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  • Information on School Lunch components and offerings as mandated by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act

    The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA),

    mandated several changes to school lunch programs identifying age-appropriate

    portion sizes and healthy ranges for fruits, vegetables, grains, meats/meat

    alternates and milk. The HHFKA is complex, so we’ve simplified the main

    points for you in the charts below. Keep in mind these guidelines are intended

    to provide one-third of your child’s daily nutritional and energy needs. Whitsons

    School nutrition remains committed to providing the best combination of nutrients

    available to your child while they are in our care.

    Weekly Vegetable Offerings


    sub-groups Grades K-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12

    5 cups/week    5 cups/week     5 cups/week

    Dark Green 1 cup 1 cup 1 cup

    Red/ Orange 1 cup 1 cup 1 1/4 cup

    Legumes 1 cup 1 cup 1 cup

    Starchy 1 cup 1 cup 1 cup

    Other 1 cup 1 cup 3/4 cup

    Lunch Tray Example 1

    Ham & Cheese Wrap with Carrots,

    Broccoli, Grapes, Apple & Skim Milk

    Lunch Tray Example 2

    Two Beef Tacos with Rice, Black Beans, Pico

    De Gallo, Banana, Strawberries & Skim Milk

    Lunch Tray Example 3

    Cheese & Tomato Pizza with a Side Salad, Baby

    Carrots, Red Grapes, Banana and Skim Milk

    Daily Meal Component Offerings


    Components Grades K-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12

    Fruits 1 cup    1 cup    1 cup

    Veggies 1 cup    1 cup    1 cup

    Grains 2oz    2oz     3oz

    Meat/ Meat Alternate

    2oz    2oz    2oz

    Fluid Milk 1 cup     1 cup    1 cup

    All school meals must meet the minimum requirements as defined by the HHFKA. There are no maximum

    limitations on these meal components but the meal must fit within the weekly calorie range for that grade level. Daily grain and

    meat/ meat alternate weights are approximated and may slightly increase or decrease on any given day.

    *Net weight of pure protein source in the food served. Actual serving size might vary according to protein content.

    The weights listed above are based on average weekly Whitsons offerings and may vary based on the specific likes and/or needs

    of each district. Minimum HHFKA vegetable sub-group requirements are always met each week at each level.


    Answers to Your Top 8 Questions

    About Your Child’s School Nutrition Program.


    For more information contact your school food service

    director OR visit the school nutrition page on your

    district website.

    Nourishing Growing Minds.

    Can students purchase additional food?

    Yes, your child can purchase an additional lunch or

    purchase a la carte items. However, If your child takes

    all the components that are offered, he/she shouldn’t

    need to purchase additional items as the portions are

    designed according to his/her nutritional needs.

    What about physically active students,

    such as those involved in sports programs,

    who might need more calories?

    Helping students choose meal components wisely

    the first time through the serving line is key. We

    have signage throughout each servery explaining

    the components of a balanced meal. Active students

    should select all 5 meal components including; a

    fruit, a vegetable, a grain, a meat or meat alternate

    and a milk, focusing on foods that sustain energy.

    Why do we have to have Whole Grains?

    HHFKA requires over 50% of all grains items offered

    to be whole grain or whole grain rich. Beginning the

    school year 2014-15, 100% of all grain based items

    offered will be required to be whole grain. People

    who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a

    reduced risk of some chronic diseases. This is why

    you see that all of our grain offerings are whole grain

    or whole grain rich.

    What’s with all the low fat milks?

    HHFKA restricts milk to 1% or fat-free for plain white

    milk and ONLY fat-free for flavored milks. Drinking

    low-fat or fat-free milk over the full fat alternative cuts

    calories but doesn’t reduce the calcium or the other

    essential nutrients. Milk is especially important to

    build children’s growing bones.

    Why have lunch offerings

    and portion sizes changed?

    Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program

    (NSLP) are required to follow new HHFKA regulations that

    set mandatory nutrition minimums based on age group.

    There are no maximum limits in grains and meat/meat

    alternates; however, meals must still comply with the agespecific

    calorie limits, even though the portion sizes could

    be larger. Meals are broken into 5 components and students

    must take a minimum of 3 components (one must be a fruit

    or vegetable). Vegetables are further broken-down into sub

    groups by color; vegetables from every sub group must be

    offered each week.

    How Nutritious are Lunch Meals under the new


    The new school meals are intended to be high in micronutrients

    and adequate in calories. The new dietary

    specifications (portions and calorie ranges) reflect the

    latest scientific recommendations from nutrition experts on

    the dietary needs of school children, so they are tailored to

    your children’s needs. Lunch portions are “right sized” and

    are designed to meet the caloric needs of school children.

    Why must my child take a fruit or

    vegetable with lunch?

    Under the HHFKA, a healthy meal plate must include a

    fruit or vegetable. We encourage students to select from

    a variety of fruits and vegetables to meet the fruit and

    vegetable requirements. They choose what foods they

    want. We use educational tools such as our “Fruit and

    Veggie of the Month”, as well as food tastings and other

    promotions to help increase acceptance of new foods.

    Why have snack options changed?

    In an effort to provide the best combination of nutrients

    available, we have revised our snack choices to include

    foods that contain zero trans fats. Moreover, all snack

    foods sold in schools are required to comply with the

    USDA’s “All Foods Sold in Schools’ standards of the

    HHFKA. Additionally, each state may further restrict

    competitive snack foods.


     In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, 
    color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

    (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture 
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 

    (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 

    (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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