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DCPS Nutritional Standards

Photo of a school lunch trays with grilled chicken, asparagus, peppers, a croissant, an apple and a small carton of milk.

To support student health, wellness, and academic achievement, DCPS Food and Nutrition Services holds some of the highest nutrition standards of any school district in the country.  

DCPS follows federal nutrition regulations established by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 as well as local nutrition regulations established by the DC Healthy Schools Act and Amendment. The nutrition regulations require schools to offer a variety of proteins, including plant-based proteins, whole grains, low-fat/fat free milk, and at least ½ cup serving of fruits and/or vegetables per day to students. To enhance the variety of food options we serve, DCPS utilizes three food service operations: SodexoMagic, DCPSEats!, and DC Central Kitchen.  

In addition to both federal and local regulations, DCPS holds themselves to following standards: 

  • Tree nuts are not served in any meals funded through USDA Child Nutrition programs 

  • Vegetarian meals are available everyday 

  • Pork or products containing pork are not served in any school 

  • Fish must be offered twice per month 

  • Fried or previously fried meats are not served in any school 

  • All grain products served are whole-grain rich meaning at least 50% of the product is whole grain 

DCPS Supports Local: 

  • On average, 20% of all food ingredients and products used in the making of the meals must be either locally-grown and/or locally-processed. 

  • Locally-grown produce is grown in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia. 

  • Locally-processed, as defined by the District of Columbia Healthy Schools Act of 2010, means processed at a facility in: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia.