Purchasing and Nutritional Quality Guidelines
For the Brattleboro Town School District
The Brattleboro Town School District will follow the USDA requirements to serve meals that meet the criteria for reimbursement.
Minimum USDA requirements for quality include USDA Grade A for dairy, poultry, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, and milk. Seafood is only required to be government inspected and baked products are only required to have a manufacturer’s date.
Minimum USDA requirements for nutritional value include that all grains be whole grain rich, that 1% fat or lower milk be offered, that the average weekly total fat content of meals is less than 30% (10% saturated fat, 0% trans fats), and that targets for sodium and calorie consumption are met.
In addition to the USDA nutrition and quality guidelines Brattleboro Town School District has the following goals:
- Eliminate corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup from products and meals served in Brattleboro Town schools
- Eliminate hydrogenated oils from products and meals served in Brattleboro Town schools
- Eliminate trans fats from products and meals served in Brattleboro Town schools
- Eliminate artificial dyes from products and meals served in Brattleboro Town schools
- Eliminate pre-cooked further processed chicken products from meals served in Brattleboro Town schools (Chicken Nuggets and Patties)
- Provide lower sugar content foods whenever possible
- Increase student consumption of OMEGA 3 fatty acids through integration of ingredients high in OMEGA 3 into the meal program
To achieve the goals of the Brattleboro Town School District, Café Services and the leadership of the Brattleboro Town School District establish the following specifications over and above the minimum quality and nutritional specifications included in USDA National School Lunch Program regulation:
- First preference will be given to fresh fruit, which will be served as often as possible based on seasonal availability.
- Canned fruit will be packed in water or natural juices.
- Fruit packed in syrup will not be utilized.
- Fruit products with added sugar will not be utilized.
- All natural jellies and preserves with no more than 10 grams of sugar per tablespoon will be exempted from this standard.
- First preference will be given to fresh vegetables, second preference to frozen vegetables.
- Canned vegetables will not be used.
- Canned vegetables that meet the USDA criteria for the Legume vegetable subgroup will be exempted from this standard.
- Vegetables that are high in OMEGA 3 will be emphasized in the program and served on average 2 times per 5 day week.
- These vegetables include but are not limited to: dark green leafy vegetables; broccoli; spinach; Brussels sprouts; and cauliflower.
- Vegetables will be incorporated into entrée offerings as often as possible, but at minimum once per week
- Examples would be adding vegetable toppings to pizza, chopped vegetables to pasta dishes, featuring casseroles and other mixed dishes
- Only 1% and unflavored skim milk will be allowed
- Flavored milk will not be offered
- Yogurt in portion controlled packs will contain no more than 8.3 grams of sugar per USDA 1 oz M/MA equivalent (4 oz). Stoneyfield Organic yogurt is the preferred brand.
- Bulk yogurt will contain no more than 9 grams of sugar per USDA 1 oz M/MA equivalent (4 oz) and no more than 16 grams of sugar per USDA 2 oz M/MA equivalent (8 oz). Green Mountain yogurt is the preferred brand.
- Only fresh or frozen fruit is to be added to bulk yogurt
- Only whole grain products will be served. Whole grain baked products are defined as products that contain a minimum of 51% whole grain flour.
- Breakfast cereals will contain no more than 2 grams of sugar per USDA 1 oz equivalent serving
- Granola will be labelled organic and contain no more than 4 grams of sugar per USDA 1 oz equivalent serving
- Packaged, grain based snacks and breakfast pastries will qualify as whole grain under USDA guidelines and will contain no more than 9 grams of sugar per USDA 1 oz equivalent serving
- Raw fresh or fresh frozen poultry products will be given first preference
- Whole grain breaded poultry products that are “whole muscle” will be allowed
- Chopped and formed, mechanically separated and/or further processed chicken products will not be allowed
- Ground turkey, ground turkey products and ground chicken products will be allowed
- Mechanically separated poultry products will not be allowed
- Whole (shell) eggs will bear the designation “humane”
- All seafood products will be sourced from socially responsible vendors; be sustainable and meet the standards set forth by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
- All purchased canned tuna will be Wild Planet brand Pole Caught sustainable tuna.
- Commodities canned tuna will be exempted from this standard.
- Olive Oil/Vegetable oil blend will be used for applications where the olive oil flavor is desired, including but not limited to roasting vegetables and preparing salad dressings
- 100% Sunflower oil will be used for pan coating during onsite food preparation, for from scratch baking, and all other applications where olive oil/vegetable oil blend is not used
- Hydrogenated oils will be eliminated from all products purchased from the program and will not be added to foods prepared onsite
- Zero trans fats margarine will be excluded from this standard for onsite food preparation only
Peanut Butter, Nuts and Seeds
- All natural peanut butter with no added sugar, hydrogenated oils or trans fats will be allowed. Peanut butter will contain no more than 1 gram of sugar per USDA 1 oz M/MA equivalent
- Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) will be utilized in schools that are nut free
- Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds will be offered as salad toppings daily
- Ground flax seed will be added to cooked tomato products used in entrees (tomato sauce, chili, etc.) every time those products are served
- Pizza sauce will be excepted from this standard
- All salad dressings (including mayonnaise) will be reduced fat
- Sour cream and other dairy based condiments will be reduced fat
- Ketchup will be all natural and reduced sugar
- All other condiments will be reduced sugar and/or reduced fat varieties as applicable
USDA Donated Foods (Commodities)
- Ordering of USDA donated foods will be based on the guidelines developed for Brattleboro Town School District food service program. As many USDA donated foods do not meet the guidelines of the Brattleboro Town School District, it is understood that this may create a situation where Café Services is unable to utilize the full entitlement of donated foods the school district is eligible to receive.
- If USDA donated foods that do not meet the guidelines for Brattleboro Town School District food service program are delivered or force shipped, they will be refused or transferred to another school district.
- Café Services will account for the cost differences of products as well as the cost of the loss of the commodities and report the results to the Brattleboro Town School District quarterly.