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Consensus Study Report


The National School Breakfast Program feeds 10 million children each day, and the National School Lunch Program feeds more than 30 million students. Yet the national nutrition standards and meal requirements for these meals were created more than a decade ago, making them out of step with recent guidance about children's diets. With so many children receiving as much as 50 percent of their daily caloric intake from school meals, it is vital for schools to provide nutritious food alongside the best possible education for the success of their students. At the request of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Institute of Medicine assembled a committee to recommend updates and revisions to the school lunch and breakfast programs. The first part of the committee's work is reflected in the December 2008 IOM report Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs: Phase I. Proposed Approach for Recommending Revisions. Phase II of the report is expected in Fall 2009. This first report provides information about the committee's approach as it reviews the school lunch and breakfast programs. In the report's second part, the committee will share its findings and recommendations to bring these meals more in line with today's dietary guidelines. The committee welcomes public comments about its intended approach. An open forum will be held January 28, 2009 in Washington, DC to receive input from the public. Please go to for details or email with any input.

Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine. 2008. Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs: Phase I. Proposed Approach for Recommending Revisions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

192 pages |  8.5 x 11 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-12795-0
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-17799-3
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-x
Summary 1-14
1 Introduction 15-34
2 The Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements: Description and Topics Relevant to Their Revision 35-54
3 Working Principles and Criteria for the Committee's Approach to Proposing Revisions 55-60
4 Food and Nutrient Needs of Schoolchildren 61-88
5 Proposed Planning Model for Establishing Nutrition Standards for School Meals 89-104
6 Proposed Phase II Analyses: Sensitivity Analysis, Cost Implications, and Market Effects 105-114
7 References 115-124
Appendix A Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary 125-130
Appendix B A Selection of Laws and Regulations Governing the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program 131-134
Appendix C Comparison of 1995 and 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans 135-138
Appendix D July 2008 Workshop Agenda 139-142
Appendix E Critical Issues for Consideration by the Committee 143-148
Appendix F Selected Evaluations of School Meal Programs 149-152
Appendix G Current Standards for Food-Based Menu Planning Approach 153-158
Appendix H Current Standards for Nutrient-Based Menu Planning Approach 159-160
Appendix I Data Sources and Study Methodology: SNDA-III and 2008 Diet Quality Report 161-164
Appendix J MyPyramid Calorie Levels and Food Intake Patterns 165-166
Appendix K Dietary Reference Intakes for Individuals Ages 4 Through 18 Years, Including Those Who Are Pregnant or Lactating 167-174
Appendix L MyPyramid Food Intake Pattern Compared with Meal Requirements for the NSLP 175-176
Appendix M Estimation of Cost of Food for One Week's Menu:Example for Elementary School Level 177-182

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