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Amounts and Use of Nonfat Dry Milk, Whole Dry Milk, and Canned Evaporated Milk Equivalent to One-Half Pint of Fluid Whole Milk

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PDF Icon FNS Instructions (300.62 KB)


This Instruction prescribes the amounts and use of nonfat dry milk, whole dry milk, and canned evaporated milk which are equivalent to one-half pint of fluid whole milk. These equivalents are to be used in schools approved for the service of lunches without milk.


Section 210.10(c) of the National School Lunch Program Regulations states that "The inability of a school to obtain a supply of milk on a continuing basis shall not bar it from participation in the program. In such cases the state agency or FNSRO, where applicable, may approve the service of lunches without milk: Provided, chat an equivalent amount of canned, whole dry or nonfat dry milk is used in the preparation of the components of the Type A lunch."


To be eligible for reimbursement, each lunch must be served in accordance with the above cited authority. One, or a combination of the items listed below, must be used in preparation of the components of the lunch, and in the quantity indicated.

Milk Alternates                                              Amount

Non-instant, nonfat dry milk, or         3 tablespoons
Instant, nonfat dry milk, or                 1/3 cup 
Regular dry whole milk, or                  1/4 cup 
Canned evaporated milk                     1/2 cup

In order for the reconstituted milk to be similar in nutritive value to whole-milk, it is recommended that nonfat dry milk be fortified with Vitamins A and D, and that whole dry and canned evaporated milk be fortified with Vitamin D. Guidelines desired to help schools use these milk alternates in the preparation of the lunches are shown in Exhibit A, attached.


Each state agency or regional office, where applicable, upon approval of a school's request to use equivalent milk alternates for fled whole milk, shall:

A. Assist school lunch managers in interpreting these guidelines and planning menus.

B. Review such school as often as necessary to insure that the lunches being served are meeting the requirement contained herein.

Page updated: October 19, 2023

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.