Directors; Superintendents; Child Nutrition Directors
The United States Department
of Agriculture (USDA) has finalized Transitional Standards for milk, whole
grains, and sodium for child nutrition meal pattern requirements for school
years (SY) 2022-2023 and 2023-2024. This rule
will become effective July 1, 2022.
final rule establishes transitional standards to support the continued
provision of nutritious school meals to students as school districts respond to
and recover from the pandemic. While
USDA engages in notice-and-comment rulemaking to update the meal pattern
standards to reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) 2020-2025, this
final rule will provide immediate relief to schools during the return to
traditional school meal service following extended use of COVID-19 meal pattern
USDA is working to develop
long-term nutrition standards - based on the newest DGA and extensive input
from a wide range of partners - that will work for schools, families, and
industry alike. USDA expects to publish a proposed rule on the updated
standards in Fall 2022.
School districts and
childcare providers of the National
School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) may offer
flavored, low-fat milk (1% fat) for students in addition to unflavored, low-fat
milk and flavored or unflavored nonfat milk. Flavored milk may also be sold as a
USDA will require at least 80% of the grains
served in the NSLP and SBP each week be whole grain rich. All remaining grains offered must be enriched.
Sodium Target 1 is established as the sodium limit for school
lunch and breakfast in SY 2022-2023 as proposed, but a Sodium Interim Target 1A
will be implemented and effective for school lunch only, beginning in SY
2023-2024 as shown on the following chart.
Again, this final rule is effective July 1,
2022. Written comments on this final rule must be received on or before March
24, 2022, to receive consideration.
- Online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FNS-2020-0038-2936
- Mail: Send comments to Tina Namian, Chief, School Programs Branch, Policy and Program Development Division – 4th floor, Food and Nutrition Service, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 703-305-2590.
If you have any
questions or need additional information related to school meal pattern requirements,
please contact your Area Specialist at 501-324-9502.