You are here

School Nutrition Bulletin 2122-06

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Announcements from the WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT)

Updates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)


Team Nutrition: 5 Ways to Add Whole Grain-Rich Foods to Your Back-to-School Menus

  1. Make Whole Grains a Food Education Experience: Promote local whole-grain menu offerings with educational activities and visits with local farmers. Use the Whole World of Whole Grains section of the Team Nutrition Popular Events Idea Booklet to find ways to introduce students to a variety of whole grains as you add them to your school menus. Read more about Integrating Local Foods into Child Nutrition Programs.
  2. Use Whole Grains from USDA Foods: The USDA Foods in Schools Program has many whole grain-rich items for school meals. The Frozen Whole Grain-rich make great grab n’ go sandwich wraps. Be sure to thaw the tortillas completely to prevent breaking when assembling the wraps. Try them to make this popular Roasted Fish Crispy Slaw Wrap recipe. See the full list of USDA Foods Available for School Year 2021-2022.
  3. Try New Whole Grain-Rich Products: Consider adding a new whole grain-rich food to your menu, based on feedback from students. Use the Exhibit A Grains Tool in the Food Buying Guide to determine the grains contribution of the new item and how much to serve to meet meal pattern requirements. Learn more by watching the How to Maximize the Exhibit A Grains Tool! training video (now available with captioning in Spanish).
  4. Develop New Recipes with Local Whole Grains: Montana’s Office of Public Instruction is developing a recipe featuring Montana-grown barley as part of a Fiscal Year 2021 Team Nutrition Training Grant. They held a statewide recipe contest, and the Bison and Barley Soup recipe was a clear winner. The recipe was taste tested with students, receiving high approval rates, and will be standardized for school meals soon!
  5. Start the Day with Whole Grains: Add variety to your breakfast meal service with different whole grain-rich options. Feature items made with oats like Fruity Oatmeal and Oatmeal Muffin Squares. Switch it up with breads made with whole-wheat flour like these Baking Powder Biscuits and Pancakes. Don’t forget to try some whole grain-rich tortillas, which are used in this Breakfast Burrito recipe!

New Professional Standards Resources are now available from Team Nutrition!

A number of resources pertaining to Professional Standards for School Nutrition Professionals were recently updated. These include:

  • The revised Professional Standards Summary of Updates Flyer provides an overview of the Professional Standards requirements which consist of hiring standards and annual training requirements for school nutrition professionals. This revised version includes the hiring flexibilities established in 2019.
  • The Guide to Professional Standards for School Nutrition Programs was revised and released online in December and will be available later this fall to order in print. The Guide is a central resource that comprehensively outlines the required USDA Professional Standards for State and local school nutrition program professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).
  • The updated guide introduces Training Reward Badges – a fun way to promote training and recognize staff who have completed their annual training requirements. Sticker pages of the training reward badges are included with the printed version of the guide. Program operators may also obtain additional reward badges sticker pages by ordering the Professional Standards Training Reward Badges packet (FNS 303A) which will be available later this fall.
Team Nutrition’s new Professional Standards Resources Webpage is a central location for school nutrition professionals to access various resources related to Professional Standards.

Updates from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) School Nutrition Team (SNT)


DPI School Nutrition Google Currents: A Great Way to Network with Other School Nutrition Professionals

Are you a member of the WI DPI School Nutrition Google Currents page? Don’t forget to visit the site to read some recent discussion posts, and network with other school districts. This is a great resource to use for questions and/or comments as you are preparing for the new school year! We recommend changing your notification settings to receive an email when there is a new post on the page. Directions for turning on notifications include:

  1. Open the WI DPI School Nutrition Google Currents page
  2. Click the three dots on the upper left side of your screen
  3. Click on “Preferences” and turn Community notifications to “On”
As a reminder, to ensure posts are relevant and appropriate, a member of the SNT will briefly review each post before it is made public. If you are not a member of our page but wish to join, please send an email with the subject line “Join Our Google Currents Discussion Board” to

Now Available! Meal Pattern Flexibility Waiver Request Form for SY 2021-22

The Meal Pattern Flexibility Waiver Request Form for SY 2021-22 is now available! A member of the School Nutrition Team will respond to your request as soon as possible. If granted approval for a meal pattern flexibility, please keep in mind that it is always best practice to provide children with a variety of healthy options that align as closely as possible with the child nutrition program meal patterns.
The following flexibilities may be requested for SY 2021-22:
  • offering one age/grade group meal pattern to all students
  • dietary specification for sodium
  • whole grain-rich requirements for K-12 and preschool
  • serving 1% flavored milk
  • milk variety
  • vegetable subgroups
All requests must be justified and will be approved on a case-by-case basis. Justifications for approval may include procurement, supply chain, or availability issues, unresolvable food safety concerns, and plans to support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to COVID-19. Flexibilities cannot be granted due to cost, waste, student acceptance, packaging restrictions, and/or messiness of certain foods.

Other Updates and Information


Summer P-EBT Information (from the WI Department of Health Services)

Thank you for all your assistance helping children across Wisconsin access P-EBT benefits. This effort has included a significant amount of coordination and we appreciate your hard work helping the children of Wisconsin. As you may have heard, the Department of Health Services (DHS) is in the process of preparing to issue Summer P-EBT benefits to eligible students statewide. Pending a few additional eligibility criteria in some cases, these benefits are available to students and children who received benefits through the School P-EBT or Pre-6 P-EBT programs during the 2020-21 school year. These benefits are also available to children who are newly eligible to receive free or reduced price meals for the first time in the 2021-22 school year. These new (first-time) recipients of free or reduced price school meals may be eligible for Summer P-EBT through the submission and approval of a free or reduced price meal application, Direct Certification, or enrollment in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school.
To help make sure all eligible children receive Summer P-EBT benefits, we need your help! DHS has created the attached flyer and appreciates your assistance in distributing it to any family who submits (or has already submitted) a free or reduced price meal application for the 2021-22 school year. Specifically, this flyer should be given to any family who turned/turns in a free or reduced price meal application since the 2020-21 school year ended and before September 1, 2021. This flyer should also be provided to parents/guardians of children who are newly eligible for free or reduced price meals in the 2021-22 school year due to Direct Certification or brand new enrollment in a CEP school.

This Flyer (also available in Spanish and Hmong) provides information about how a child may become eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits and describes the steps they need to take to ensure benefits are sent to them if eligible.

If you have any questions about P-EBT, please contact DHS at Your continued assistance in getting support to families across the state is appreciated!

The Institute of Child Nutrition: Back-to-School Toolkit

Check out The Institute of Child Nutrition’s (ICNs) Back-to-School Toolkit and find all the tools and resources you need for training your staff and preparing your kitchens for the students' return to school. Access online courses, posters, training materials, virtual training opportunities, and more. Plus, it's all conveniently arranged by categories to meet your back-to-school needs.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.
You can contact the School Nutrition Team at To subscribe to schoolmealsnews, please send an email to #WISchoolMealsRock