School Lunch Dietary Guidelines

What are Dietary Guidelines for Americans?

Eat a variety of foods.

Balance the food you eat with physical activity- maintain or improve your weight.

Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables, and fruits.

Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Choose a diet moderate in sugars.

Choose a diet moderate in salt and sodium.

What is school meals initiative for healthy children


Effective June 13, 1995, final rules amended the regulations governing the nutrition standards

for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The final rule requires that by

the 1996-97 school year, all school lunches and breakfasts comply with the recommendations of

the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, unless a waiver has been requested and approved. This

rule also establishes specific minimum standards for key nutrients and calories which schools

must meet. To assist and provide training on the new regulation, USDA has implemented SMI

(School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children).

How Will Menus Be Planned With the New Rules?

School food authorities may select from several options for planning menus. Different options

may be used in different schools and different options may be used for breakfast and lunch in

the same school. The options include:

1. Nutrient Standard Menu Planning

2. Assisted Nutrient Standard Menu Planning

3. Enhanced Food Based Menu Planning

4. Traditional Meal Pattern if it meets the Dietary Guidelines and nutrition standards