This rulemaking proposes to codify three menu planning flexibilities established by the interim final rule titled, Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements published Nov. 30, 2017, and made permanent with some modifications by a final rule of the same title published Dec. 12, 2018, hereafter referred to as the 2018 Final Rule. An April 2020 court decision vacated and remanded the 2018 Final Rule.
In response to the vacatur and remand of the 2018 Final Rule, this rule proposes targeted changes to: allow National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program operators to permanently offer flavored, low-fat milk as part of a reimbursable meal and for sale as a competitive beverage and allow flavored, low-fat milk in the Special Milk Program for Children and in the Child and Adult Care Food Program for participants ages 6 and older; allow for half of the weekly grains in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program menus to be whole grain-rich; and provide schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Programs more time for gradual sodium reduction by retaining Sodium Target 1 through the end of school year (SY) 2023-2024, continuing to Target 2 in SY 2024- 2025, and eliminating the Final Target.
Online comments submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal on this proposed rule must be received on or before Dec. 28, 2020. Mailed comments on this rule must be postmarked on or before Dec. 28, 2020.
- Notice to Stakeholders: USDA Publishes Proposed Rule Maintaining School Meal Flexibilities (11/24/2020)
- Notice of Vacatur: Rescission of Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Flexibilities (11/24/2020)
- Final Rule: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements (12/12/2018)
Interim Final Rule: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements (11/30/2017)