In December, the USDA issued a final rule related to whole grains, sodium and milk in school meals. The rule, in effect, made provisional flexibilities in place since 2017 permanent. Child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, now only have to provide at least half of the weekly grains as whole-grain-rich, can provide flavored 1% milk and can maintain Sodium 1 Target levels through the end of SY 2023-2024.
While the government is relaxing the whole grain requirement, NutriStudents K-12 menus continue to specify 100% whole grains. Yes, our menus surpass USDA requirements! Many of our clients have found students widely accept the pastas, rolls and other whole grain menu items. Some have even suggested to roll-back to the 50% whole grain threshold may be detrimental should the government decide to reinstate the 100% whole grain requirement in the future.
While we have not compromised the nutritional integrity of menus, we also understand that some clients may have yet to acclimate students to 100% whole grains. If that's the case for your program, simply substitute your preferred ingredient for our whole-grain-rich ingredient specified in the recipe. It's your option.
Similarly, our current menus also specify only skim milk. You have the option of offering 1% white and flavored milks. Our menus currently in development, which we anticipate will be ready for fall, will incorporate 1% milks.