Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

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					                              Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

                              Introduction

The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs is a valuable purchasing resource, which
is commonly used for determining the contribution of specific food products to the food-based
meal patterns and for calculating the amount of food to purchase and/or prepare. Because federal
reimbursement is dependent on meeting all federal and State requirements for meals served
under USDA Child Nutrition Programs (CNP), the Food Buying Guide is a very important
source of program information that will aid in ensuring that meals served and claimed for
reimbursement meet these requirements. The Food Buying Guide:
       1. Accurately projects the correct amount of food to buy and prepare for a specific
           number of portions
       2. Determines the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern
           requirements
       3. Can provide ideas for adding new foods to your menus and may help in developing
           product specifications, such as count sizes for produce.

The Food Buying Guide is divided into seven sections: Introduction, Meat/Meat Alternates,
Vegetables/Fruits, Grains/Breads, Milk, Other Foods, and the Appendices. The foods in this
guide are listed as individual food items, with the foods being arranged alphabetically within the
appropriate section. If you are not sure under which section a food is listed, a complete index is
located at the end of the guide that will direct you to the correct page.

With yield data for more than 1,200 food items, the Food Buying Guide was designed as a
planning and production tool, to be used as a guideline to purchase sufficient food for the meals
you will prepare. The yield information provided represents average yields based on research
conducted by USDA. Because a variety of factors can affect yield, you may find that your food
service operation is getting a slightly higher or lower yield from a product than the yield
specified by the Food Buying Guide. Examples of factors that may affect yield include: the
quality and condition of the food you buy, storage conditions and handling, the equipment used
in preparation, cooking method and time, the form in which you serve the food, and the serving
utensils and portion control methods used.

The yield data provided in the Food Buying Guide can be used in a number of day to day
activities involving meal planning, purchasing, and production. It can be used:
         1. To determine the number of purchase units needed to obtain the desired number of
             servings of a particular food
         2. To adjust portion sizes and calculate servings to meet minimum meal pattern
             requirements
         3. To calculate the quantity of food to buy to obtain the correct amount of ready-to-cook
             and ready-to-use food for a recipe
       4. To determine correct yields for food purchased, prepared, and ready-to-cook or
          ready-to-use. This is especially useful for fresh fruits and vegetables.
       5. To calculate cost comparisons

Yield information is provided in the Food Buying Guide in a six-column format. Each column
supplies unique information that will help you determine how much food to purchase and
prepare in order to meet the meal pattern requirements. Let’s take a closer look at each column
and discuss the information found in each.

Column 1 – Food As Purchased, AP: tells you the name of a food item and the form(s) in
which it is purchased (before any preparation). Where appropriate, Column 1 also includes a
more detailed description of the form in which items are purchased.


                                          EXAMPLE:

          Find bananas in the Vegetables/Fruits section of the Food Buying Guide. If
          you look down Column 1, you will see entries for fresh, canned, and
          dehydrated bananas. You will also notice a more detailed description of the
          purchase form listed below each one (e.g. 150 count, whole, mashed, slices).
          Please also note the footnote for the dehydrated bananas. Throughout the
          Food Buying Guide, you will see a number of footnotes given for a variety
          of products. These footnotes are meant to provide additional information,
          reminders, and references.


Column 2 – Purchase Unit: tells you the basic unit of purchase for the food. For most foods,
the guide lists “Pound” as the purchase unit.

                                          EXAMPLE:

          Looking again at the entries for bananas, you will see that the purchase units
          listed in Column 2 are “Pound” and “No. 10 can.”



Column 3 – Servings per Purchase Unit, EP (Edible Portion): shows the number of servings
you can get from each purchase unit. Numbers in this column are sometimes rounded down to
help ensure enough food is purchased for the desired number of servings.

                                            EXAMPLE:

           Example: Using the 150 count, fresh bananas as an example, looking in
           Column 3, you can see that each pound of bananas yields 3.6 whole
           bananas, or 6.51 (1/4 cups) of sliced fruit.
Column 4 – Serving Size per Meal Contribution: describes a serving by weight, measure, or
number of pieces or slices.

                                          EXAMPLE:

           As is the case with most fruit and vegetable entries in the Food Buying
           Guide, the serving sizes listed for bananas are both whole pieces and ¼-cup
           servings. You will notice that a few entries list both a measure and the
           number of pieces or slices, e.g. 1 whole, 150 count, petite banana = about
           3/8 cup fruit.


Column 5 – Purchase Units for 100 Servings: shows the number of purchase units you need
for 100 servings (of the serving size listed in Column 4). Numbers in this column have been
rounded up to help ensure enough food is available for 100 servings.


                                          EXAMPLE:

           Using the 150 count, fresh bananas as an example, you can see that you
           would need to purchase 27.8 pounds of 150 count, petite bananas to get 100
           servings (100 whole bananas). For 100 – ¼ cup servings of sliced 150
           count, petite bananas, you would need to purchase 15.4 pounds of whole
           bananas. Remember to round up when calculating how much food to
           purchase.

Column 6 – Additional Information: provides other information you may need to help you
calculate the amount of food you need to purchase and/or prepare. For many food items, this
column shows the quantity of ready-to-cook, cooked, or ready-to-serve food you will get from a
pound of food as purchased. For many processed foods, this column also gives the weight or
number of cups of drained vegetable or fruit from various can sizes.


                                          EXAMPLE:

           Looking at the four entries for bananas, you can see that three of these
           contain information in Column 6. For the 150 count, fresh bananas, Column
           6 tells you that one pound of fresh bananas, as purchased (with peel) yields
           about 0.64 pounds (or about 1-5/8 cups) of ready-to-serve banana slices.
Meal pattern charts have been used since the beginning of the National School Lunch Program to
help menu planners provide all of the essential nutrients, sufficient calories, and a variety of
foods to children. The minimum portion sizes are established by age and grade groups. The
most common menu planning approaches used are the food-based menu planning options, which
include the Traditional and Enhanced meal patterns. Under the Traditional food-based menu
planning approach, schools must comply with specific component and quantity requirements by
offering five food items from four food components. The four components are: Meat/Meat
Alternate, Vegetables/Fruits, Grains/Breads, and Milk. The five food items that must be offered
include a meat/meat alternate, two different fruits and/or vegetables, at least one grain/bread, and
fluid milk. The Enhanced food-based menu planning approach is a variation of the Traditional
menu planning approach. It was designed to increase calories from low-fat food sources in order
to more closely meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The same five food items must be
offered, but the quantities for the weekly servings of vegetables/fruits and grains/breads are
increased.

The Introduction section of the Food Buying Guide contains a variety of tools, including tables
and figures, designed to assist you in planning, purchasing, and production. Let’s take a brief
look at each of these tools.

       Table 1 (pg I-28): table of abbreviations and symbols used in the Food Buying Guide.
Abbreviations and symbols help to ease written communication and help to prevent food
production errors. In addition, this chart can be used as a resource when you are developing
standardized recipes for your operation. For these reasons, all food service personnel should be
very familiar with the information presented in this chart.

        Table 2 (pg I-30): table of average weights and volumes of common can and jar sizes
used in foodservice operations.

       Table 3 (pg I-31): table that gives examples of the types of products that are typically
packed in different can or jar sizes. It also lists how many can or jars typically come in one case.
This chart can also be helpful when writing food descriptions or specifications for purchasing.

                 Please note the following important information when using
                                        Tables 2 and 3:

          1. Can sizes (e.g. No. 10 can, No. 3 cylinder) are industry terms and do not
          necessarily appear on the label anywhere. No. 10 cans are the most
          common can size used in schools.

          2. The net weight listed on the can or jar label can differ according to the
          density of the contents. For example, a No. 10 can of sauerkraut weighs
          approximately 6 pounds and 3 ounces, while a No. 10 can of cranberry
          sauce weighs approximately 7 pounds and 5 ounces.
        Figure 1 (pg I-32): laying a can on its side on this chart can help you determine what size
a can is.

          Figure 2 (pg I-33): setting a can on top of this chart can help you determine what size a
can is.

       Table 4 (pg I-35): as you plan menus, make purchasing decisions, or prepare recipes,
you may sometimes want to use a different size can than the Food Buying Guide or recipe calls
for. Use this table as a guide for substituting cans.

      Table 5 (pg I-36): table that lists ounces and their decimal equivalents in pounds. For
example, 16 ounces = 1 pound or 1.00 pound, or 8 ounces = ½ pound or 0.50 pound.

         Table 6 (pg I-37): table that lists common fractions and their number equivalents in
decimal form. For example, 1/4 = 0.250 or 3/8 = 0.375. If you encounter a fraction that is not
listed in this table, you can simply divide the top number of the fraction by the bottom number of
the fraction to get the decimal form.

        Table 7 (pg I-37): table that lists numbers in decimal form and converts and rounds them
down to the correct fraction of a cup for crediting vegetable/fruit servings. The chart increases
by 1/8 cup increments, because 1/8 cup is the smallest serving that may be credited toward the
vegetable/fruit component. For example, a recipe that you are using says that each serving
provides 0.68 cups of vegetable/fruit. Because you always round down to ensure you are
meeting the meal pattern requirements, you can count 5/8 cup of vegetable/fruit toward the
meal pattern since 0.68 falls between 0.625 and 0.749

       Table 8 (pg I-39): table that shows decimal equivalents for fractions of pounds, cups, and
gallons.

       Tables 9 thru 11 (pg I-40 and I-41): guides to metric conversions. The United States
uses customary units (pounds, ounces, cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, pints, quarts, gallons, fluid
ounces) instead of metric units (grams, kilograms, milliliters, liters). These charts can help you
with converting the U.S. customary units to metric units, or vice versa.

        Table 12 (pg I-42): a guide to volume equivalents for liquids (converting measures to
fluid ounces). For example, you can see that 6 Tablespoons = 3/8 cup = 3 fluid ounces.

        Tables 13 thru 15 (pgs I-43, I-44, and I-45): list the sizes and capacities of scoops,
ladles, and spoodles. Scoops (aka dishers or dippers), ladles, and spoodles (aka portion servers
or portioners) are fairly dependable measures for portioning by volume and for serving food
quickly.
Picture           Name                   Use                     Notes
          Scoop/Disher/Dipper   Useful for portioning       The number on the
                                specific volumes of          scoop gives the
                                foods (solids and            number of
                                semi-solids) such as         scoopfuls it takes to
                                mashed potatoes,             make one quart.
                                                             The higher the
                                canned and frozen            number, the smaller
                                fruits and vegetables,       the scoop because it
                                cookie dough, and            would take more
                                condiments.                  scoopfuls to make
                                                             one quart.
                                                            Table 13 gives the
                                                             sizes and capacities
                                                             of scoops. It shows
                                                             the scoop size (or
                                                             the number on the
                                                             scoop) and the
                                                             volume it holds
          Ladle                 Useful for serving          The higher the
                                liquids and semi-            number on the
                                liquids, such as             ladle, the larger its
                                soups, stews,                size
                                creamed dishes,             Although ladles are
                                                             labeled “oz” they
                                sauces, and gravies.
                                                             measure volume in
                                                             fluid ounces, not
                                                             weight
                                                            Table 14 shows the
                                                             approximate
                                                             volume measure for
                                                             the six ladle sizes
                                                             most frequently
                                                             used in serving
                                                             school lunches
          Spoodle/Portion       Volume-standardized         Similar to a scoop
          Server/Portioner      serving spoons               or ladle in that they
                                identified for a             can be used to
                                specific volume              measure specific
                                measure.                     volumes of food,
                                                             but they are shaped
                                                             more like a serving
                                                             spoon
                                                            Can be solid or
                                                             perforated
                                                            Table 15 shows
                                                             sizes and capacities
                                                             of these types of
                                                             utensils
          Cooking/Serving       One of the reasons          Not standardized
          Spoon                 for using these              measuring devices
                                serving spoons is to        Not predictable
                                protect the shape of         with regard to yield
                                the food, such as            or serving size
                                                             unless you
                                sweet potato pieces,
                                                             standardize them
                                allowing them to
                                                            Instructions for
                                remain as loose              standardizing these
                                chunks rather than           types of utensils can
                                being compacted into         be found on page I-
                                a scoop.                     45 of the Food
                                                             Buying Guide
The methods and examples we are about to go through will illustrate how you might use the
yield information for a particular purpose. These are just a few things to keep in mind before we
move on:
        1. Foods are most often purchased in case lots (meaning you would buy a whole case of
           No. 10 cans versus purchasing them individually). That being said, the amount you
           have to purchase may differ from the calculated amount to prepare for a menu item.
        2. Always round up when calculating how much food to buy.
        3. Always round down when calculating how much to credit a component towards
           meeting a meal pattern requirement.

To calculate how much of any food to purchase you should begin by asking yourself the
following questions:

       1.   How many servings will I need?
       2.   Will different serving sizes be used for various age/grade groups?
       3.   What is my planned serving size for this food?
       4.   In what form will I purchase this food?
       5.   What serving size is listed in Column 4?
       6.   Is the listed serving size the same as my planned serving size?
       7.   How many purchase units of the food will I need to buy?


Method 1 – Using Column 3

General procedure: divide the number of servings you need by the number of servings you will
get from one purchase unit (Column 3) to determine the amount of food to purchase/prepare.

If the planned serving size matches the serving size indicated in the Food Buying Guide in
Column 4, you do not need to covert the serving size.

If the planned serving size is different than the serving size indicated in the Food Buying Guide
in Column 4 (this includes multiple serving sizes for different age/grade groups), a serving size
conversion must first be done.

Steps (if serving size conversion IS NOT needed):
        1. Estimate the number of servings of the prepared food you will need.
        2. Locate the food in the Food Buying Guide in the form you intend to serve.
        3. Check the serving size listed in Column 4. Compare this to your planned serving
            size.
        4. Refer to Column 2 to find the purchase unit. Refer to Column 3 for the number of
            servings you will get per purchase unit.
        5. Divide the number of servings needed by the number of servings you will get per
            purchase unit (Column 3).
        6. Round up to ensure enough food is available.
Steps (if serving size conversion IS needed):
        1. Estimate the number of servings and the serving size of the prepared food for each
            age/grade.
        2. Locate the food in the Food Buying Guide in the form you intend to serve.
        3. Check the serving size listed in Column 4. Compare this to your planned serving
            size.
        4. Convert your planned serving size(s) to the common serving size found in the Food
            Buying Guide in Column 4.
        5. Refer to Column 2 to find the purchase unit. Refer to Column 3 for the number of
            servings you will get per purchase unit.
        6. Divide the total number of servings needed by the number of servings you will get
            per purchase unit (Column 3).
        7. Round up to ensure enough food is available.


Method 2 – Using Column 5

General Procedure: Multiply the numbers of serving sizes (Column 4) times the number of
purchase units (Column 5) and divide by 100.

This method is useful when planning large numbers of meals, but the Column 5 yield data can
easily be converted to provide the number of purchase units needed for a smaller number of
meals as well.

Steps (if greater than 100 servings are needed):
        1. Estimate the total number of people in each age group expected to eat that food item.
        2. Multiply the total number of servings expected to be taken by each group by the
            serving size to determine the amount you need for that age group. (Use Table 6 on pg.
            I-37 for cup to decimal conversions if needed.)
        3. Add those amounts together to determine the total quantity. (Meat/meat alternate is
            in ounces, vegetables and fruits are in ¼-cup servings, and bread is listed in servings
            or equivalents.)
        4. Determine the purchase unit for 100 servings for your food item according to how it
            will be served.
        5. Multiply the total quantity by the purchase unit for 100 servings indicated in Column
            5 and then divide the answer by 100.
        6. Round up to ensure enough food is purchased

Steps (if less than 100 servings are needed):
        1. Divide 100 by the number of meals you are planning.
        2. Find, in Column 5, the number of purchase units needed for 100 servings according to
            how it will be served.
        3. Divide the answer from Step 2 by the answer in Step 1.
        4. Round up to ensure enough food is purchased.
Method 3 – Using Column 6

General Procedure: Use the information in Column 6 to calculate yields for foods purchased in
a different form from that listed in Column 1.

This method can be used for two purposes:
      1. To calculate the quantity of food to buy in order to obtain the correct amount of
          ready-to-cook food for a recipe.

                                          EXAMPLE:

          After adjusting a recipe for stir fry, you determine that 5 pounds and 10
          ounces of chopped, fresh broccoli, ready-to-cook is needed. The ready-to-
          cook quantity is the amount you need of trimmed, chopped vegetable.
          Column 6 gives the yield information needed to calculate how much whole,
          fresh broccoli you need to buy to be sure to have the correct amount after
          trimming.



       2. How to determine the number of servings obtained from a bulk pack of food
          purchased prepared and ready-to-cook or ready-to-use.

                                          EXAMPLE:

          The Food Buying Guide lists iceberg lettuce, whole, as purchased, and
          served as shredded lettuce. Column 6 gives the yield information needed to
          calculate how many servings you would get if you bought the lettuce
          already shredded.




Steps (for Purpose 1):
        1. Refer to the yield information in Column 6 for the yield determined from the food
            you will be purchasing to the form you need for your recipe.
        2. Divide the ready-to-cook (RTC) quantity called for in the recipe by yield data in
            Column 6.

Steps (for Purpose 2):
        1. Refer to the yield information in Column 6 for the form of food you will be
            purchasing as described in Column1.
        2. Determine the number of pounds of fresh food item it would take to get the desired
            amount of ready-to-serve or ready-to-use food item.
        3. Refer to Column 3 to find the number of servings per purchase unit.
        4. Multiply the answer in Step 2 by the answer in Step 3.
Using the Food Buying Guide to make cost comparisons

You can use the information provided in the Food Buying Guide in Column 5 to compare the
cost per serving for food purchased in different forms. But keep in mind that these cost
comparisons are based on raw food costs only. Raw food cost does not take into account labor
expenses, which will vary according to the form of the food purchased. For example, someone
will have to wash, prep, and cook raw food items. There are also different costs associated with
various storage conditions. These are only a few of the many factors that may add significant
cost per pound to the raw food.

Steps:
         1. Using Column 5, obtain the purchase units for 100 servings (with purchase unit of
            “pound”).
         2. Divide the purchase units for 100 servings by 100 by moving the decimal two places
            to the left. This gives you the purchase units for 1 serving.
         3. Multiply the purchase units for one serving by the cost of one pound of the item. This
            gives you the cost of one serving.
         4. Compare the raw food cost per serving.

* Note: To calculate the cost per pound for canned goods, you must divide the cost per can by
the weight of the can.
                               Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

                               Meat/Meat Alternates


For the food-based menu planning approaches, Child Nutrition Program regulations require that
school lunches must contain at least the minimum amount of meat or meat alternate given in the
Meal Pattern Charts everyday. A meat or meat alternate may be served as part of the School
Breakfast Program, as well as the Afterschool Care Snack Program, but a minimum daily serving
is not required.

All foods typically credited as contributing to the meat/meat alternate component of the meal
patterns are represented in Section 1 of the Food Buying Guide. Foods are arranged
alphabetically by category. Each category is arranged by listing fresh or frozen items first,
followed by canned items, and then cured items.

Meat and meat alternates that can be credited toward the meal pattern include:
                      meat
                      poultry
                      fish
                      cheese
                      dry beans and peas (e.g. chickpeas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans)
                      whole eggs
                      nuts and seeds
                      nut and seed butters (e.g. peanut butter)
                      yogurt
                      enriched macaroni with fortified protein
                      alternate protein products

For lunch, the meat or meat alternate component must be served in the main dish (entrée), or
split between the main dish and one other menu item. A serving of meat or meat alternate must
contribute a minimum of 0.25 ounces to be eligible to count towards the meat/meat alternate
requirement.

Non-specific food products are products that contain multiple ingredients in different
formulations, depending on the manufacturer. Examples of non-specific food products include
ravioli, burritos, chicken fried steak, chicken rings, chicken nuggets, breakfast pizza, pork
patties, turkey roll, and beef patties (if not labeled as a 100% ground beef patty, it may contain a
variety of ingredients and/or extenders in varying amounts). Contribution of non-specific food
products must be documented through use of a CN label or manufacturer’s product analysis.
Information for non-specific products, such as chicken nuggets and chicken, beef, or pork
patties, is not provided in the Food Buying Guide. Non-specific products do not require a
minimum amount of meat by Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) labeling Standards of
Identity. There is no general way to determine how much meat or poultry is contained in these
products, especially since each manufacturer has its own formulation. School districts using
these products must either obtain a Child Nutrition (CN) label or manufacturer’s documentation
to credit each specific product used.

Yields of cooked meat and poultry vary with type, age, fat content, and weight of the animal, and
the method, time, and temperature of cooking. The quantities of food to purchase listed in the
Food Buying Guide are based on average yields of cooked meat and poultry.

Enriched macaroni-type products with fortified protein may be counted as meeting part of the
meat/meat alternate requirement. One ounce (28.35 grams) of a dry enriched macaroni product
with fortified protein may be used to contribute no more than 50% of the meat/meat alternate
requirement, when served in combination with one or more ounces of cooked meat, poultry, fish,
or cheese. Only enriched macaroni products that have been accepted by USDA for use in Child
Nutrition Programs can be utilized. These products will have a label on them stating that one
ounce (dry weight) of that product meets one-half of the meat/meat alternate requirement.

At lunch, nuts and seeds may be used to contribute no more than 50% of the meat/meat alternate
requirement and must be used in combination with another source of meat or meat alternate.
However, nut and seed butters may be used to contribute 100% of the meat/meat alternate
requirement.
                       1 ounce of nuts or seeds contributes 1 ounces of meat/meat alternate
                       2 tablespoons of nut or seed butters contribute 1 ounce of meat/meat
                          alternate

Four ounces of yogurt may be used to contribute 1 ounce of meat/meat alternate. Yogurt may be
flavored or unflavored (plain), and can be sweetened or unsweetened. However, liquid
(drinkable), soy, and frozen yogurts are not creditable.

Alternate protein products (APP) include such things as soy flours, soy concentrates, soy
isolates, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and casein. Processed food items, such
as vegetarian burgers, may contain alternate protein products, but the entire item cannot be
considered an alternate protein product because the food item contains other ingredients, such as
seasonings and breading. The Food Buying Guide does not provide yield information for
alternate protein products because the Food Buying Guide only provides yield information for
whole foods, not ingredients. School districts using products that contain alternate protein
products must either obtain a Child Nutrition (CN) label or manufacturer’s documentation to
credit each specific product used. With proper documentation, alternate protein products can be
used to meet all or part of the meat/meat alternate requirement.

Fresh, frozen, and dried whole eggs can be used to contribute all or part of the meat/meat
alternate requirement. One whole large egg is the equivalent of 2 ounces of meat/meat alternate.
A large variety of cheeses may be used to meet all or part of the meat/meat alternate requirement,
including reduced fat, low fat, nonfat, and light versions of cheese, cheese food, and cheese
spread. Any item labeled “imitation” cheese or cheese “product” does not meet the requirements
for use in food-based menu planning approaches, and is not creditable toward meeting meal
pattern requirements. Creditable cheeses include:
     Natural and processed cheeses
     Cottage and ricotta cheeses
     Grated parmesan and Romano cheeses
     Cheese food
     Cheese spread
                              Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

                              Vegetables/Fruits


Regulations for the Child Nutrition Programs require that each reimbursable breakfast and lunch
contain vegetables and/or fruits in the amounts listed in the Meal Pattern Charts. Vegetables and
fruits may also be served as part of the Afterschool Care Snack Program, although not required.

All foods typically credited as contributing to the vegetable/fruit component of the meal patterns
are represented in Section 2 of the Food Buying Guide. Foods are arranged alphabetically by
category. Data for fresh, canned, frozen, and dehydrated vegetables and fruits are listed, as well
as for canned and frozen juices and canned soups. Value-added produce (pre-cut, ready-to-use
fruits and vegetables) is also included, e.g. chopped cabbage, carrot sticks, chopped onions,
broccoli florets, diced celery, and bagged salad mixes.

          Note: Concentrated products have simply had the liquid removed. The
          liquid is added back during preparation. Fruit and vegetable concentrates,
          such as concentrated juice and soup, are credited based on an “as if single-
          strength reconstituted basis” rather than on actual volume.

          Note: Frozen vegetables usually yield more servings per pound than fresh
          vegetables since the frozen ones are cleaned, blanched, and ready-to-cook.
          Dehydrated fruits or vegetables yield more servings per pound than fresh,
          frozen, or canned because they gain weight and volume as they absorb water
          during soaking and cooking.



Specific Requirements for Vegetables/Fruits in the Child Nutrition Programs:
    Two or more servings of different fruits and vegetables must be served to meet the
       requirement at lunch
    A serving of vegetables/fruits must be a minimum of 1/8 cup in order to be credited
    Any liquid or frozen product labeled “juice,” “full-strength juice,” “single-strength
       juice,” or “reconstituted juice” is considered to be full-strength, or 100% juice (only the
       amount of full-strength juice in a juice product may be credited)
    No more than ½ of the total vegetables/fruits requirement may be met with full-strength
       juice at lunch
    Full-strength juice may be used to meet the total requirement at breakfast
    Cooked dry beans and peas may be used as either a meat alternate or a vegetable, but not
       as both components in the same meal
      Menu items that are mixtures, such as fruit cocktail or mixed vegetables, count only as
       one vegetable/fruit serving
      Large salads served as an entrée must contain at least ¾ cup or more of two or more
       different fruits and vegetables in combination with meat/meat alternate to equal 2
       servings of vegetables/fruits


To help you meet the nutritional standards established for Child Nutrition Programs and goals of
the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, meals should include the following:
     Vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables at least 2-3 times per week
     Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables 3-4 times per week, and breakfasts should include
       them frequently
     A variety of fruits and vegetables
     Foods that are good sources of fiber, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grain
       products


Definitions used in this section of the Food Buying Guide:
    Count: the number of whole fruits or vegetables contained or packed in a specific
        container
           o The higher the count, the smaller the size of fruit or vegetable
    Size: the number of pieces of whole fruit or vegetable in ten pounds of a product
    Pared: means the outer skin or peel of a fruit or vegetable has been removed
    Unpared: means the outer skin or peel of a fruit or vegetable has not been removed
    Tempered: frozen fruits or vegetables that have been brought to room temperature.
           o The fruit or vegetable has been thawed, but not heated

          Note: Not every count or size is listed in the Food Buying Guide. You may
          be able to find yield information on counts or sizes not listed elsewhere or
          you can use the best/closest information available in the Food Buying Guide
          to estimate your yield.



The following products may be served, but they cannot be credited as meeting the vegetable/fruit
requirement:
    Snack-type foods made from fruits and vegetables, such as potato chips, banana chips,
       and popcorn
    Pickle relish, jams or jellies
    Ketchup and chili sauce
    Dried vegetables used as seasonings, such as dried minced garlic, dried onion flakes,
       dried red pepper flakes
    Hominy (dried corn kernels, whole or ground)
                              Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

                              Grains/Breads


All reimbursable meals offered under the food-based menu planning approach must include
grains/breads in the amounts listed in the Meal Pattern Charts. Grains/breads may also be
offered as part of the School Breakfast Program or the Afterschool Care Snack Program,
although a daily serving is not required.

All foods typically credited as contributing to the grains/breads component of the meal patterns
are represented in Section 3 of the Food Buying Guide. Foods are arranged alphabetically by
category.

Foods that qualify as grains/breads in the Child Nutrition Programs are enriched or whole-grain,
or are made from enriched or whole-grain meal and/or flour. Bran and germ are credited the
same as enriched or whole-grain meal or flour. If the grain/bread is a cereal, it must be whole-
grain, enriched, or fortified. Foods that are categorized as grains/breads include, but are not
limited to:
     Breads
     Biscuits, bagels, rolls, tortillas, muffins, or crackers
     Cereal grains, such as rice, bulgur, oatmeal, corn grits, wheat, or couscous
     Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals
     Cereals or bread products that are used as an ingredient in another menu item such as
        crispy rice treats, oatmeal cookies, or breading on fish or poultry
     Macaroni or noodle products
     Sweet food products such as toaster pastries, coffee cake, doughnuts, sweet rolls, cookies,
        cakes, or formulated grain-fruit products
     Pie crust
     Non-sweet snack food products such as hard pretzels, hard bread sticks, and tortilla chips


          Note: The Enhanced food-based menu planning approach requires 12
          grains/breads servings per week for students in grades K-6 and 15
          grains/breads servings per week for students in grades 7-12. Of these, one
          grain/bread may be a grain-based dessert, such as sweet rolls, doughnuts,
          toaster pastries, cookies/cakes, and coffee cake.
When determining whether or not a certain food product will contribute to the grain/bread
component, the first consideration is whether the product is enriched or whole-grain, or is made
from enriched or whole-grain meal, flour, bran, or germ. Then ask the following questions:
       1. Does the label indicate that the product is whole-grain, enriched, or fortified? If not,
           further documentation may be necessary.
       2. Is the food product provided in the quantities specified in the appropriate program
           regulations?
       3. Does the portion size credit at a minimum of ¼ of a serving, the smallest amount
           allowed to be credited as grain/bread?

There are two different ways to determine the portion size required to provide one grains/breads
serving: by using the chart located on page 3-15 and 3-16 of the Food Buying Guide or by
calculating the grams of creditable grains.
     Using the grains/breads chart located in the Food Buying Guide
           o Use to determine one grains/breads serving for commonly available food products
           o Grains/breads food products are grouped based on their average grain content
           o Each group provides the minimum serving size needed to supply one full
                grains/breads serving
           o Weight needed for the different groups of grains/breads food products to provide
                one grains/breads serving is different since different types of grains/breads food
                products have different concentrations of enriched or whole-grain meal and/or
                flour, bran, and/or germ
           o Food products that are labeled whole-grain or enriched, and food products that
                have a creditable grain as the primary grain ingredient should provide the
                minimum of 14.75 grams (0.52 ounces) of creditable grains per serving, as long as
                the minimum serving sizes listed in the chart are met
           o Group H
                     Exception for School Breakfast Program only – by regulation, one
                        grains/breads serving of cooked cereal and ready-to-eat (cold, dry)
                        breakfast cereal is ¾ cup or 1 ounce. This means that ¾ cup or 1 ounce
                        (whichever is less) of cold, dry cereal, or ¾ cup of cooked cereal, counts
                        as one grains/breads serving. The serving size for cooked cereal at
                        breakfast is different from the serving size listed in the grains/breads chart
                        for one grains/breads serving (½ cup).
                     Some of the food products in Group H, such as dry oatmeal or cornmeal,
                        may be used as a grain ingredient in a recipe as well as a cooked cereal.
                        When used in a recipe, such as oatmeal bread or cornmeal muffins, DO
                        NOT use the amounts listed in Group H. In this case, one grains/breads
                        serving should be determined using the weights given in Groups A-G.

      Calculating the grams of creditable grains
          o When to use the calculation instead of using the grains/breads chart:
                   When a product is not whole-grain, enriched, or fortified (if a cereal) and
                      the primary grain ingredient is not a creditable grain, but there are
                      creditable grains in the product
         When a manufacturer claims that a product can provide the minimum of
          14.75 grams of creditable grains per portion using a serving size less than
          that given in the grains/breads chart
       When a product is made on site using (from scratch) and you choose to
          calculate the serving size based on grams of creditable grains in the recipe
          rather than using the grains/breads chart
       When a food product does not fit into one of the groups in the
          grains/breads chart
o When calculating the grams of creditable grains, you need to document or obtain
  documentation showing the weight of creditable grain(s) content of the
  grains/breads item. This is either:
       The amount of creditable grain(s) used in the recipe for foods prepared on-
          site (from scratch)
       Documentation from the manufacturer that specifies the weight of
          creditable grain(s) in the product – if the manufacturer will not or cannot
          supply this information, you CANNOT use that product as a creditable
          grain/bread
                              Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

                              Milk


Regulations require fluid milk be served as part of the School Breakfast Program and the
National School Lunch Program. Fluid milk may also be a part of the Afterschool Care Snack
Program, though it is not required. At lunch, fluid milk must be served as a beverage. With
breakfast or as part of a snack, the fluid milk may be served as a beverage, on cereal, or both.

Fluid milk includes whole milk, low fat milk, reduced fat milk, skim or nonfat milk, cultured
buttermilk, lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk, acidified milk, or flavored milk. It must be
pasteurized, contain Vitamins A and D at levels specified by the Food and Drug Administration,
and must be consistent with State and local standards.

USDA requires that a choice of at least two different fat contents of milk be offered to students
each day at lunch. This is not a requirement at breakfast or with snacks. Schools are encouraged
to offer a wide variety of milks at lunch, giving students the opportunity to choose what type of
milk they would like to drink with their meal.


                                      Milk Fat Labeling
     Name             % butter fat        Grams of fat        Calories per 8     Fat reduced by
                                           per 8 fluid         fluid ounces        at least…
                                             ounces
Skim/Nonfat                0%             Less than 0.5             80                 N/A
                                             grams
Low Fat                    1%              2.6 grams               102                 50%

Reduced Fat                2%               4.7 grams              122                 25%

Whole                     3.5%               8 grams               150                 N/A
                              Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

                              Other Foods


The foods in this section do not meet the requirement for any component in the meal patterns of
the food-based menu planning approaches. They are included in the Food Buying Guide because
they are frequently used to add calories and nutrients in order to satisfy children’s appetites, as
condiments and seasonings, to round out a meal, and to improve meal acceptability among
students.

Many of the foods listed in this section of the Food Buying Guide are high in salt, sugar, and/or
fat. Therefore, the menu planner must carefully consider how often and in what amount to
include these foods on the menu. Because of the calories and nutrients these items contain, they
are included in the nutrient analysis that is part of the School Meals Initiative review.

Not all “other foods” are listed in the Food Buying Guide. Things like flour or sugar are not
included because they are never served alone. When purchase units for 100 servings of a food
item seem inappropriate, such as 100 cups of mustard, Column 5 is left blank.
                         Why don’t these items contribute to the meal pattern requirements?
  Mustard and Salad Dressing           Dried and Evaporated Milk, Frozen            Butter, Margarine, Light and Heavy Cream,
                                          Yogurt, and Canned Pudding                 Cream Cheese, Ice Cream, and Ice Milk




Reasons these foods do not            Reasons these foods do not contribute:
contribute:                                                                      Reasons these foods do not contribute:
                                      These food products are milk or milk-
These food products are               based, but they do not meet the definition Although these are dairy products, they do not
condiments, served in small           of fluid milk.                             substitute for fluid milk. Most of these food
amounts, and contain no                                                          products are also very high in fat.
significant creditable ingredients.
  Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Pickle              Honey and Syrups                   Ham Hocks, Pig Ears, Pig Feet, Bacon, Surimi
   Relish, Ketchup, Chili Sauce,                                                       (Fish Product), and Egg Products
            and Sherbet




                                      Reasons these foods do not contribute:     Reasons these foods do not contribute:
Reasons these foods do not
                                      These food products have no creditable     These food products have a meat/meat alternate base,
contribute:
                                      ingredients. They provide only calories.   but are either too high in fat or low in edible cooked
These products make no                                                           lean meat, or are a combination of ingredients for
contribution to the CNP meal                                                     which there is no Standard of Identity to guarantee
patterns. They are used as                                                       the minimum contribution to the m/ma requirement.
condiments and contain high levels
of sugar and/or salt.
              Yeast                     Coconut, Popcorn, Hominy, and             Dried (Not Dehydrated) Vegetables Used for
                                            Potato Chips & Sticks                                 Seasoning




Reasons these foods do not           Reasons these foods do not contribute:
contribute:                                                                    Reasons these foods do not contribute:
                                     All of the products are vegetable/fruit
This food product is used for        based but do not contribute to the
                                     vegetable/fruit meal pattern component.   Dried (not dehydrated) vegetables are used for
leavening, but does not contribute                                             seasoning.
to any of the meal pattern
components.                          Coconut has a high concentration of
                                     sugar and is generally served in small    The methods for processing dried and dehydrated
                                     amounts as a flavoring or garnish.        vegetables are different.

                                     The processing of corn into hominy        Only the dehydrated vegetables that are listed in the
                                     removes important nutrients.              Food Buying Guide, Section 2, vegetables/fruits,
                                                                               may be credited.
                                     Potato chips/sticks and popcorn may not
                                     be counted because they are considered    Most dried vegetables are listed in the Food Buying
                                     snack-type products.                      Guide, Section 5, Other Foods because dried
                                                                               vegetables are typically used in small amounts as
                                                                               seasonings.
                              Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

                              Appendices


Appendix A: Recipe Analysis
This section of the Food Buying Guide helps you calculate the contribution of a modified USDA,
or a locally developed, recipe toward the meat/meat alternate, vegetable/fruit, or grain/bread
components. All USDA recipes include the contribution to the meal pattern. However, when
they are modified (e.g. substituting ground turkey for ground beef), or when you are using your
own recipes, a recipe analysis must be done to determine the contributions. A number of
examples are located throughout Appendix A. As you work through the analysis of a recipe,
remember to utilize the tables and charts located in the Introduction section of the Food Buying
Guide.

Basic Recipe Analysis Steps (see the Food Buying Guide for more details on each step):
       1. List the ingredients in the recipe that contribute to the meal pattern requirements for
          meat/meat alternate, vegetable/fruit, and/or grain/bread
       2. Record the as purchased (AP) weight or volume
       3. Record the purchase units
       4. Record the number of servings per purchase unit
       5. Calculate the meat/meat alternate contribution
       6. Calculate the vegetable/fruit contribution
       7. Calculate the grain/bread contribution
       8. Record the number of portions per recipe
       9. Record the final answer (rounded down for crediting)
Appendix B: Using Column 6 for Recipe Analysis
This section of the Food Buying Guide helps you determine the number of servings, for crediting
purposes, obtained from a particular food using Column 6. In general, this analysis will convert
ready-to-cook food used in a recipe to the as purchased food, which is then converted to the as
served food, e.g. fresh apple slices are converted to whole fresh apples, which is converted to
cooked apple.

When performing recipe analysis for the vegetable/fruit component using Appendix B, it is
important to note that the answer will be in units of ¼ cup servings. The following conversion
chart can be used to determine the size of the contributing portion.


      Conversion of Answer (Column I) to Size of Creditable Serving Size
   An Answer of Equals Creditable Serving Size
       2.00       =    (2.0 x ¼ cup) or 1/2 cup serving of vegetable/fruit contribution
       1.50       =    (1.5 x ¼ cup) or 3/8 cup serving of vegetable/fruit contribution
       1.00       =    (1.0 x ¼ cup) or 1/4 cup serving of vegetable/fruit contribution
       0.50       =    (0.5 x ¼ cup) or 1/8 cup serving of vegetable/fruit contribution
Appendix C: USDA Child Nutrition Labeling Program
This section of the Food Buying Guide discusses the USDA Child Nutrition (CN) Labeling
Program. The CN Labeling Program is a voluntary Federal labeling program for the Child
Nutrition Programs. CN labels provide information regarding the contribution of food products
to the components of the food-based menu planning requirements. The program is operated by
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in cooperation with the Food Safety and Inspection
Service (FSIS), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS).

When you purchase products that are a combination of ingredients (such as a purchased beef,
bean, and cheese burrito), there is no way to disassemble the product and weigh and measure the
ingredients to determine the amount of meat/meat alternate, vegetable/fruit, and/or grain/bread
that may be credited toward the meal pattern requirements. CN labels provide this necessary
crediting information to the end user.

In order to obtain a CN label, a manufacturer must submit the product’s formulation to FNS.
FNS evaluates the formulation and verifies that the claim of the meal pattern contribution on the
label is accurate. FNS approves the label, and then forwards it to FSIS, AMS, and NMFS for
final approval.

To carry a CN label, a product must:
    have the contribution of the food component(s) determined using yields in the Food
       Buying Guide
    have the product formulation and CN label approved by FNS
    be produced under inspection

Which food products are eligible to carry a CN label?
   Main dish (entrée) products that contribute to the meat/meat alternate component of the
      meal pattern requirements
   Juice and juice-based drink products containing at least 50% full-strength juice by
      volume
          o Not necessary to label full-strength (100% juice) juice products because they are
             readily identifiable by the name on the label
          o Not always beverages – things like sherbets and frozen juice bars must carry a CN
             label or they cannot be credited

Which food products are not eligible to carry a CN label?
   Fruits and vegetables, with the exception of juices
   Grains/breads products
   Milk
   Note: products that contribute to the meat/meat alternate component may also contain
      ingredients that contribute to the vegetable/fruit and grain/bread components. Therefore,
      these types of products may also list the vegetable/fruit and/or grain/bread contributions
      on the CN label. Examples of such foods include pizza, corn dogs, burritos, and breaded
      chicken patties.
Common questions about the CN labeling program:
     Are manufacturer’s required to CN label their products?
         o No, there is no Federal requirement that anyone manufacture CN labeled
             products. The CN labeling program is voluntary.
     Are schools required to buy CN labeled products?
         o No, there is no Federal requirement that anyone purchase CN labeled products.
     Are CN labeled products more nutritious?
         o No, a CN label does not indicate that the CN product is healthier or more
             nutritious than a similar non-CN labeled product.
     Are CN labeled product higher quality?
         o No, a CN label does not indicate that the quality of the food is any different than a
             non-CN labeled food. Nor does it mean the foods are safer to eat or free of
             pathogens or allergens.
     Do CN labeled products have advantages?
         o A CN label clearly identifies a product’s contribution to the meal pattern
             requirements and protects the consumer from exaggerated claims about a
             product.
         o CN labels provide a warranty against audit claims if the product is used
             according to manufacturer’s directions.
         o CN labels help to simplify cost comparisons of similar products.
     Do CN labeled products cost more?
         o CN labeled products may cost more. Special labeling requirements, inspection
             costs, and extra staff costs to monitor quality control may be contributing factors
             in CN labeled products costing more than a similar non-CN labeled product.
                 Parts of a CN label




           Meal pattern contribution statement



 Logo
 with                                              Six digit
distinct                                            product
border                                           identification
                                                    number




                                                   Statement
                                                   specifying
                                                    CN label
                                                      was
                                                   authorized
                                                    by FNS

              Month and year
               of approval
Appendix D: Food Purchasing
This section of the Food Buying Guide discusses two publications published by the National
Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI) that were designed to assist you in the
procurement, or purchasing, process. These publications can be purchased through NFSMI.
They are also available for viewing and/or printing from NFSMI’s website:
http://www.nfsmi.org.

First Choice: A Purchasing Systems Manual for School Food Service covers the management of
the entire purchasing process, and includes appendices with sample forms, reference materials,
and a glossary.

Choice Plus: A Reference Guide for Foods and Ingredients concentrates on food and ingredient
specifications and product sheets for a wide variety of products. It includes tips on purchasing
fruits and vegetables, and includes appendices with information about food laws, standards and
regulations, resources, and the Nutrition Facts panel.



Appendix E: Resources
This section of the Food Buying Guide contains a listing of resources available to help you in the
administration of your Child Nutrition Programs. It contains contact information for a number of
agencies, names and descriptions of a variety of publications, and website addresses where you
can go to find more information and/or materials.



Index
The index located at the back of the Food Buying Guide provides a quick, easy way to find the
foods you are looking for within the guide.

				
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