Questions and Answers on the Final Rule Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements
Attached are Questions and Answers (QAs) on the final rule Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements (83 FR 63775, December 12, 2018), which provides menu planning flexibilities in the child nutrition programs beginning July 1, 2019. The QAs address the following key provisions of the final rule:
The rule allows schools in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to offer flavored, low-fat (1 percent) milk at lunch and breakfast and as a beverage for sale a la carte, without the need to demonstrate operational hardship, and requires that unflavored milk (fat-free or low-fat) be available at each school meal service. For consistency across programs, the rule extends the milk flexibility to the Special Milk Program for Children and to the Child and Adult Care Food Program for children ages six and older and adult participants.
The rule requires that half of the weekly grains in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs be whole grain-rich; the remaining weekly grains offered must be enriched.
Sodium Reduction Timeline
The rule retains Sodium Target 1 through School Year 2023-2024, moves Target 2 to School Year 2024-2025, and removes the final target in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.