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TN Resource: Nutrient Analysis Protocols Manual


The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to share a new resource from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Team Nutrition (TN). This resource guides Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Operators through the steps and processes for a precise nutrient analysis of recipes and weekly menus. The resource has seven chapters:

  • Purpose of Nutrient Analysis and Introduction to Dietary Specifications

  • Selecting Software for Nutrient Analysis

  • Overview of Conducting a Nutrient Analysis

  • Preparing for a Nutrient Analysis

  • Entering Food Items into Your Software’s Database

  • Adding a Recipe to Your Software’s Database

  • Analyzing Menu Plans and Special Considerations

You can find this resource on the USDA websiteExternal link opens in new window or tab..

When creating a school menu, CNP operators must confirm that it meets the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) meal pattern and nutrition standards for that age grade group. Using a USDA-approved nutrient analysis software can prove that the food items offered meet the targets for calories, saturated fat, and sodium. CNP operators may also use a nutrient analysis to find competitive foods and beverages or to standardize recipes.

For more info on USDA-approved nutrient analysis software visit the USDA web siteExternal link opens in new window or tab.. To learn more about the NSLP or SBP meal pattern visit the CDE website.

Contact Information

If you have questions about this resource, please contact the USDA Team Nutrition by email at teamnutrition@usda.gov. If you have questions about the NSLP or SBP meal pattern, please contact the CDE by email at HHFKA@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 9, 2022
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