SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 9
August 23, 1996
|FROM:||Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Healthy Meals for Children Act Public Law 104-149|
The "Healthy Meals for Children Act," signed into law May 29, 1996, increases the flexibility school food authorities (SFAs) have in meeting the nutrition standards established in the Healthy Meals for Americans Act (1994). In addition to the three methods established in the 1994 Act (NuMenus, Assisted NuMenus and enhanced food based menu planning), Congress provided that schools may use the meal pattern used during the 1994-95 school year or any other reasonable means, with guidelines established by the Secretary in a timely manner, that achieve the nutrition and accountability standards established for the school breakfast and lunch programs. The requirement for school meals to meet the nutrition standards of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, effective the beginning of School Year 1996 remains unchanged. School lunches and breakfasts must meet the nutrition standards published in the Code of Regulations 7 210.10. and described in the attachment to Superintendents Regulatory Memo No. 12, August 18, 1995. Since Congress considered the 1994-95 pattern capable of meeting the established nutrition standards, schools/school food authorities may choose to use NuMenus, Assisted NuMenus, the enhanced food based meal pattern, or the 1994-95 meal pattern. (Other "reasonable means" may not be selected until regulations are provided through the formal rule making process). It is emphasized that it is very difficult to meet the nutrition standards when implementing the 1994-95 meal pattern exactly as written. In addition, the crediting of grain-based desserts toward the grain-bread requirement may not be used when implementing the 1994-95 meal pattern system. Supts Memo No. 9 Page 2 August 23, 1996 In implementing any of the meal planning systems, SFAs must maintain adequate documentation including, but not limited to, menus, completed food production records, purchased product nutrient information, the standardized recipes used, and nutrient analyses of menus, as applicable. Since the 1996-97 agreements between the Department and SFAs did not contain the 1994-95 meal planning system as an option, those school food authorities who wish to follow that system must notify the Department in writing of its intent and describe how the nutrition standards are met. The description should include the menus listing all foods that may be credited toward a reimbursable meal, portion sizes of all items, modifications in recipes and food preparation, purchased product nutrient content/established specification criteria, and nutrient analysis performed using a software approved by the U.S.D.A. Attached to this memo is a copy of a U.S.D.A. publication on frequently asked questions on the School Meal Initiative. SFA representatives were provided training materials and an inservice on the School Meals Initiative in May. Ten regional inservices for school managers on the food based menu planning system were provided the first three weeks in August, and an inservice on the NuMenus meal planning system is scheduled for September 25 and 26. If other information is needed, please contact the School Nutrition Programs Specialist who is your school division's point of contact at (804) 225-2082. RTL/idl Attachment: This memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office.