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School Nutrition Standards


The final rule for nutrition standards in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program was released January 26, 2012. Below are resources, trainings, and communication tools to assist with implementation.

Resources and Tools

USDA Food and Nutrition Services Nutrition Standards for School Meals Webpage
Meal Pattern - Nutrition Standards 
Implementation Timeline for Nutrition Standards
Whole Grains Information Handout 
Vegetable Subgroups Handout
Sample Menu

Certification $.06 for Meal Program
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) requires the additional 6 cents per lunch reimbursement be provided to school food authorities (SFAs) certified by a State agency to be in compliance with the new meal pattern requirements. While there is no deadline for submitting certification documentation, all SFAs were required to meet the new meal patterns effective July 1, 2012. For more information and links to USDA required forms, click here.

Iowa Breakfast Menu Planning Template
This breakfast menu planning template can be used for all grade groups to help menu planners evaluate breakfast menus over the course of a week.

Using the Menu Planning Tools
This presentation gives information on using the Menu Planning Tools.

 K-12 Menu Planning Tool
This K-12 menu planning tool is designed to assist in evaluating whether minimum and maximum servings from each food group are included in weekly menus.  There are rows for each of the food groups as well as each of the vegetable subgroups so they can be totaled weekly.

Menu Planning Tool for Multiple Entrees
The MSExcel Spreasheet Menu Planning Tool contains formulas to evaluate whether the daily required vegetable servings, weekly required vegetable subgroup servings, and weeky minimum and maximum requirements for other food groups are met.

New Meal Pattern Food Production Record
Food Production records are required daily documentation of specific food items offered to meet the meal pattern. This MSExcel workbook contians one sheet for lunch, with three grade groupings and adult/a la carte servings, one daily food bar sheet wih space to identify servings for three grade groupings and adult/a la carte, a daily tranport sheet, and a sheet for breakfast with three grade groupings and adult/a la carte servings.  Use the tabs at the bottom to navigate the different meals forms.

Standardized Recipe Template
Standardized recipes are required for any menu item indicated on a production record that contains more than one ingredient, such as beef stir-fry, seasoned vegetables, and sandwiches. This MSWord template is comprehensive, adaptable and includes steps to standardize a recipe.

Menu and Recipes

Chef Cyndie Story Recipes
Ten new recipes that were developed, tested, and standardized by Chef Cyndie Story to assist schools with incorporating more dark green, orange/red vegetables, legumes, and whole grains into school meals. The recipes are a supplement to the existing Iowa Gold Star Recipes and can be a tool for schools as they work towards meeting the new meal pattern requirements.

Healthier Kansas Menus
These breakfast and lunch menus meet the new menu pattern, HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Level requirements, and the Exemplary Level nutrition requirements of the Kansas School Wellness Policy Model Guidelines. Nutrient analysis, recipes, preparation instructions, serving tips, production records and a purchasing guide are available for both the 4-week breakfast menu cycle and 6-week lunch menu cycles.

Iowa Gold Star Cycle Breakfast and Lunch Menus and Recipes
These menus offer increased whole grains, fruits and vegetables and legumes, optional locally grown Iowa produce, and healthy USDA Foods. Seven schools pilot tested the menus and recipes. The toolkit includes menu, recipes, shopping list, Nutrikids nutritional analysis, technical assistance materials, and produce merchandising resources.

Best Practice Sharing Center
This collection is intended for School Food Authorities and State Agencies to share resources and tools they use to serve healthy menus that meet school meal regulations.  Search by “planning tools” to locate We Can Do This: Advice and Resources for Meeting the New Meal Pattern, a resource submitted by the School Nutrition Association. Click here.

Communication Tools

The following tools have been developed to help school nutrition programs communicate effectively with the school staff, parents and the community about the needs and value of the child nutrition program. Each tools is to be edited and customized to meet specific school needs.

It's Not Just School Lunch. It's Bigger Than That.
Tools to promote and support school meals based on feedback collected from parents and school staff collected through surveys and interviews. 

Sample Webpage Template 
This template can be used to create or update an existing school nutrition program webpage. The different sections highlight the new meal pattern changes, as well as include resources for parents to support the changes.

Building Healthy School Lunches Videos
Four videos available to assist in communicating changes in the school lunch program. Each four- to seven-minute video is targeted to a different age group: elementary, middle school, high school, and adults. For more information, contact Ann Feilmann at

Build a Healthy Lunch Reimbursable Meal Identification System
Iowa Team Nutrition has developed this reimbursable meal identification kit to assist students in selecting their meal choices and will reduce unintentional purchase of food items not included in the reimbursable meal. The kit was designed to help identify foods that are part of the reimbursable meal for the day at the near or beginning of the serving line (s) and allow schools to be in compliance of the "Identification of Reimbursable Meals" regulation that is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Build a Healthy Lunch Lesson
Today's Menu Poster
Colored Tray(.jpeg)
Mini Tray Sign  (.jpeg)
Menu Blank Sheet
Menu Blank Sheet in Color

Component Graphics (.jpeg files): Fruits, VegetablesMeats/Meat Alternates, GrainsFluid Milk

Build a Healthy Lunch Lesson - Lesson for elementary classrooms to help explain the “Build a Healthy Lunch” signage in the cafeteria and show support for the school meal program.


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on March 28, 2015 at 11:53am.