P. O. BOX 2120
August 23, 1996


TO: Division Superintendents
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
  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. 
  Attachment:  This memo and its attachment will be sent to
               the superintendent's office.