Nutritional Guidelines

I. National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast program are offered at all schools.

1. NACS menus meet state and federal requirements based on USDA Dietary Guidelines. No more than 35% calories are from fat, and less than 10% of calories are from saturated fat. There are no Trans fats except for naturally occurring trace amounts.

2. The National School Lunch consists of 5 components:

A. Meat/Meat Alternate- 1 oz. minimum required daily. Grades K-5 receive 8-10 oz. weekly, grades 6-8 receive 9-10 oz. weekly and grades 9-12 receive 10-12 oz. weekly.

B. Grains/Breads- Minimum of 1 oz. serving per day. Grades K-5 receive 8-9 oz. weekly, grades 6-8 receive 8-10 oz. weekly and grades 9-12 receive 10-12 oz. weekly. Starchy vegetables such as corn or potatoes are not considered to be in this group. At least 50% of the weekly offerings will be Whole grain-rich products.

C. Vegetables- Required 3/4 cup per lunch for grades K-8 and 1 cup per lunch for grades 9-12. Note that we do not use the Diabetic Diet Exchange List, so vegetables can be either starchy or non-starchy. Vegetable sub group requirements weekly to include: Dark Green, Red/Orange, Bean/Legumes, Starchy, and Other.

D. Fruit- Minimum of ½ Cup per day. One cup offered to all grade levels. 100% Juice offered each day as a fruit choice.

E. All students are required to take a full ½ cup serving of a Fruit or Vegetable as one component at lunch and breakfast.

F. Milk- One ½ pint serving per lunch. Flavored and unflavored milk will not exceed 1% fat content.

3. Entrees - At Elementary level - one entree is menued daily, and two alternates are offered daily. The alternates are an 8-ounce container of low-fat Yogurt or an individually wrapped Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich. At the Middle School and 9thGrade Level - two entrees are menued daily, and two alternates are offered daily. The alternates are an 8-ounce container of low-fat Yogurt or a Chef Salad.

4. Offer vs. Serve is observed. Students may choose no less than 3 of the 5 food components to the menu at lunch and 2 of the 3 food components to the menu at breakfast to be considered a reimbursable meal. K-2 are encouraged to take all components offered in the meal, but not required.

II. Nutritional Analysis

1. Menus are nutritionally analyzed as if a student ate the entire meal, including condiments at the Elementary level. In the Secondary level, there are several choices of items the students may take, so it makes it difficult to balance every meal those students take. Those menus are analyzed by weighted averages, based on total foods actually eaten.


2. Nutritional Analysis reports of all reimbursable lunch menus are printed out on a monthly basis and given to all NACS Food Service Managers and Nurses in each school building.

A. Nutritional Analysis reports are also made available to parents of students with special dietary needs upon request.

B. School Nurses assist students with special dietary needs using nutritional analysis.

III. Nutrition Standards for Foods and Beverages

Any food sold in school must:

  • Be a whole grain-rich product; or
  • Have as the first ingredient a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or a protein food; or
  • Be a combination food that contains at least 1/4 cup of fruit and/or vegetable; or
  • Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Calcium, potassium, Vit. D or dietary fiber)

Foods must also meet several nutrient requirements:

Calorie limits

  • Snack items:
  • Entree items:

Sodium limits

  • Snack items:
  • Entree items:

Fat limits

  • Total fat:
  • Saturated fat:
  • Trans Fat: zero grams

Sugar limit


Accompaniments such as cream cheese, salad dressing and butter must be included in the nutrient profile as part of the food item sold. This helps control the amount of calories, fat, sugar and sodium added to foods.

Nutrition Standards for Beverages

All schools may sell:

  • Plain water (with or without carbonation)
  • Unflavored and flavored low fat milk (1%)
  • Unflavored fat free milk and milk alternatives permitted by NSLP/SBP
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juice, and 100% fruit or vegetables juice diluted with water (with or without carbonation) and no added sweeteners

Elementary schools may sell up to 8-ounce portions, while middle and high schools may sell up to 12-ounce portions of milk and juice. There is no portion size limit for plain water.

Beyond this, the standards allow additional "no calorie" and "lower calorie" beverage options for high school students.

  • No more than 20-ounce portions of calorie-free, flavored water (with or without carbonation); and other flavored and/or carbonated beverages that are labeled to contain < 5 calories per 8 fluid ounces or
  • No more than 12-ounce portions of beverage with
  • Food items that meet nutrition standards are not limited
  • The standards do not apply during non-school hours, on weekends and at off-campus fundraising events. (A school day hours begin at 12:00 a.m. and ends 30 minutes after student dismissal)
  • The standards provide a special exemption for infrequent fundraisers that do not meet the nutrition standards. (IDOE has established 2 allowable exempt fundraisers per school per school year)

IV. Nutrition Education

1. Food Service Dept.

A. The NACS Wellness Policy was developed in 2006, and is available on their web site. Go to - select 8000 (Operations) and 8510 (Wellness).

B. Food Service Directors and Managers are trained at workshops, seminars and at regular Manager's Meetings.

C. NACS Schools are members of the Team Nutrition Program and use their materials to help advertise and educate students and staff about good nutrition.

D. Food Service staff are trained to be certified food handlers.

V. Vending Machines Operated by Food Service Dept.

A. All Nutrition Standards for foods and beverages pertain to vending machines operated by Food Service Dept.

B. Vending machines operated by the Food Service Dept. will be available for sales at all times.

Lmk - 12/18/18

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.