USDA Current Changes to the Meal Pattern Requirements for SY2022/23

The implementation date of the transitional meal standards in this rule is July 1, 2022. This rule revises the flavored milk, whole grain-rich, and sodium requirements beginning school year (SY) 2022-2023. The new ruling requires:

  • Whole grain-rich foods to be 80% of the weekly grains offered compared to the current standard which is 50% 
  • Target 2 sodium requirements are being replaced with Interim Target 1A
  • Offer flavored, low-fat (1%) milk at lunch and breakfast and as a beverage for sale a la carte, and requires that unflavored milk (fat-free or low-fat) be available at each school meal service

'Effective July 1, 2022, at least 80 percent of the weekly grains offered in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) must be whole grain-rich, and the remaining weekly grains offered must be enriched.  This final rule permits Program operators to offer flavored, low-fat (1 percent) milk in the NSLP and SBP to children in grades K-12, and to children ages 6 and older participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Special Milk Program (SMP). This transitional meal standard also applies for adult participants in the CACFP.
In addition, this rule retains Sodium Target 1 in the NSLP and SBP through SY 2022-2023, retains Sodium Target 1 for SBP in SY 2023-2024, and institutes Sodium Interim Target 1A for NSLP beginning in SY 2023-2024.'

The approved software systems such as CNCentral are required to update functionality to reflect the Child Nutrition Programs: Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Final Rule, specifically related to whole grain-rich, sodium, and milk requirements. CNCentral's functionality is updated in accordance with that rule.

If you have any questions regarding USDA's announcement or requirements for SY 2022/23, please refer to Question & Answer Guidance on the Final Rule, Child Nutrition Programs: Transitional Standards


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