Meal Pattern Support
Final Rule for School Meal Standards  Minimize 
Child Nutrition Programs: Meal Patterns Consistent with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

On April 25, 2024, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the final rule titled, Child Nutrition Programs: Meal Patterns Consistent With the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is the next step in continuing the science-based improvement of school meals and other USDA Child Nutrition Programs (CNP), as well as advancing USDA’s commitment to nutrition security.

While this rulemaking is effective July 1, 2024, USDA is gradually phasing in required changes over time. Program operators are not required to make any changes to their menus as a result of this rulemaking until school year 2025-26 at the earliest.

Visit USDA for more information the final rule and a full description of all provision

Summary of Changes  Minimize 
Click here to view the Initial Implementation Memorandum.

Implementation Date: July 1, 2024
CNP operators are not required to change menus or operations as a result of these provisions: 
  • Fluid milk
  • Whole grain-rich requirement
  • Meat/Meat alternate at breakfast
  • Substituting vegetables for grains in tribal communities
  • Traditional indigenous foods
  • NSLP Afterschool snacks
  • Substituting vegetables for fruits at breakfast
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans, peas and lentils at lunch
  • Competitive foods: Bean dip exemption
  • Potable water requirements
  • Synthetic trans fat
  • Professional standards
  •  Buy American with phased in implementation for non-domestic cap requirements
  • Geographic preference

Implementation Date: July 1, 2025
  • Added sugars: product-based limits for breakfast cereals, yogurt, and flavored milks
  • NSLP afterschool snacks: meal pattern requirements
  • Meal modifications: requirement to accept medical statements from Registered Dietitians

Implementation Date: July 1, 2027
  • Added sugars: weekly limit
  • Sodium: sodium reduction

Transitional Nutrition Standards  Maximize 

Policy Resources  Maximize 

Meal Planning Resources  Maximize 

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help. Additional translations services available as well.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Logo

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