Menu Nutrition Information

Our goal is to provide nutrient-rich options that students of all ages and backgrounds will love. Our meals maintain high nutrition standards which meet and many times exceed USDA standards for school meals with whole grain rich products, reduced sodium, and only fat-free flavored milk.

We do not use food additives such as artificial colors or flavors, non-nutritious sweeteners, or preservatives. We do not serve any items with high fructose corn syrup.

For more information about our menus, nutrition information, or programs, email us at SFWebsitesuggestion@schools.nyc.gov

Click the link below for a detailed breakdown of the nutritional information of every item offered through our schools.

Click on the links below to learn how our foods exceed other standards, a breakdown of nutritional requirements, and prohibited items.

Our Foods Exceed Other Standards

Evaluations

Our meals are evaluated through our database and surpass USDA/NYC nutrient requirements. We also have a more thorough evaluation, taking into account things like total sugars, protein, cholesterol, iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.

Meat

Our menu is completely pork free. All hamburgers are 100% beef. All chicken served is certified antibiotic-free.

Fruit and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and a salad bar are offered daily. We serve vegetables from different subgroups (dark green, red-orange, beans-legumes, starchy and others) to ensure we offer students a diverse nutrient profile.

Fiber

All breads and grains offered are at least 51% whole grain rich and contain at least 2g of fiber per serving.

Sustainable, Organic, Local food

We serve our food on compostable and bio-degradable plates, and our strict prohibited ingredient list keeps chemicals such as MSG, HFCS, artificial colors, and artificial flavors out of student's meals (see below for a full list of prohibited ingredients).

Our NY Thursday initiative offers locally produced breads, fruit, yogurts and entrees all made right here in New York.

Water

Refrigerated water jets are located in cafeterias in 839 schools.

Nutritional Standards

Meal components

At breakfast, schools must offer students all three required food components:

  • Fruits
  • Grains/Meat/Meat Alternative
  • Milk

At lunch, schools must offer students all five required food components:

  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Meat or Meat Alternative
  • Milk

Standards per units

Calories

Our calorie requirements for meals align with the USDA’s weekly average nutrient requirements:

  • Grades K-8
    • Breakfast: 400-500 calories
    • Lunch: 600-650 calories
  • Grades 6-8
    • Breakfast: 400-550 calories
    • Lunch: 600-700 calories
  • Grades 9-12
    • Breakfast: 450-600 calories
    • Lunch: 750-850 calories

All snacks contain less than 200 calories, for all grades.

Sodium

All meals contain a maximum of 480 mg per serving, and less for specified items, for all grades.

All snacks contain less than 200 calories, for all grades.

These standards are significantly higher than USDA’s requirements, which allows a maximum amount of sodium between 540-640 mg for breakfast—depending on your grade—and between 1,230-1,420 mg for lunch—again, depending on your grade.

Fats

Our standards for different fats mandate:

  • Total Fat accounts for a maximum of 35% of total calories in a meal and a maximum 7 grams in snacks.
  • Saturated Fat accounts for a maximum of 10 % of total calories in a meal and a maximum 2 grams in snacks.
  • Trans Fat is not allowed in any meal or snack.

These standards meet or exceed the USDA requirements.

Sugar

Cereals may contain a maximum of 6 g sugar.

Fiber

Grain items must contain 2 grams or more of fiber per serving.

Prohibited Ingredients

Artificial Ingredients

  • Artificial Colors (any and all additives considered artificial)
  • Artificial Flavors (any and all additives considered artificial)
  • DSS, Docusate, Docusate Salts (Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate)

Emulsifiers

  • Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

Sweeteners

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Nutrasweet, Equal (Aspartame)
  • Stevia (Rebauside, Steviaside Extracts)
  • Sweet 'n Low (Calcium Saccharin )
  • Sugar Alcohols ( Erythriol, Lycoson, LActitol, Malitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Hydrogenated Sart Hydrolysate, etc.)
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame-K (Acesulfame Potassium)
  • Cyclamates (Sodium Cyclamate)
  • Polydextrose

Flavor Enhancers

  • MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
  • Sodium Glutamate (MSG derivative)

Fat or Oil Substitutes

  • Coconut Oil
  • Olean (Olestra)
  • Palm Oil (Palm Kernel Oil)
  • Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHO)
  • Caprenin (Caprocaprylobehenin)
  • Methyl Silicone

Flour or Flour Additives

  • ADA, AZA (Azodicarbonamide)
  • Bleached Flour
  • Brominated Flour (Potassium Bromate)
  • Ammonium Chloride
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Calcium Bromate
  • Propyl Paraben (Propylparaben)

Stimulants

  • Caffeine

Preservatives

  • Ammonium Hydroxide
  • Sulfites (Sulfite Caramel, Sulfite Ammonia Caramel, Potassium Sulfite, Calcium Hydrogen Sulfite)
  • Sodium Nitrate
  • Calcium Sorbate
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Methyl Paraben
  • BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
  • Propyl Gallate
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