Arkansas Department of Education Food Crediting Revisions and Updates to the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
7 CFR 210 and 7 CFR 220
Response Required
Federal Programs; Superintendents; Principals; Technology Coordinator; Test Coordinator; General Business Manager;

Primary Contact Information

Memo Text

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Child Nutrition Unit (CNU) provided each school with an updated Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs in the spring of 2013.  This update included the revised yield information released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as of the date of print.  This revised yield information included information for Meats/Meat Alternates, Vegetables (including each Vegetable Sub-Group), Fruits and Milk.  These changes were based on the January 2012 Meal Pattern changes for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.  The Grains sections yield information was not available at the time of printing.

On June 17, 2015, USDA released the revised yield information for the Grains section and that information was posted on the USDA Team Nutrition web site at   A copy should be placed in each copy of the Food Buying Guide within the district and used to document that meals prepared meet the meal pattern requirements.

Additional information on the Grains requirements for the National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast Programs (SBP) was published in January 2014 by USDA and is available in the publication, “Whole Grains Resource for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs – A Guide to Meeting the Whole Grain-Rich Criteria” (FNS-464) and is available on USDA’s web site at  This resource was distributed at the July 2014 ADE Directors Conference.  A copy should be placed in each of the Food Buying Guide’s within the district as an additional resource to the yield charts in documenting meals served meet the meal pattern requirements.

Yield and meal pattern information in the November 2001 Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs is out of date and no longer valid and must not be used to document meal pattern compliance.

Arkansas public school’s needing additional complete copies of the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs (new schools, kitchen managers who do not have a copy or other district staff needing a copy) should email name, address and number of copies needed to

As a reminder, with the change to the meal pattern and yield information, all recipes must be reevaluated to ensure the correct contribution to the meal pattern is being used.  Of particular concern, recipes containing vegetables from more than one vegetable sub-group, (and contributing to those sub-groups instead of “additional” vegetables per week) must be re-calculated to determine accurate crediting and Grain recipes must be re-evaluated to ensure that they meet the whole-grain rich requirements and that the revised crediting information is used in determining that the meal pattern is met.  A Recipe Analysis Worksheet is available from USDA on the web site at to assist in determining correct crediting information.  USDA has some quantity recipes for schools available on the “What’s Cooking” web site at which includes updated crediting information.

USDA’s web page references Policy Memo #SP-30-2012 for additional information related to the whole-grain rich requirement.


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