School meals are giving kids the goodness of whole grains. Whole grains give kids B vitamins, minerals, and fiber to help them feel full longer so they stay alert to concentrate at school. Starting in School Year 2014-15, all grains offered as part of school lunch and breakfast will be “whole grain-rich.”
Schools can use grain products that are a blend of whole-grains and more refined enriched grains. This allows for baked goods that can be more acceptable to students - their color is lighter and the texture is more similar to refined breads and pastas. USDA is also giving schools some flexibility when offering whole grain pastas for the next two years while industry develops new whole grain-rich pasta items.
There are many other whole grain-rich products available that schools are using to make rice bowls, sandwiches, wraps, and more. See the resources below for guidance on what products meet whole grain-rich requirements and ways to introduce new grains at school.
- Grains With Gusto (National Food Service Management Institute)
- The Scoop on Whole Grains (HHS Food and Drug Administration)
- USDA 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series: Make Half Your Grains Whole
- USDA 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series: Choosing Whole-Grain Foods
- Whole Grains (USDA Healthy Meals Resource System)
- Whole Grains in Child Nutrition Program (National Food Service Management Institute)
- Whole Grain Resource for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs