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Proposed Rule: Fluid Milk Substitutions in the School Nutrition Programs

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Proposed Rule
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This proposed rule reflects amendments made by section 102 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act regarding substitutes for fluid milk in the National School Lunch Program. This rule would implement a legislative provision on milk substitutes that follows current regulations on menu exceptions for students with disabilities and would add new requirements for substitutions for fluid milk for children with medical or other special dietary needs.

Specifically, this proposed rule would establish nutritional standards for nondairy beverage alternatives to fluid milk, as well as requirements for substitutions for fluid milk for non-disabled students with medical or special dietary needs. It would allow the parent or legal guardian of a child with medical or special dietary needs to request a fluid milk substitute. In addition, it would allow schools to select acceptable fluid milk substitutes that meet the nutritional standards established in this proposed rule, and would continue to make school food authorities responsible for substitution expenses that exceed the Federal reimbursement.

This rule, as proposed, would ensure consistency among milk substitutes offered in the school lunch and breakfast programs, and would make certain that students who consume nondairy beverage alternates receive important nutrients found in fluid milk.

Page updated: May 26, 2021