School Nutrition Announcements December 21, 2018
School Nutrition Programs Policy
SP08 CACFP02 SFSP02-2019
All USDA memos for School Nutrition Programs can be found here
Every month, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service creates newsletters highlighting new resources available to assist with coordination and operation of the Summer Food Service Program.
Press and Events
More Flexibility on Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Provides Options to Schools
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2018 –Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today empowered local schools with additional options to serve healthy and appealing meals. A final rule on school meal flexibilities, to be published later this month in the Federal Register, increases local flexibility in implementing school nutrition standards for milk, whole grains, and sodium. Secretary Perdue said the final rule will deliver on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) promise, made in a May 2017 proclamation, to develop forward-thinking strategies that ensure school nutrition standards are both healthful and practical.
“USDA is committed to serving meals to kids that are both nutritious and satisfying,” said Perdue. “These common-sense flexibilities provide excellent customer service to our local school nutrition professionals, while giving children the world-class food service they deserve.”
The actions taken today will benefit nearly 99,000 schools and institutions that feed 30 million children annually through USDA’s school meal programs. This rule is part of USDA’s Regulatory Reform Agenda, developed in response to President Trump’s Executive Order to eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens.
The Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements final rule offers schools new options as they serve meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and other federal child nutrition programs. The rule:
• Provides the option to offer flavored, low-fat milk to children participating in school meal programs, and to participants ages six and older in the Special Milk Program for Children (SMP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP);
• Requires half of the weekly grains in the school lunch and breakfast menu be whole grain-rich; and
• Provides more time to reduce sodium levels in school meals.
Perdue said schools have faced challenges serving meals that both are appetizing to students and meet the nutrition standards. “If kids are not eating what is being served, they are not benefiting, and food is being wasted,” said Perdue. “We all have the same goals in mind -- the health and development of our young people. USDA trusts our local operators to serve healthy meals that meet local preferences and build bright futures with good nutrition.”
“We will continue to listen to schools, and make common-sense changes as needed, to ensure they can meet the needs of their students based on their real-world experience in local communities,” said Perdue.
USDA’s FNS works to reduce food insecurity and promote nutritious diets among the American people. The agency administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy.
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Training and Resources
Montana School Wellness in Action workshop
Montana Team Nutrition is pleased to offer a Montana School Wellness in Action workshop in Manhattan at Manhattan Christian School in Manhattan on January 23, 2019 from 1:00-4:30 pm. This workshop is free. Click to register.
For more information or visit www.montana.edu/teamnurition or contact Katie Bark at Montana Team Nutrition Program firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 994-5641.
New Team Nutrition Schools Network and Website
USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative invites State agencies that administer School Meals Programs to visit the new Team Nutrition Schools Network website, and share this information with schools in your State. The Team Nutrition Schools Network is designed specifically for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that are interested in and/or working towards an environment and culture of wellness through the promotion of healthy eating. Enrollment information of existing Team Nutrition schools is available at the website, giving you an opportunity to search for Team Nutrition schools in your State. Schools that have not yet enrolled in the Team Nutrition Schools Network are encouraged to join and receive access to resources, networking opportunities, and more!
Visit our Team Nutrition School Network website and enjoy these new features:
- Simplified Sign-in Form for easier enrollment;
- Searchable Team Nutrition Schools Network to find, view, and update information about Team Nutrition Schools;
- Downloadable certificate of participation for each Team Nutrition School;
- Tutorial videos that demonstrate how to complete the new enrollment form and use the search feature;
- Easy access from any mobile devices, like tablets or smartphones; and
We welcome you to check out these new features and share this information with all the schools in your State. Encourage schools to update contact information via the website to ensure they will receive announcements about new resources, updates, and promotional items from Team Nutrition. New, colorful nutrition message decals that can be displayed in the school cafeteria will soon be available only for Team Nutrition Schools—don’t miss out!
For questions or for more information, please contact TeamNutrition@usda.gov.
Digital Nutrition Education Resources for Middle School
On December 12, 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Team Nutrition initiative released Fueling My Health Life, a new web-based nutrition education curriculum for middle schools. These materials include online lesson plans, informational text articles, student assessments, video, digital badges, and interactive activities. These resources support the school meals programs by teaching children about the importance of breakfast, what constitutes a balanced breakfast, and how to use MyPlate as a guide for building a healthy breakfast.
Serving School Meals to Preschoolers
The USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative is pleased to announce the release of the “Serving School Meals to Preschoolers” training worksheet. School Meals Program operators can use this colorful four-page worksheet to plan and prepare menus that meet preschool meal patterns in the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program. This resource also includes information regarding co-mingling of preschool students and students from older grade groups, as well as scenario-based questions to test for knowledge and understanding.
All materials are available at https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/serving-school-meals-preschoolers.
Food Buying Guide Calculator
A Calculator is a new feature included with the Food Buying Guide (FBG) for Child Nutrition Programs Interactive Web-Based Tool. The FBG Calculator is designed to assist Child Nutrition Program operators in creating a shopping list to streamline food ordering needs for their programs and may be accessed along with the other Food Buying Guide resources at https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/food-buying-guide-for-child-nutrition-programs.