Welcome To School Nutrition!
School Nutrition Office Staff:
Monday - Friday 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Davidson County Schools Nutrition Program is dedicated to teach, nourish, and enhance the knowledge of our students and stakeholders in proper nutrition. Our qualified teams of school nutrition professionals support each other to provide quality meals with excellent customer service in a fun and inviting atmosphere.
Our School Nutrition Program takes pride in assisting our students' success by fueling their minds with proper nutrition every day.
The health and safety of the over 19,000 children we serve every day in our school nutrition program is of the utmost importance to us. It is our objective to provide attractive, well-balanced meals with prompt and courteous service.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ensures that the nation's nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), meet individual's food and nutrition needs. USDA Foods represent 15-20% of all food served in school meals and our specifications for these foods meet or exceed standards set for commercial products.
Nutrition Standards for Foods
Any food sold in school must:
- Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product; or
- Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product or a protein food; or
- Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable; or
- Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber)
Foods must also meet several nutrient requirements:
- Snack items: ≤ 200 calories
- Entrée items: ≤ 350 calories
- Snack items: ≤ 230 mg
- Entrée items: ≤ 480 mg
- Total fat: ≤ 35% of calories
- Saturated fat: ≤ 10% of calories
- Trans fat: zero grams
Sugar limit ≤ 35% of weight from total sugars in foods
Accompaniments such as cream cheese, salad dressing and butter must be included in the nutrient profile as part of the food item sold. This helps control the amount of calories, fat, sugar and sodium added to foods.
Nutrient Standards for Beverages
All schools may sell:
- Plain water (with or without carbonation)
- Unflavored low fat milk
- Unflavored or flavored fat free milk and milk alternatives permitted by NSLP/SBP
- 100% fruit or vegetable juice, and 100% fruit or vegetable juice diluted with water (with or without carbonation) and no added sweeteners
Elementary schools may sell up to 8-ounce portions, while middle and high schools may sell up to 12-ounce portions of milk and juice. There is no portion size limit for plain water.
Beyond this, the standards allow additional “no calorie” and “lower calorie” beverage options for high school students.
- No more than 20-ounce portions of calorie-free, flavored water (with or without carbonation); and other flavored and/or carbonated beverages that are labeled to contain < 5 calories per 8 fluid ounces or ≤ 10 calories per 20 fluid ounces.
- No more than 12-ounce portions of beverage with ≤ 40 calories per 8 fluid ounces, or ≤ 60 calories per 12 fluid ounces. Healthy Fundraisers
- Food items that meet nutrition standards are not limited
- The standards do not apply during non-school hours, on weekends and at off-campus fundraising events
- The standards provide a special exemption for infrequent fundraisers that do not meet the nutrition standards. Each State agency is responsible for establishing the number of exempt fundraisers that may be held in schools each year.
School Nutrition Q&A
The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in over 100,000 public and non‐profit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provided nutritionally balanced, low‐cost or free lunches to more than 31 million children each school day in 2012. In 1998, Congress expanded the National School Lunch Program to include reimbursement for snacks served to children in after school educational and enrichment programs to include children through 18 years of age. The Food and Nutrition Service administers the program at the Federal level. At the State level,the National School Lunch Program is usually administered by State education agencies, which operate the program through agreements with school food authorities.
How does the National School Lunch Program work?
Generally, public or nonprofit private schools of high school grade or under and public or nonprofit private residential child care institutions may participate in the school lunch program.School districts and independent schools that choose to take part in the lunch program get cash subsidies and USDA foods from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for each meal they serve. In return, they must serve lunches that meet Federal requirements, and they must offer free or reduced price lunches to eligible children. School food authorities can also be reimbursed for snacks served to children through age 18 in after school educational or enrichment programs.
What do I do if my child has diet restrictions?
Have the child’s doctor write the specific diet order that is to be followed. Provide the information to the school nurse and School Nutrition Manager (SNM) at the school. The SNM will work with our central office staff to make any menu modifications or special orders that may be required. The parents will be contacted if further information is needed.
New Meal Pattern
What are the nutritional requirements for school lunches?
School lunches must meet meal pattern and nutrition standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The current meal pattern increases the availability of fruits,vegetables, and whole grains in the school menu. The meal pattern’s dietary specifications set specific calorie limits to ensure age-appropriate meals for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Other meal enhancements include gradual reductions in the sodium content of the meals (sodium targets must be reached by SY 2014-15, SY 2017-18 and SY 2022-23). While school lunches must meet Federal meal requirements, decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities.
Why is my child asked to take extra items if he/she doesn’t plan to eat them?
Students must choose three of four items offered at breakfast and three of five items offered at lunch for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to consider it a complete meal. The USDA requires a complete meal be taken in order for School Nutrition Services to receive reimbursement. It is also important for children to take a full meal in order to meet recommended nutrient needs.
Free and Reduced
How do children qualify for free and reduced price meals?
Any child at a participating school may purchase a meal through the National School Lunch Program. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced‐price meals, for which students can be charged no more than $.40. Children from families with incomes over 185 percent of poverty pay a full price, though their meals are still subsidized to some extent. Local school food authorities set their own prices for full‐price (paid) meals, but must operate their meal services as non‐profit programs.
How do I apply for free and reduced price meals?
You can now apply for free and reduced price meals online at LunchApplication.com. If you are unable to complete an application online or prefer to complete a paper application you can pick up an application at your school's front office.
Do I need to fill out an application for each child in my household?
NO. Complete one application for all students and other family members living in your household.
Is my foster child included on the same application with the rest of my children?
YES. Foster children should be included on the same application with the rest of your children and family members living in your household.
If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?
YES. You may apply at any time during the school year if your household size goes up, income goes down, or if you start getting Food Stamps, TANF or other benefits.
Who should I include as members of my household?
You should include yourself, your biological and foster children, and all other individuals living in your household, related or not (grandparents, relatives, or friends).
What do I do with the application for free and reduced meals once it is completed?
You may return completed applications to the school cafeteria manager or the School Nutrition office for faster processing.
We are required to receive the original application for processing. We cannot accept applications by phone or fax.
I completed an application last year and was approved for benefits. Do I have to fill out another application?
YES. The federal government requires a new application to be completed at the start of each new school year.
How long does it take for my free and reduced price meal application to be processed?
All free and reduced price meal applications must be processed within 10 days of the receipt of a completed application.
For additional information on the operation of the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, along with additional School Nutrition Programs, contact the State agency in your state that is responsible for the administration of the programs. A listing of all our State agencies may be found on our web site at http://www.fns.usda.gov/office-type/child-nutrition-programs select your State from the drop down box and select “apply.”You may also contact us through the Communication Division at 703‐305‐2281, or by mail at 3101 Park Center Drive, Suite 926, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.