgroup categories. The list is not all-inclusive.

The meal pattern for the National School Lunch Program requires a minimum weekly offering of vegetables from each vegetable subgroup category. The meal pattern for the School Breakfast Program allows schools to substitute vegetables for fruits, but the first two cups per week of any substitution must be from dark green, red/orange, beans and peas (legumes) or “Other Vegetables”.

  1. Dark Green Vegetables

    • Arugula lettuce
    • Bok choy
    • Broccoli and broccoli rabe
    • Butter head lettuce (Boston, bibb)
    • Chard
    • Cilantro
    • Collard greens
    • Dark green leafy lettuce
    • Kale
    • Mesclun
    • Mixed dark leafy (includes romaine, chicory, escarole, and endive)
    • Mustard greens
    • Parsley
    • Red leaf lettuce
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Seaweed (laver)
    • Spinach
    • Turnip greens
    • Watercress

    Requirement for lunch: ½ cup per week (all grades)

  1. Red and Orange Vegetables

    • Acorn squash
    • Butternut squash
    • Carrots and carrot juice
    • Hubbard squash
    • Orange and red peppers
    • Pumpkin
    • Sweet potatoes and yellow yams
    • Tomatoes and tomato juice

    Requirement for lunch: ¾ cup grades kindergarten–fifth and sixth–eighth, and 1¼ cup grades ninth–twelfth per week

  1. Beans and Peas

    • Black beans
    • Black-eyed peas (mature, dry)
    • Edamame (soybeans)
    • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
    • Kidney beans
    • Lentils
    • Lima beans (mature), including fava and mung
    • Navy beans
    • Pinto beans
    • Soy beans
    • Split peas
    • White beans

    Requirement for lunch: ½ cup per week (all grades)

  1. Starchy Vegetables

    • Cassava
    • Corn
    • Fresh cowpeas, field peas, or black-eyed peas (not dry)
    • Green bananas
    • Green lima beans
    • Green peas
    • Jicama
    • Lima beans (immature)
    • Parsnips
    • Plantains
    • Taro
    • Water chestnuts
    • White potatoes
    • White yams

    Requirement for lunch: ½ cup per week (all grades)

  1. Other Vegetables (includes fresh, frozen and canned vegetables, cooked, or raw)

    • Artichokes
    • Asparagus
    • Avocado
    • Bamboo shoots
    • Bean sprouts
    • Beets
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cabbage (green, red, napa/celery)
    • Cactus
    • Cauliflower
    • Celery
    • Chives
    • Cucumbers and pickles
    • Eggplant
    • Garlic
    • Green beans
    • Green peppers
    • Iceberg (head) lettuce
    • Mung bean sprouts
    • Mushrooms
    • Okra
    • Olives
    • Onions
    • Purple bell peppers
    • Radishes
    • Seaweed (wakame)
    • Snow peas
    • Summer squash (e.g. zucchini, yellow, spaghetti)
    • Tomatillos
    • Turnips
    • Wax beans
    • Yellow peppers
    • Plus any vegetable from lists 1, 2, and 3

    Requirement for lunch: ½ cup grades kindergarten–fifth and sixth–eighth, and ¾ cup grades ninth–twelfth per week

  1. Additional Vegetables to Reach Total

    • Mixed Vegetables (unknown amounts of each vegetable)

    Requirement for lunch: 1 cup grades kindergarten–fifth and sixth–eighth, and 1½ cup grades ninth–twelfth per week

For more information on vegetables, please visit the USDA ChooseMyPlate External link opens in new window or tab. web page.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division |
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Related Content
Recently Posted in Nutrition

  • USDA Q&A—Collection of Racial and Ethnic Data (added 23-Jun-2022)
    The USDA issued Memorandum CACFP 09-2022, SFSP 05-2022: Questions and Answers (Q&A) Related to CACFP 11-2021, SFSP 07-2021 Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data by Visual Oservation and Identification.
  • Transitional Meal Standards SY 2022–23 and 2023–24 (added 17-Jun-2022)
    This management bulletin provides information regarding the transitional meal standards for school meal programs effective July 1, 2022, and through School Year (SY) 2023–24.
  • Accommodating Disabilities in the SNPs (added 16-Jun-2022)
    This management bulletin has been revised to comply with Section 508 Accessibility Standards. Policy guidance has not changed and remains current.
  • 2022 Farm to Summer Celebration Week (added 09-Jun-2022)
    Information related to Farm to Summer Celebration week June 20-24, 2022 including: the goal of the program, required components, documentation and recognition.
  • Excess Net Cash Resources—Increased Limitation (added 09-Jun-2022)
    School food authorities must observe both limitations on the use of nonprofit school food service account funds. This management bulletin (MB) increases the existing Net Cash Resources limitation from three months to six months.