79. 72. Thirteen percent of public school SFAs contracted with FSMCs in school year (SY) 2004-2005. The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) in Section 9(a)(4), 42 U.S.C. Weeks in which school breakfasts are offered less than three times must be combined with either the previous or the coming week. 32. We are updating the Child Nutrition Database and will reevaluate nutrient analysis software systems available from industry to assist SAs with monitoring calories, saturated fat, and sodium in the meals offered to students in grades K through 12 during the administrative review. The final rule makes additional changes. In this Issue, Documents USDA received a total of 133,268 public comments during the comment period January 13-April 13, 2011. Noncommercial and/or non-standardized tofu and soy products are not creditable. 1758(a)(4) and (f)(1), require that school meals reflect the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans and promote the intake of the food groups recommended by the Dietary Guidelines. Therefore, this final rule requires schools to make a gradual reduction in the sodium content of the meals, as recommended by IOM and consistent with the requirements of the FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Act. Several commenters, however, indicated that applying a weekly meat/meat alternate requirement, rather than a daily source of protein, might decrease the estimated meal cost and increase menu planning flexibility. The final rule addresses these concerns by increasing the amount of fruit, the amount and the variety of vegetables, and the amount of whole grains offered each week to students who participate in the school meals programs. Weeks in which school lunches are offered less than three times shall be combined with either the previous or the coming week. a. For complete information about, and access to, our official publications Reimbursable breakfasts meet the meal requirements in 220.8 and 220.23 of this chapter, as applicable to the age/grade group reviewed. School lunches offered to all age/grade groups must, on average over the school week, provide less than 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat. Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables and dry beans and peas (legumes) may be offered to meet the fruit requirement. Schools or the State agency must add any locally purchased processed foods and menu items to their local database as outlined in FNS guidance. The whole grain-rich criteria provided in FNS guidance may be updated to reflect additional information provided voluntarily by industry on the food label or a whole grains definition by the Food and Drug Administration. Recognizing that the Dietary Guidelines apply to a total diet, rather than a specific meal or portion of an individual's consumption, the intention of the rule is to make changes to school meals nutrition requirements to promote diets more consistent with the Guidelines among program participants. That difference is the estimated cost of the rule, as presented in Table 6 in section III.A.1. Infant breakfasts must have, at a minimum, each of the food components indicated, in the amount that is appropriate for the infant's age. Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.. These documents were released as SNDA-III data was being collectedtoo soon for substantial changes prompted by the Dietary Guidelines to be reflected in meals offered to students. Schools or the State agency must add any locally purchased processed foods to their local database as outlined in FNS guidance. electronic version on GPOs govinfo.gov. (ii) All fluid milk served in the Program must be pasteurized fluid milk which meets State and local standards for such milk. This structure allows FNS to receive regular input which contributes to the development of meaningful and feasible Program requirements. The analysis is conducted over a school week within the review period. The cost impacts of these alternatives are presented in Table 14.Start Printed Page 4128. An Empirical Analysis of and Policy Recommendations to Improve the Nutritional Quality of School Meals. (6) Comparing the results of the nutrient analysis. Enriched macaroni with fortified protein as defined in Appendix A to Part 210 may be used to meet part of the meats/meat alternates requirement when used as specified in Appendix A to Part 210. Canned whole kernel corn, whole tomatoes, and diced tomatoes are being offered with no added salt. Our cost estimates for both the proposed and final rules discount the possibility that prices for these foods may moderate over time. that agencies use to create their documents. Nuts or seeds may be used to meet no more than one-half (50 percent) of the meats/meat alternates component with another meats/meat alternates to meet the full requirement. Alternate menu planning approaches are those adopted or developed by school food authorities or State agencies that differ from the standard approaches established in paragraphs (e) through (g) of this section. The proposed rule included tomatoes in the other vegetable category, consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. The effect of a 2 percent decrease in student participation would be to decrease the cost of implementing the final rule by $1.3 billion. These commenters, including State and local operators, school food service staff, school advocacy organizations, professional associations, trade associations, and other groups argued that reviewing menus for one week is a reasonable amount of time to determine if an SFA is meeting the meal requirements. Amend paragraph (f)(2) by removing the words 210.30(d) wherever it appears and adding in its place the words 210.29; and. The parties affected by this regulation are USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, State education agencies, local school food authorities, schools, students, and the food Start Printed Page 4109production, distribution and service industry. (C) The school food authority remains in noncompliance with the meal requirements established in parts 210 and 220 of this chapter. Table 14 Sections A and B model the effects of altering that assumption. This only applies if the alternate approach is a food-based menu planning approach. (iii) Solid foods. On multiple days per week, schools will need to offer more than the minimum daily grains requirement of 1 oz. All vegetables are credited based on their volume as served, except that 1 cup of leafy greens counts as 1/2 cup of vegetables and tomato paste and tomato puree are credited based on calculated volume of the whole food equivalency. (ii) Requisites for milk substitutions. 1751-1760, 1779. a. State agencies must conduct a weighted nutrient analysis for the schools selected for an administrative review to monitor compliance with the specifications for calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Appendix A contains a set of tables that detail the calculations described above. The quantity of meats/meat alternates must be the edible portion as served. (6) Menu choices. The estimated increase in food cost is the difference between the cost of serving the quantities and types of foods used to meet current requirements and the cost of serving the quantities and types of foods outlined in the rule. In exchange for this assistance schools serve meals at no cost or at reduced price to income-eligible children. These are under review and will be updated in a future rulemaking amending regulations implementing the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program. The analysis determines the average levels of calories, saturated fat, and sodium in the meals offered over a school week. In addition, USDA estimates that the School Food Authorities revenues rule will increase participation in school meal programs by 800,000 children. FNS estimates that the average cost of preparing and serving school meals may increase by 8 percent by FY 2015. (7) Requirements for lunch periods. Note that this analytic framework uses an identical set of combination foods in the baseline and final rule cost estimates; we do not attempt to construct a reformulated set of combination foods to satisfy the rule's requirements for whole grains or dark green, yellow, and other vegetable varieties. The Public Inspection page This means that menu items or foods more frequently offered are weighted more heavily than those not offered as frequently. Schools offering lunches to children ages 1 to 4 and infants must meet the meal pattern requirements in paragraph (p) of this section. b.
(4) Fluid milk requirement. This modification gives program operators more time to prepare for this important change to SBP menus. If only three food items are offered, students must take all the food items to preserve the nutritional integrity of the breakfast. 1759a(a)(3)). Consumption of vegetables and fruits is also associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including obesity, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. III-14III-15. Other meat alternates, such as cheese and eggs, may be used to meet all or part of the meats/meat alternates component in accordance with FNS guidance. FNS has reviewed this final rule in accordance with USDA Regulation 4300-4, Civil Rights Impact Analysis, to identify and address any major civil rights impacts the rule might have on program participants on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, sex or disability. State Child Nutrition Agencies (SAs) play a key role in the implementation of school meal programs through their agreements and partnership with local SFAs. State agencies conduct the nutrient analysis and calculate weighting as indicated by FNS guidance. (2) Exceptions for non-disability reasons. The menu cycles must also incorporate local food preferences and accommodate local food service operations. Local menu planners decide how to incorporate beans and peas (legumes) into the school meal but may not offer one serving of beans and peas (legumes) to meet the requirements for both vegetables and meat/meat alternate components. In that way, the final rule, like the proposed rule, will help children recognize and choose foods consistent with a healthy diet.
We used index values for the 11 months ending in August 2011 to estimate average index values for all of FY 2011. Overall, the comments provided were generally more supportive of the proposed rule than opposed. Those in favor stated that permitting such products sends the wrong nutrition message to children. State agencies must review school lunches and breakfasts every three years during scheduled administrative reviews to monitor compliance with the meal requirements (meal patterns and dietary specifications for calories, saturated fat, sodium and.
Further, this take rate is the same take rate observed in SNDA-III where the relative share of whole grain rich products is lower than the 50 percent share that schools must offer in the first two years of implementation, and much lower than the 100 percent share that must be offered thereafter. USDA had solicited comments on whether schools should be required to offer the protein food subgroups recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. While we expect a small increase in administrative burden for FNS under the rule because of the need to provide additional training and technical assistance to SAs, and to support their role in the administrative review process, this may largely be met by adapting existing efforts to the new requirements. The most significant of these changes reduce the immediate and long-term costs of implementing the rule. (iii) Average sodium content of the meals offered to each age/grade group must not exceed the maximum level specified in paragraph (f) of this section. Table 14, Section B models the effect of a two percent decrease in participation upon implementation of the new rule. A few commenters said many students are not active enough and recommended lower calorie limits. (C) Yogurt. We also wish to clarify that although fluid milk must be offered with every school meal, students may decline milk under OVS. Schools must offer all five required food items. These schools receive no financial assistance from USDA beyond the meal reimbursements and USDA Foods available to other schools that participate in the Federal school lunch and breakfast programs. As a result of elimination of the proposed rule's breakfast meat requirement, the ongoing cost of the final rule after full implementation is also reduced. FNS's primary cost estimate targets the midpoints of the rule's food group requirements where requirements are expressed as ranges. The SLBCS-II dataset provides sufficient information to estimate weighted average prices for the same broad food categories identified in SNDA-III. USDA Response: Beginning July 1, 2012 (SY 2012-2013), this final rule requires schools to identify the components of the reimbursable meal at or near the beginning of the serving line(s) as students and parents often are not aware of what is included in the school meal. Effective July 1, 2012 (SY 2012-2013), school breakfasts offered to all age/grade groups must, on average over the school week, provide less than 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat. This repetition of headings to form internal navigation links A similar number of commenters opposed the proposal because of cost concerns. A school that selects this option may offer the nondairy beverage(s) of its choice, provided the beverage(s) meet the nutritional standards established in paragraph (i)(3) of this section. Identifying the components of the reimbursable meal also reinforces nutrition education messages that emphasize selecting healthy choices for a balanced meal. The final rule, like the proposed rule, makes the following changes to current NSLP and SBP meal standards: Table 3 summarizes the breakfast and lunch meal standards with all provisions fully phased in. (h) State agency responsibilities for monitoring dietary specifications. Some commenters felt that the cost estimate presented in the proposed rule is understated. Schools in American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands may serve vegetables such as yams, plantains, or sweet potatoes to meet the grain/bread requirement. Schools should offer fresh fruit whenever possible. The final rule advances the mission of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to provide children access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education in a manner that promotes American agriculture and inspires public confidence. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS 2010). publication in the future. The latter group stated that the reviews should only include lunch to offset the increased time and effort involved in conducting reviews every 3 years rather than every 5 years. (F) Other Meat Alternates. Because CN crediting values and MyPyramid equivalents are not the same, information from the MyPyramid database was used only to determine relative shares of vegetable or grain subtypes. (iii) Adequate lunch periods. Element #2. For example, some SFAs may need to replace fryers with ovens or steamers. Several commenters stated that schools have already limited flavor to fat-free milk and student acceptability has been good. Therefore, and in accordance with the NSLA as amended by the HHFKA, beginning SY 2013-2014, SAs must monitor breakfasts under the administrative review. They also agreed in general that reviewing menu and production records for a 2-week period and conducting a weighted nutrient analysis offer a more accurate assessment of school meals than current regulations. What these comments cannot tell us is the percent of schools in need of new equipment, or the average per-school cost to meet that need. (o) Breakfasts for preschoolers and infants. (1) Nutrition standards for breakfasts for children age 1 to 4. Schools must offer at least a minimum amount of meat/meat alternate daily (2 oz eq. Note that our baseline per-meal cost estimates are averages. In general, these commenters argued that the proposal to double the amount of fruit at breakfast would contribute to higher costs for food, labor, equipment, and storage. Schools are required to offer 1 cup of fruit to all age/grade groups at breakfast beginning in SY 2014-2015 (the third year of implementation). These schools receive no financial assistance from USDA beyond the meal reimbursements and USDA Foods available to other schools that participate in the Federal school lunch and breakfast programs. The current total estimated annual burden for OMB No. The $125 million in kitchen equipment grants distributed to schools through ARRA funds and the FY 2010 appropriation should have addressed much of the most pressing need. Objective: Use price and quantity data collected from schools to compute the total cost of NSLP and SBP meals served under current program rules. The proposed rule sought to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in the school menu; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in school meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. See FNS memorandum SP 02-2010Revised (January 21, 2011) for more information on how salad bars can be used effectively as part of the reimbursable meals. Accordingly, this final rule implements the proposed requirement and codifies it under 210.10(a)(2) for the NSLP, and under 220.8(h) and 220.8(j) for the SBP. Beginning July 1, 2014 (SY 2014-2015), all grains must meet the whole grain-rich criteria specified in FNS guidance. Additional savings are realized through a reduction in the final rule's lunch meal pattern grain requirement relative to the proposed rule. A minimum number of vegetable servings would be required from each of 5 vegetable subgroups. Schools may adjust the daily quantities of this component provided that a minimum of one ounce is offered daily to students in grades K-8 and a minimum of two ounces is offered daily to students in grades 9-12, and the total weekly requirement is met over a five-day period. for age/grade group 6-8, and to 10-12 oz. Nuts or seeds may be used to meet no more than one-half (50 percent) of the meats/meat alternates component with another meats/meat alternates to meet the full requirement. include documents scheduled for later issues, at the request This final rule makes significant improvements to the school meals, while modifying the following provisions to facilitate successful implementation of the final rule at the State and local levels: This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This final rule is intended to have preemptive effect with respect to any State or local laws, regulations or policies which conflict with its provisions or which would otherwise impede its full and timely implementation. (i) Approval of local level plans. USDA Response: Increased vegetable and fruit intake is a key recommendation of the Dietary Guidelines. This change encourages consumption from all vegetable subgroups, and is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines' recommendation to increase variety in vegetable consumption.
However, the rule does require schools to serve only low-fat or fat-free milk in the school meals programs. 22. This treatment of USDA Foods is consistent with the SLBCS-II which includes the value of USDA Foods in its computation of the cost of producing a school meal. The servings for biscuits, rolls, muffins, and other grain/bread varieties are specified in FNS guidance. The more recent participation projections slightly increase the cost of the breakfast meal patterns and reduce the cost of the lunch meal patterns relative to the proposed rule.
Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/report/. (iii) Review menu and production records for a minimum of five operating days (specified by the State agency); such review must determine whether all food components and food quantities required under 210.10, as applicable, and 220.8 and 220.23, as applicable, of this chapter have been offered. This information collection burden has not yet been approved by OMB. We believe that our use of the data from that study, which is several years old, presents a greater risk of overstatement than understatement of the cost of the rule, holding other factors constant. In increasing access to children for such meals it will address key inconsistencies between the diets of school children and Dietary Guidelines by (1) Increasing servings of fruits and vegetables, (2) replacing refined-grain foods with whole-grain rich foods, and (3) replacing higher-fat dairy products with low-fat varieties. Because of their high nutrient content and low cost, USDA encourages menu planners to include beans and peas (legumes) in the school menu regularly, either as a vegetable or as a meat alternate (as discussed later). documents in the last year. eq. For purposes of this analysis, the rule is assumed to take effect on July 1, 2012, the start of school year (SY) 2012-2013. To meet target 2, schools have to reduce sodium in school lunches by approximately 15-30 percent from their baseline. We test the cost implications of adopting different take rates in section F. 41. FNS estimated in 1994 that extending the SFA review cycle from four to five years would decrease costs associated with this effort by 20 percent.