April 5, 2012
Q. If we serve breakfast and lunch to grade 9-12 we must offer 2 cups of fruits a day,
one each meal, correct?
A. I am checking my chart, and you are correct. We won’t be implementing this portion of the
new meal patter until 14/15. You will need to check your implementation guideline.
Q. We understand that students even with offer vs serve must take at least one half cup
of fruit or vegetable. Lets us assume the following menu was offered to high school
students a) 2oz of baked chicken, b) one half cup of baked sweet potato, c) one half cup
green beans, d) one cup diced pineapple, e) 2oz roll, and f) one half pint of milk. It is our
understanding that under offer vs serve that the student must select at least three items
and these three items must be full portions of the three items, is that correct? The
scenario is that the student selected whole portions of the chicken, roll and one half cup
of the pineapple, under offer vs serve, in the case that the student must take at least one
half cup fruit or vegetable and the student did do this, but if the student must take full
portions of three items didn’t they technically not take a full portion of the fruit and thus
the meal would not be reimbursable?
A. You need to offer full portions, but the child when they select for offer vs serve, could take
less than the full portion, so the half cup of pineapple, the full portion of the chicken and the roll
would be a reimbursable meal.
Q. The regulations indicate that at or near the front of the line we should display for
students what constitutes the reimbursable meal, how do you see this being deployed?
A. Well we have much discussion about that in our office, and we are probably still discussing
that. The regulations actually say that what you are describing are the food items that are
available to the students, not the food component, food items are the actual menu items. This
part of the regulations is initially designed to meet the needs for lunch lines that can both al
Carte and the reimbursable meal intermix on the line, so that kids would not know what al carte
item and what is a lunch item. We thought about having a ‘My Plate’ design, and then being
able to wedge out and list the actual items that match up with the My Plate category, it gets a
little bit complicated when you have a mixed items, like a sandwich that are both a grain and a
meat, meat alternate, so we are kind of open, some of the schools have that already defined
somewhat and it’s up to the schools to decide how this would occur, but that is what we are
Q. I understand that there are now three menu planning groups, K-5, 6-8, 9-12. What
happens in a school that is serving middle and high in the same lunch period. The
portions do not match for these two groups. How do you recommend that we ensure
students in grade 7 through 8 are receiving the right proportions compared to students 9
A. Well, for fruits and vegetables the amounts that are listed are minimum amounts, so if a
grade 7 and 8 got a 5 to 1, they would be OK and then for the grain, you would just be serving
everybody 10, that’s where the overlap is, but you would still need to do separate menu
production records for both grade groups.
Q. Referring back to webinar at some, does that mean if a student takes a 4 oz juice at
lunch time, it will only count for ¼ cup of fruit for portion?
A. On your lunch pattern handout, it says under item c, no more than half of a fruit or vegetable
offering, may be in the form of juice. We are understanding that offerings are the food items, so
you could not just offer a half a cup of juice, you would have to offer a choice of juice and
another fruit item, or vegetable juice and then the student would have a choice of a half a cup of
either of those, then ½ juice would credit for a 100% of ½ cup of fruit.
Q. We need to plan a minimum of ¾ to 1 cup serving of vegetable per day, depending on
grade groups. If we have a ½ cup recipe that has a combination of vegetables providing
¼ cup beans/peas vegetable and less than 1/8 cup of starchy red/orange and other
vegetables. A total 3/8 cup vegetable serving, does this mean that we can count the ½
cup serving as meeting the vegetable serving for the day, or would we get credit for the
3/8 cup vegetable serving?
A. For a vegetable serving to be creditable it has to be at least an 1/8 of a cup or more. You
could have a mixed vegetable, which I think is what you are describing with the 1/8 of a cup,
and I am assuming it is less than an 1/8 of a cup starchy red, orange and other vegetables to
total 3/8 of a cup. Those because they are mixed up, and less than 1/8 of a cup would go into
the “other” vegetable category, and you would be able to credit them for 3/8 of a cup.
Q. What happens if we exceed the weekly range of components? For example; if the
guidelines indicate the high school students need 10 to 12 ounces of meat/meat alternate
each week, but we serve 14 ounces? Is that a problem? What if we serve 14 ounces of
meat/meat alternate and are meeting all other components requirements and our nutrient
analysis is spot on. Is serving 14 ounces meat/meat alternate a week a problem and
everything else is right on?
A. You would need to be serving most of those 14 meat/meat alternate in the legumes area,
because that any of meat would probably put you over, at least in the saturated fat area, if the
not the calories. But yes, we would comment on this because 14 ounces of meat/meat alternate
it would also mean that your costs would be higher, and this meal pattern is going to be more
expensive than our current meal pattern because of the whole grains and the variety of
vegetable sub-groups, so planning for 14 ounces of meat/meat alternate is not a wise choice
and would require corrective action on review.
Q. Are USDA frozen peach cups and frozen strawberry cups not allowed next year?
A. No. We have a memo that is going out to you shortly that there is a bye both for USDA and
Sponsors that for the 2012-13 school year frozen fruits with sugar are allowed.
Q. Can you explain the difference between food components and food items?
A. the food components are those general groupings of fruit, vegetable, grain, meat/meat
alternate and milk. The food item is a specific food or menu item that you are serving in that
component such as peaches, apples, bananas for fruits. Kale, corn, baked potato for
vegetables. A Chicken sandwich, a hamburger a grilled cheese sandwich for meat/meat
alternate. Grains could be a whole grain roll, brown rice, quinoa. Milk, non-fat, chocolate, and
Q. Do you have rounding rules yet for breads and meat/meat alternate?
A. We do not. What my current thought is on this is we have minimum creditable amounts, so
like for an 1/8 of a cup fruits and vegetables, for breads a ¼ of a bread is a minimum creditable
amount, and I can’t remember what it is for meat/meat alternates, but it also has a fraction of an
ounce. Because those are creditable amounts they would not be rounded. Stay tuned.
Q. What are acceptable ways for us to fulfill the requirements to identify what makes up a
meal at the beginning of the lunch line?
A. We don’t know what those look like, the regulations leaves that up to the sponsors. Things I
have seen are a sandwich board set up near the beginning where kids enter the cafeteria, that
has the menu lined out, a sign more in the line area that is up that outlines what the menu are.
We have some that have little cards that they have put on the actual serving line itself. Be
Q. Would the following amounts of fruit and vegetables meet the fruit and vegetable
requirements for a reimbursable meal; 1/8 cup of applesauce, plus ¼ cup banana, plus
1/8 cup carrot?
A. So remember our new components have separated fruits and vegetables. Currently USDA
has kept those at ½ of fruits and ½ cup of vegetables. So in this example, with an 1/8 cup of
applesauce that’s creditable. A ¼ cup of banana is also creditable as fruit, so you have 3/8 of a
cup of fruit. And an 1/8 of a cup of carrots. An 1/8 of a cup of carrots is also creditable, but
neither one of them are creditable for a reimbursable meal.
Q. What about 1/8 cup of applesauce, plus 1/8 cup apple slices, plus ¼ cup carrots?
A. The same applies, you have a ¼ of fruit and a ¼ cup of carrots, and currently neither one of
these would contribute to a reimbursable meal because they don’t reach the ½ cup amount.
Q. Can the ½ cup requirement for fruits and vegetables be a for example, ¼ cup fruit and
¼ cup vegetables?
A. Currently no, that has been a request of many of the states to USDA that have came up from
our sponsors. They are considering that, but right now as it stands you cannot do a ¼ of fruit
and a ¼ cup of vegetables.
Q. We all know that changing habits takes some time, will there be some grace period for
the students to understand that they need to take enough food for example a large
enough portion of a fruit or vegetable for the meal to be reimbursable?
A. The offer vs serve part is probably the least flexible of all of the options for next year. USDA
is adamant that we implement this meal pattern and the reimbursable meal is really what your
public is spending their tax dollars on so we need to get that right. Probably the grace is in the
fact that we have if you are going to be reviewed a $600.00 disregard.
Q. Are you going to be posting the questions and answers for all districts to utilize at a
later date? This would be helpful.
A. We are. Our plan is to have our very capable support staff listen to these questions and
answers and write them up. We will break them into the group, if it is a fruit related question it
will be in a fruit category, if it an offer vs serve it will be in a offer vs. serve category, and we will
date those to the webinar from which they came from. It is going to take us a little bit to get that
implemented so give us a couple of weeks.
Q. Since there is a minimum of ½ cup to 1 cup of fruits and vegetables does that mean
that we need to show on our production records we offer the daily minimum for how
many we served, such as we served 100 at the high school we need to have 100 cups of
vegetables out on the day even though they only took the minimum of 50 cups?
A. This is a very good question. You would need to show on your production record that you
had the capacity for all 100 students to take a cup of vegetables, but to reduce the waste from
the line. You can use your production and the disappearance rate on what you actually put out
for kids. You would plan for 100 and your kitchen staff would prepare 50 and if 65 kids wanted
a cup of fruit you would have to come up with another 15 cups.
Q. If a school is on a 4 day school week, do we have to meet the minimum meal patterns
in 4 days?
A. No. The guideline for our four day is 20% less, and if you are a six or seven school then it is
20% more. We will be putting out on our website sheets similar to the meal pattern for a four
day and a seven day week, so you don’t have to make that calculation.
Q. Will all of this information be available on paper?
A. They will be provided electronically and the paper will be provided by you.
Q. Does the salad bar cover vegetable groups for offer vs. serve as long as students take
½ cup of something from the bar?
A. You have to have someone that has connection to a meal count determining that the student
has taken ½ cup of something from the bar. Many of the ways that we see the fruit and
vegetable bar implemented at schools would not meet the offer vs. serve requirement.
Q. What happens when your school serves 5th and 6th grade at the same time?
A. Lucky for you, their meal pattern amounts are the same so you crossover. The crossover for
k – 5 and for 6 – 8 for fruits and vegetables are the same, so no problem there. For grains the
crossover point is 9 if you have a five day week. For meat/meat crossover point alternates is 9
to 10. So your serving or your food range gets smaller if you have a crossover
Q. Is the weekly requirement the same for a four day school week as it is for a five day
A. No. It is 20% less, and we will be providing a sheet for you that has it calculated on our
Q. Is this the complete webinar, or are there future ones?
A. We actually e-mailed you guys out the information on the webinars with instructions. This is
a six week series with the same webinar presented twice in the week so today is the overview
with Heidi and next week starts the offer vs. serve and point of service and after that is
vegetables, grains, and then fruits, then meat/meat alternates then milk. So no, this is not the
only webinar. There are many, many more coming up. This one is just a general overview. The
others will get into the details that we know. And they will all be posted to the ODE website.
Q. since the maximum grains for elementary schools is 9, does that mean we cannot
offer a two grain entrée daily such as a hamburger and whole sandwich everyday.
A. Yup. That’s what that means. Let me qualify that. These are requirements, and they are
very easily applied to a single entrée or a non-selective menu. We are still working out how if
you have a two ounce hamburger bun, and a one an ½ ounce sandwich, and a ½ cup of brown
rice, that kids can pick from as they choose their entrée, how does that relate to this weekly
maximum and that’s still at USDA so stay tuned.
Q. Where is the point of service, at the beginning of the line or at the end of the line?
A. The point of service is where you can determine a reimbursable meal. So now we have a
minimum of three components. One of which needs to be ½ cup serving of fruit or a ½ cup
serving of vegetable.
Q. We are a RCCI. For those of you who don’t know, RCCI is a Residential Child Care
Institution. We have numerous ones throughout the state that feed children just like
schools. The question is, we serve children ranging in ages from 10 to 17, these
residents can stay a couple of days, or up to a year. It would be very hard to change our
serving amounts everytime residents of various ages come and go. Can I use the 9 to 12
grade meal pattern for everyone?
A. No. But one of the pieces with this new meal pattern is we are intending to meet the calorie
and nutrient requirements for the age/grade group, so the younger kids do need less food.
Q. They would like you to repeat how to assure a reimbursable meal with the point of
service at the beginning of the line.
A. You would need to have a person stationed at where ever the fruit of vegetable is being
served, that would be able to identify the child that did not take a ½ cup serving so that that
meal so could be removed from the meal count that was taken at the beginning of the line.
Q. Is this correct? To count a meal as reimbursable the minimum amount the student
must take of a fruit or vegetable is ½ cup but the minimum amount that is creditable for
menu planning purposes is ¼ cup. Therefore we have two different amounts for a fruit or
A. The minimum creditable is an 1/8 of a cup actually, and this is to let you have more flexibility
and you will particularly find this helpful in your vegetable sub-groups, because you could have
a ½ cup of chard. Or you could have a ¼ of a cup spinach that you mix into your salad mix that
credits as an 1/8 of cup, and if you did that every day of the week you would have 5/8 of a cup
by the end of the week of your spinach and that would your dark green leafy for the week.
Q. This is referring to the 6 week webinar series. The question is do we need to enroll for
A. The answer is no. These are open. The links are on the website, you click on them, you go
in. There is no pre-registration.
Q. What did you say about menu’s posted at schools? How does this work with family
style meal service?
A. That’s another good question. You would have the menu for what you were doing for the
complete menu, but if you are doing family style meal service, you could say to your students,
and it would not necessarily have to be printed, you could just tell them what the meal is.