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Meal Pattern and Nutritional Quality

Dietary Specifications and Nutrient Analysis

The Dietary Specifications and Nutrient Analysis assess whether meals offered to children through the school meal programs are consistent with Federal standards for calories, saturated fat, sodium, and trans fat (7 CFR 210.10 (f) and 7 CFR 220.8(f)).  To reduce childhood obesity and minimize students’ risk of chronic disease, State Agency staff must ensure School Food Authorities (SFAs) are offering meals that meet regulatory requirements. 

Meal Components and Quantities

School Food Authorities (SFAs) operating the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program must follow meal pattern requirements for each age/grade group within all reimbursable meal service lines. (7 CFR 210.10 and 220.8)

The meal pattern is the foundation of Federal school nutrition programs, and State Agency staff must ensure SFAs are offering reimbursable meals at breakfast and lunch according to the regulations. 
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program for schools and residential child-care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.
The School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a federally assisted meal program for schools and residential child-care institutions.  It provides nutritionally balanced breakfasts to children each school day. The SBP started in 1966 as a pilot project and was made a permanent entitlement program by Congress in 1975.​

Research shows that school breakfast is good for students, classrooms, and communities. Making breakfast a part of the school day increases access to breakfast so more hungry students get fed.  

Research shows that school breakfast is good for students, classrooms, and communities. Making breakfast a part of the school day increases access to breakfast so more hungry students get fed.  

Breakfast After the Bell is a requirement for certain schools if 70% or more of the students are eligible for federal free or reduced price meals.   Because of the Student Success Act, there is grant funding available to support Breakfast After the Bell Implementation. 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but too many hungry students miss a morning meal. Schools that offer a Breakfast After the Bell (BatB) program by implementing models such as Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC), Grab and Go to the Classroom, and Second Chance Breakfast, are able to increase access to school breakfast and provide more kids with the healthy food they need to learn and grow.

The Student Success Act was adopted during the 2019 legislative session and its passage represented a real commitment by Oregon's leaders to our children, our educators, our schools, and our state. This included the expansion of school breakfast programs through the Breakfast after the Bell (BatB) requirement.

The Student Success Act included a requirement that school districts, public charter schools, and education service districts must, beginning in School Year 2020-21, make breakfast accessible at a school site if 70% or more of the students at that school site, from a previous year, were “eligible students". “Eligible students" are those students who are eligible for free or reduced price meals under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's guidelines.  

PLEASE NOTE: The Student Success Act provides equipment grant funding for those sponsors operating the National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program who are required to implement Breakfast After the Bell.  Keep an eye out for forthcoming grant funding announcements in the School Nutrition Newsletter.

SY 2022-23 Breakfast after the Bell Required Site List shows which sites are required to provide Breakfast after the Bell and which sites are eligible for the exemption from that requirement.

Resource​s

​Implementation Guidance
​​Breakfast After the Bell Service Models includes information about breakfast in the classroom, grab and go to the classroom, and second chance breakfast.


Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom
Press Release 
Teachers Guides
 Time spent by students consuming breakfast can be considered instructional time when students consume breakfast in the classroom and instruction is being provided while students are consuming breakfast.  No more than 15 minutes may be considered instructional time when students are consuming breakfast.  (ORS 327.535) Breakfast After the Bell Equipment Grant
 The Breakfast after the Bell Equipment Grant is a noncompetitive grant award of $3,574.47 used for the purpose of reimbursing recipient to purchase new equipment or repair, renovate or upgrade equipment require to serve students breakfast after the bell.   The equipment grant only applies to sponsors/sites operating the NSLP School Breakfast Program and is one of the sites required to operate breakfast After the bell.   The students need to be on campus for in-person learning for the Breakfast after the Bell implementation and grant to be applicable.

Equipment Grant Process

Recipient will:  Equipment Grant Resources
​USDA and ODE Crediting Tools:
USDA Food Buying Guide (FBG) is available as an Interactive Web-based ToolMobile App, and downloadable PDF.  It contains:
  • The FBG Calculator
  • Exhibit A Grains Tool
  • Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW)
  • Product Formulation Statement (PFS) Workbook
Purchased Product Crediting Documentation

Offer versus Serve

Offer versus Serve" is a provision in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) that allows students to decline some of the food components/items offered.  Offer versus Serve gives students more control over the foods they consume, and may help School Food Authorities (SFAs) reduce plate waste and improve students' perceptions of the NSLP and SBP. At the high school level, Offer versus Serve is required in the NSLP and optional in the SBP. At the elementary and middle school levels, Offer versus Serve is optional in both the NSLP and SBP. Offer versus Serve is encouraged for any site/meal service where it can be accommodated. Offer versus Serve is not appropriate for snack service or preschool-age students.

In SFAs that implement Offer versus Serve, menu planners must ensure they prepare and offer enough food to meet meal pattern requirements, and point-of-service staff must ensure students select enough components/items to make a reimbursable meal.