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breads served in meals and snacks must be whole grain-rich, meeting the definition given in the table of proposed food specifications (Table 7-8). Other grain/bread must be enriched. Providers are encouraged to gradually increase the proportion of grain foods that are whole grain-rich to well above half of the grain foods and to include 100 percent whole grain foods often.

  • Each morning and afternoon snack will provide two different food components in a serving size tailored to the age group’s needs; over the course of a 5-day week, the food components provided will include two servings of fruit, one serving of an orange vegetable, one serving of a non-starchy vegetable, two servings of grain/bread, two servings of lean meat or meat alternate, and two servings of low-fat or nonfat milk.

  • The amounts of solid fats, added sugars, trans fats, and sodium are to be limited in all meals and snacks. For example, milk and yogurt must be low-fat or nonfat for those ages 2 years or older (whole milk for 1-year-old children), meats must be lean, fruits and juices must be free of added sugars, foods with nutritional labels must be labeled as containing zero grams of trans fat, and foods high in added sugars and/or sodium are to be served infrequently, if at all. Table 7-8 provides guidance.

Incorporating these elements into the Meal Requirements will help ensure the nutritional quality of the meals over time and improve their alignment with the Dietary Guidelines.

Each of the vegetable subgroups makes different nutrient contributions. Compared with the common practice of offering only a few kinds of vegetables over the course of weeks, offering varied selections from the combination of vegetable subgroups each week improves the nutritional quality of the diet and alignment with current dietary guidance. The snack pattern also calls for variety to help ensure nutritional quality over time.

Similarly, increased variety was a key component of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended revisions of the WIC Food Packages (IOM, 2006) and of the Dietary Guidelines. For adults, the recommended meal patterns are more consistent with guidance in the publication Nutrition Service Providers Guide for Older Adults (HHS/AoA, 2006). In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration on Aging (AoA) (2006), in its Nutrition Services Providers Guide for Older Adults, aligns menus for the Older Americans Nutrition Program (commonly called Meals On Wheels) with the Dietary Guidelines, separates fruits and vegetables and increases their servings per meal, and recommends averaging menus over a week. It also requires computer analysis of the weekly menus

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