KSDE Weekly

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National School Lunch Program’s Sodium Target 1A transitional standard becomes effective July 1

The Kansas State Department of Education’s (KSDE) Child Nutrition and Wellness team wants to remind school meal program operators that Sodium Target 1A, as promulgated by the Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium – Final Rule, goes into effect July 1 in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) only.

There won’t be any change to sodium limits for breakfasts through the School Breakfast Program (SBP). Please refer to the chart below for specific Sodium Target 1A limits by grade level.

National School Lunch Program Transitional Sodium Limits:

Age/Grade Group

Interim Target 1A:  Effective July 1, 2023

Grades K-5

< 1,110 mg

Grades 6-8

< 1,225 mg

Grades 9-12

< 1,280 mg


As a reminder, Sodium Target 1A is included in the Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Final Rule published in February 2022.

The 2022 transitional “bridge” rule provided schools with short-term standards as they moved beyond COVID-19 nutrition standard waivers. 

The proposed rule - Child Nutrition Programs: Revisions to Meal Patterns Consistent with the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans - published in February 2023 aims to provide schools with long-term, durable nutrition standards in line with the latest nutrition science.  A final rule based on feedback gathered during the public comment period will be developed and published in early 2024.

There are several resources to aid school meal program operators in Sodium Target 1A implementation. Schools can access lower sodium standardized recipes that meet school meal pattern requirements through the Institute of Child Nutrition's Child Nutrition Recipe Box and Team Nutrition's Recipes for Healthy Kids: Cookbook for Schools

The Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) also offers sodium reduction resources and online courses through the ICN's Shaking it Up initiative, which features strategies and best practices for reducing sodium in school menus.

Posted: May 25, 2023,
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