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Meal Pattern Tables and Components

Meal Pattern Tables

Substitution of vegetables for fruit at breakfast: School food authorities (SFAs) participating in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) may credit any vegetable offered in place of fruit. This flexibility is effective for school years 2021-22 and 2022-23, and provides additional flexibility in planning breakfast menus, but does not require SFAs to make any menu changes (USDA Policy Memorandum SP 08-2022).

The Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Final Rule will go into effect on July 1, 2022. For more information regarding changes to the meal pattern from this rule, see the USDA Factsheet.

Meal Pattern Components

  • National School Lunch Program (NSLP): There are five required meal pattern components including Meat/Meat Alternate (M/MA), Grain, Milk, Fruit, and Vegetable.
  • School Breakfast Program (SBP): There are three required meal pattern components including Grain, Fruit (or Vegetable), and Milk.

All required components must be offered at each meal service.