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USDA Seeks Comments on Dairy’s Role in Federal Feeding Programs

Dec 20, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week asked for feedback on its food crediting system, which the department uses to define how certain foods, like dairy, fit into meals in federal feeding programs for children and some adults. With plans to address today’s evolving food and nutrition environment, USDA asked specifically if different amounts of high-protein yogurt and regular yogurt should count toward a serving of a meat alternate.

IDFA is consulting members and will submit comments by the deadline, Feb. 12.

Currently, schools must include fluid milk in every meal served as part of the federal school breakfast and lunch programs. Yogurt and cheese count now as meat alternatives in all federal programs, which include the two school meal programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. Four ounces of yogurt currently count as one ounce of meat alternate. Ounces of most cheeses currently count as the same ounces of meat.

Each program has individualized meal patterns for the various age groups that participate.

Michelle Matto, IDFA’s nutrition and labeling consultant, is working with the members of IDFA’s nutrition taskforce to draft comments.

For more information, members may contact Matto at

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