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Serving Reimbursable Meals…. Reimbursable Meals Why?. Federal law states that to receive Child Nutrition Funds – “a reimbursable meal must be served” Each month the total of free, reduced and paid meals are counted and a “claim” is made to the State Agency for these funds. Meal Patterns.

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reimbursable meals why
Reimbursable Meals Why?

Federal law states that to receive Child Nutrition Funds – “a reimbursable meal must be served”

Each month the total of free, reduced and paid meals are counted and a “claim” is made to the State Agency for these funds

meal patterns
Meal Patterns

“to make or create by following a plan or a design…

age grade groups
Age/Grade Groups

Each Meal Planning Pattern has required and optional age/grade groups

Calorie and nutrient needs of children

vary by their sex, age, size and activity level.

what is a calorie
What is a Calorie?
  • a unit of energy
  • fuel that powers our bodies
  • store that energy or burn it
  • everything we eat has calories
  • everything we do (even sleeping) burns calories
recommended dietary allowances rda s
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA’s)

“Standard to serve as a goal for good nutrition”

Intended to reflect the best scientific judgment on nutrient allowances for the maintenance of good health

food based meal planning
Food Based Meal Planning

Includes Components and Food Items

  • Traditional Food Based
  • Enhanced Food Based
benefits of food based menu planning
Benefits of Food Based Menu Planning
  • Most familiar to school foodservice professionals
  • Traditional “Type A” school lunch
  • Teaches food as whole foods, not broken down into nutrients
  • Reimbursable meal readily recognized by cashier at point of service
food components
Food Components

Component is “part of a whole”

A food component is one of the four food groups which compose the reimbursable meal (either lunch or breakfast)

lunch components
Lunch Components
  • Milk (as a beverage)
  • Meat or Meat Alternate
  • Vegetables/Fruits
  • Grains/Breads
food based lunch food items
Food Based Lunch Food Items
  • one of the five required foods
  • each of the food components must be represented by one food item
  • must be two different Vegetables and Fruits (one) component and two food items
breakfast components for food based
Breakfast ComponentsFor Food Based
  • Milk (Fluid)
  • Juice/Fruit/Vegetable
  • Grains/Breads
  • Meat or Meat Alternates
offer vs serve provision lunch
Offer vs. Serve Provision Lunch

Under this provision, the following conditions must be met:

  • Five food items must be offered to all students
  • Serving sizes must equal the minimum quantities required
  • Meal must be priced as a unit
  • students may take 3, 4 or all 5 items for the same price
  • Students have the option of which item to decline
offer vs serve breakfast
Offer vs. ServeBreakfast
  • Four food items must be offered to all students
  • Serving sizes must equal the minimum quantities required
  • Meal must be priced as a unit
  • Student may take 3 or 4 items for the same price
  • Student has option which item to decline
student choices
Student Choices

Choices are considered several offerings within one component


Grain/Bread Component

School Made Roll, French Bread or Muffins

  • Offer vs Serve means: you must offer all five menu items, and a student can select 3, 4 or all 5
  • Choices means: the student is more likely to select a 5-item meal which is what we encourage for good nutrition
nutrient standard menu planning
Nutrient Standard Menu Planning
  • Nutrient Standard (NSMP)
  • Assisted Nutrient Standard (ANSMP)

“Planning meals based on the nutrients in each food item”


Benefits of NSMP

  • Flexibility
  • Technology advancement
  • Nutrition disclosure
  • All foods count
  • Analysis is done before the menu is served, so you can be assured your menu is in compliance
  • Menus are re-analyzed several times each year to assure selections and weighting are correct

Additional Considerations

  • Adherence to cycle menus
    • Cannot have “manager specials”
    • Must strictly adhere to menu and only make substitutions from an approved list
      • Important to substitute nutrient for nutrient
      • Substituted item must be equal as much as possible to the original planned item
      • Menus must be re-analyzed if more than two weeks notice of substitution or change

Considerations cont’d…

  • Weekly menus are measured by nutrient analysis of foods
  • Menus can be tailored to fit your exact age/grade group, or
  • Follow the established K-6 and 7-12
  • Calories should be consistent on a daily basis as well as meeting weekly target nutrients
  • Cashiers must be continuously trained to identify a reimbursable meal at the point of service

Criteria for a Reimbursable Meal

  • Contains at least 3 menu items
  • Meets the nutrient standards for the appropriate grade or age group when averaged over one school week’s menu

- minimum of 3 consecutive and no

more than 7 days


Meal Structure for Lunch


  • A minimum of 3 items must be offered
    • Entrée (single food item or combination)
    • Milk (fluid)
    • Side dish (may be any food item except a condiment or food of minimal nutritional value

- SFA must decide an appropriate minimum quantity that students must select for the menu item to be counted toward a reimbursable meal


Good Menu Planning

  • Establish a consistent meal

structure to facilitate OVS


  • Since there are no meal patterns or food components – you must plan menus to meet the nutrient standards using the five major food groups in the Food Guide Pyramid

Offer versus Serve for Lunch

  • Required for senior high schools
  • Optional for lower grades
  • Decided by your local board
  • Structure:

Must offer at least 3 menu items

Student must select at least 2 or the 3

(one must be an entrée)

If more than 3 items are offered, student may decline no more than 2 menus items


Offer versus for Breakfast

  • Optional for all grades
  • Student may decline a maximum of one menu item out of the 3 or more required menu items offered

What Foods Count for Nutrient Analysis

  • All foods served in a meal, including condiments are analyzed
  • Only foods for reimbursable meals

are included – no a la carte

or adult sales


Menu items

Hamburger on a Bun = one menu item

Hamburger Patty = one menu item


Bun = one menu item


Reimbursable OVS

  • Taco Salad
  • Watermelon Wedge
  • Choice of Milk
  • Possible combinations:
    • Taco Salad, Watermelon wedge and milk
    • Taco Salad and Watermelon Wedge
    • Taco Salad and Milk


  • Student must take an entrée
  • Student may decline only one menu item when the minimum of three menu items is offered as a meal unit

Menu # 2

  • Taco
  • Refried Beans
  • Rice
  • Watermelon Wedge
  • Choice of Milk
  • Possible combinations:
    • Taco, Refried Beans,Rice
    • Taco,Rice,Watermelon Wedge
    • Taco, Refried Beans, Watermelon Wedge
    • Taco, Watermelon, Milk
    • Taco, Refried Beans, Milk
    • Taco, Rice, Milk