ally and not as part of a school meal—sold in or near the school cafeteria in tandem with the federally reimbursed school meal. Individual foods and beverages are also sold or served in vending machines, at school stores, or at school fundraisers.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was established in 1946 to “safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation’s children and to encourage the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities and other food” (7CFR210.1). Each school day approximately 28 million school-aged children participate in the NSLP and some 8 million participate in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) (USDA, 2003).
Nutrition guidelines for the school meal programs have been revised periodically to maintain consistency with changes in nutritional recommendations. Current regulations for the programs require that the meals be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and adhere to the RDAs for energy, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C. These guidelines are described in Box 7-1.
Several food-based menu-planning approaches are used in the NSLP to ensure that lunches and breakfasts are nutritionally balanced. The majority of schools use the “traditional” food-based menu-planning system, which
USDA Requirements for School Meal Programs
SOURCES: 7CFR210.10; 7CFR220.8; 7CFR Appendix B to Part 210.