Arkansas Department of Education Crediting of Smoothies in USDA Reimbursable Meals: An Update

Memo Information

Memo Number
FIN-15-096
Memo Date
3/17/2015
Memo Type
Informational
Section
Fiscal & Administrative Services
Regulatory Authority
§SP 10-2014 (v.2)
Response Required
NO
Attention
Co-op Directors; Elementary Principals; Middle School Principals; High School Principals; Superintendents; Child Nutrition Directors

Contact Information

Memo Text

This memo serves as an update to the previously published Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Commissioner’s Memo FIN-13-024: Crediting of Fruit Smoothies in USDA Reimbursable Meals.  Consumers across America continue to increase their consumption of smoothies. With the increased usage and identification of smoothies as a recognizable food item, the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service has modified the guidance on smoothies.  The major changes for smoothies prepared in-house are listed below: Milk contained in smoothies prepared in-house may be credited (effective July 2012) Yogurt in smoothies may be credited as a meat/meat alternate for the breakfast meal pattern (effective July 2013) Yogurt in smoothies may be credited as a meat/meat alternate for the lunch meal pattern (effective January 14, 2015) Vegetables from any subgroup contained in smoothies may be credited in the following forms: fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables, 100% vegetable juice, and 100% vegetable and fruit juice blends. Pureed vegetables and fruits, when served in a smoothie, credit as a juice (limitations regarding juice service apply in this situation – not more than 50 percent of the weekly fruit or vegetable offerings in school meals) Vegetables from the dry beans and peas subgroup may credit toward the vegetable meal pattern requirements as juice when served in a smoothie. This policy on the crediting of vegetables in smoothies applies in the breakfast and lunch meals, including afterschool snacks. Please note: When smoothies contributing to the fluid milk component are served, it is critical that food service staff continue to offer a variety of fluid milk choices. Also, the addition of yogurt to a smoothie does not serve as a substitution for fluid milk, which must continue to be offered separately to meet the milk component requirement. Commercially prepared smoothies may only credit toward the fruit or vegetable components. See the attached Q & A, page 3, 9. Also, see the attached Q&A for more details about crediting smoothies and specific examples. If you have questions or concerns, please call the ADE Child Nutrition Unit (501) 324-9502.