All of our meals meet the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) requirements for a reimbursable meal. For lunch, this means that every meal must include five components in specified quantities: meat/meat alternative, grain, vegetable, fruit, and milk. The NSLP also requires that lunches meet specific nutrient targets for calories, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium over the course of a week. The caloric targets are designed to meet the energy needs for each age/grade group, including 550-650 calories for grades K-5, 600-700 calories for grades 6-8, and 750-850 calories for grades 9-12. These calorie ranges include all components of the meal entrée, fruit, vegetable, milk, and any other side component. Per USDA regulations, students are only required to take at least three of the five components served at lunch.
More information on these programs can be found on the USDA's website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/national-school-lunch-program.