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Food Buying Guide for School Meal Programs

Last Published: 04/01/2016

The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs is being updated, in phases, to include resources for the new Nutrition Standards for School Meals. For more information, please see the recent changes and updates.

The files, below, have been issued for School Meal Programs and others are in progress. For additional information on grain requirements in School Meals, please refer to SP30-2012.

A supplement to Appendix A Recipe Analysis in the Food Buying Guide (which is currently under revision), the Recipe Analysis Worksheet (RAW) is a tool to help you determine your recipe's expected meal pattern contributions. This tool contains a series of worksheets (tabs) with formulas for each food group. If you look at the tabs, you will see color-coded ones for each food group (except for milk). There is also a tab marked "Notes" that  you may use to write notes regarding your recipe. RAW is not a tool to evaluate dietary specifications for calories, sodium, and saturated fat. It also cannot determine whether the serving size information entered is correct. The tab marked “Directions” will guide you in using the RAW. When Appendix A Recipe Analysis in the Food Buying Guide is revised, it will contain additional instructions on how to determine your recipe’s expected meal pattern contributions. If you have any questions about this worksheet, please send an email to Child Nutrition Programs, Nutrition and Technical Assistance Branch at and put Recipe Analysis Worksheet (RAW) Question in the subject line. Please allow one business day for a response.