Meal Pattern Requirements (NSLP and SBP)

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act allows USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, opportunity to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children. The meal pattern will be phased in over multiple program years.


  • Final Rule: Child Nutrition Program Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium Requirements
  • Questions and Answers on the Final Rule Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements
    • Exemption form is no longer required
  • Whole Grain Pledge
  • USDA Short/Long Week Calculation
  • SP 38-2019: Meal Requirements under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Questions and Answers for Program Operators
  • USDA Manual OVS (Effective Beginning School Year 2015-2016)
  • USDA Website: Nutrition Standards for School Meals
  • Implementation Timeline for Lunch and Breakfast
  • Sodium Infograph- What’s Shaking?
  • USDA’s Nutrition Standards for CACFP Meals and Snacks (updates to the Infant and Pre-K meal patterns; operators must comply with the updated meal standards by October 1, 2017)
  • Technical Assistance and Guidance