What Makes a Meal?

  • In Palm Beach County, our feeding model is Offer versus Serve (OVS). This model allows students to decline some of the food items that are offered as part of their meal.  Traditionally, when students have a choice in the foods they select, the rate of consumption increases and the amount of food waste decreases.  

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) determines the meal pattern requirements for the food components (groups) that schools must offer during a meal and sets allowances for the minimal number of food components (groups) a student must take to comprise a reimbursable meal. 

    The maximum amount of 100% fruit juice that a student may select with their meal is one 4-ounce portion. Students are encouraged to select more than the minimum food groups to ensure satiety and meet the recommended nutritional daily allowances.

    How many fruits and vegetables can a student take with their Lunch?

    Elementary Schools

    Middle Schools

    K-8 Schools

    High Schools

    Maximum of 2 fruits and 1 vegetable


    Maximum of 1 fruit and 2 vegetables

    2 Fruits

    2 Vegetables