The Grains/Breads Requirement for the Food-Based Menu Planning Alternatives in the Child Nutrition Programs
The food-based menu planning alternatives in the child nutrition programs (i.e., the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)) contain a requirement that all meals offered include grains/breads or bread/bread alternate food item(s), hereafter termed "grains/breads.' Program regulations set forth the minimum quantities of grains/breads required for breakfasts, lunches, suppers and supplements (snacks) to be reimbursable. This Instruction sets forth the criteria to be used to determine acceptable grains/breads, the criteria to be used to determine equivalent minimum serving sizes, and examples of foods that qualify as grains/breads for meals served under the food-based menu planning alternatives in all child nutrition programs.
I. CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING ACCEPTABLE GRAINS/BREADS UNDER THE FOOD-BASED MENU PLANNING ALTERNATIVES
The following criteria are to be used as a basis for crediting items to meet the grains/breads requirement under the food-based menu planning alternatives:
A All grains/breads items must be enriched or whole-grain, made from enriched or whole-grain meal or flour, or if it is a cereal, the product must be whole-grain, enriched or fortified. Bran and germ are credited the same as enriched or whole-grain meal or flour.
B The label must indicate that the product is enriched or whole-grain; made from enriched or whole-gram meal or flour as well as bran and/or germ; or fortified. If it is enriched, the item must meet the Food and Drug Administration's Standards of Identity (21 CFR §136, §137, §139) for enriched bread, macaroni and noodle products, rice, or cornmeal.
C The item must be provided in quantities specified in the regulations. One-quarter (1/4) of a serving is the smallest amount allowable to be credited toward the minimum quantities of grains/breads specified in program regulations.
II CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING EQUIVALENT MINIMUM SERVING SIZES
Exhibit A, attached, contains the equivalent minimum serving sizes for a wide variety of purchased food items.
In lieu of using the minimum serving sizes listed in Exhibit A, the contribution of a grains/breads in a recipe may be calculated to determine the number of grains/breads servings the recipe provides. The crediting of a food item as a grains/breads serving is determined by the total amount of enriched or whole-grain meal and/or flour in the recipe divided by the number of servings the recipe yields. Bran and germ axe calculated in the same manner as enriched or whole-grain meal and flour.
For the types of food items listed in Groups A-G of Exhibit A to count as one full serving, an item must contain no less than 14.75 grams (0.52 ounces) of enriched or whole-grain meal and/or flour. For the types of food items listed in Groups H and I of Exhibit A to count as one full serving, the weights and volumes listed therein must be used.
III FOODS THAT QUALIFY AS GRAINS/BREADS
Foods that qualify as grains/breads for the Child Nutrition Programs are foods that are enriched or whole-grain or made from enriched or whole-grain meal or flour. Bran and germ are credited the same as enriched or whole-grain meal or flour. Such foods include, but are not limited to'
A Breads that are enriched or whole-grain.
B Biscuits, bagels, rolls, tortillas, muffins, or crackers made with enriched or whole-grain meal or flour.
C Cereal grains (cooked) such as rice, bulgur, oatmeal, corn grits, wheat or couscous that are enriched or whole-grain.
D Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that are enriched, whole-grain, or fortified.
E Cereals or bread products that are used as an ingredient in another menu item such as crispy rice treats, oatmeal cookies or breading on fish or poultry when they are enriched, whole-grain, or fortified.
F Macaroni or noodle products (cooked) made with enriched or whole-grain flour. Program regulations for the NSLP and the SFSP allow enriched macaroni products that have been fortified with protein to be counted to meet either a grains/breads or meat/meat alternate requirement but not as both in the same meal.
G Sweet foods such as master pastries, coffee cake, doughnuts, sweet rolls, cookies, cakes, or formulated -main-fruit products (authorized under Appendix A of 7 CFR part 220) when made with enriched or whole-grain meal or flour and served, as permitted under Exhibit A. When sweet foods are permitted, no more than 1 grains/breads serving per day may be a dessert and sweet snack foods should not be served as part of a snack more than twice a week.
H Pie crust when made with enriched or whole-grain meal or flour and served, as permitted under Exhibit A.
I Non-sweet snack' products such as hard pretzels, hard bread sticks, and chips made from enriched or whole-grain meal or flour.
The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.