Student Nutrition

Virginia Beach City Public Schools participates in both the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. The meals that are offered are required to meet specific guidelines. The nutritional standards for planning the student menus are mandated by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

As part of the school division’s menu planning system, each student may select from a variety of nutritional food items offered. This is intended to minimize waste and encourage more food choices. This system avoids forcing students to take food they do not intend to eat.

The guidelines in place for the breakfast and lunch menu planning system are as follows:

  • Minimum and maximum calories for the specific grade levels
    • K-5 (Breakfast: 350-500; Lunch: 550-650)
    • 6-8 (Breakfast: 400-550; Lunch: 600-700)
    • 9-12 (Breakfast: 450-600; Lunch 750-850)
  • All complete breakfast meals must contain a fruit and all complete lunch meals must contain a fruit or vegetable (students must take these items for the meal to be reimbursable)
  • Saturated fat -- < 10% of total calories
  • Trans fat -- Nutrition label or manufacturer specifications must indicate zero grams of trans fat per serving
  • Sodium targets beginning with Target 1:
    • K-5 (Breakfast: less than or equal 540 mg; Lunch: less than or equal 1230 mg)
    • 6-8 (Breakfast: less than or equal 600 mg; Lunch: less than or equal 1360 mg)
    • 9-12 (Breakfast: less than or equal 640 mg; Lunch: less than or equal 1420 mg)

    Sodium Target 1 is effective from July 1, 2014 (SY 2014-2015) through June 30, 2024 (SY 2023-2024).

  • All fluid-milk must be fat-free (skim) or lowfat (1 percent fat or less). Milk may be unflavored or flavored provided that unflavored milk is offered at each meal service. 
  • At least half of the grains offered weekly must be whole grain-rich as specified in FNS guidance, and the remaining grain items offered must be enriched.
  • All meals must be planned using Food Based Menu and food components
    • All five food components must be offered to every student
      • Fruits
      • Vegetables – offering various amounts from specific subgroups each week (Dark Green, Red/Orange, Beans and Peas (legumes), Starchy, Other)
      • Grains
      • Meat/Meat Alternates
      • Fluid Milk
    • Serving sizes must equal the minimum required quantities for the appropriate grade group
    • Breakfast/lunch must be priced as a unit
    • Students have the option of which item(s) to decline
    • Students must take a full portion of a least 3 of the 5 items for lunch and 3 of the 4 items for breakfast

A la carte items are offered for sale in addition to breakfast and lunch items. Examples include ice cream, fruit drinks, bottle water, snacks, and extra servings of menu items.