Food Buying Guide

Interactive Food Buying Guide

USDA. FNS. Team Nutrition

The online interactive Food Buying Guide Calculator for Child Nutrition Programs.

Analyzing Menus

Nutrient Analysis Protocols: How to Analyze Menus for USDA’s School Meals Program Manual (February 2014) (PDF | 1.6 MB)


This manual establishes procedures (protocols) to conduct an accurate nutrient analysis. It is developed for:

  • State agencies, during an Administrative Review, that:
    • Conduct a nutrient analysis of one school week’s menus for a school being reviewed
    • Validate a School Food Authority (SFA)-conducted nutrient analysis
  • SFAs that may conduct an optional nutrient analysis

Nutrient Analysis Software Approved by USDA for Nutrient Analysis

United States Department of Agriculture.

List of software programs that have been USDA approved for nutrient analysis.


Chef Designed School Meals (2013)

Idaho State Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs.

A two week cycle of school meals designed by a chef and dietitian and tested and approved by Idaho students. The menus have been planned to meet the new USDA Meal Pattern and use three to ten USDA Foods in each meal. This includes a Chef Designed School Breakfast and Chef Designed School Lunch.

Great Trays™ Toolkit for School Foodservice (August 2015)

Minnesota Department of Health.

The Great Trays™ toolkit provides tools, information, and resources to plan kid-tested nutritious menus that meet the new nutrition standards for school lunch and breakfast programs, start and promote farm to school programs, save money on food purchasing, and “nudge” students toward healthier choices.


On, Wisconsin! Menus

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

This complete menu resource includes breakfast and lunch cycle menus, creative recipes with new meal pattern crediting information, menu planning worksheets and production records, nutritional analysis, and 6 cents certification workbooks. Read tips before getting started then use resources based on grade group.

Nutrition Standards for School Meals

Includes regulations, information about menu planning and nutrient analysis software, and the Child Nutrition Labeling Program.



Menu Planning Worksheets

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

These Word documents can be used to plan weekly menus that meet the requirements for various age groups.


Menu Planning Webinars

UC Davis Center for Nutrition in Schools.

Webinars on a variety of menu planning topics, including offer versus serve, production records, salad bars, meal claiming, transporting meals, and more.


Menu Planning and Meal Patterns Toolkit

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

A collection of resources on the new meal pattern, including printable mini-posters of the vegetable sub groups, planning tools and PowerPoint presentations designed to be used to train food service staff.


New Meal Pattern Training Resource

Institute of Child Nutrition.

This training focuses on Food-Based Menu Planning (FBMP) required for the school meals programs. It provides an overview of the Meal Pattern and is part of the Recognizing a Reimbursable Meal training resource. The training includes a trainer’s script, participants’ handouts, and PowerPoint presentation.