Nutrition Guidelines for Food, Beverages

Children who eat school lunches are more likely to consume milk, meats, grains and vegetables than students who bring lunch from home. They also tend to have higher nutrient intakes — both at lunch and over the course of an entire day. We make it a priority to ensure students get nutritious meals that fuel learning and physical activities. The Department serves more than 100,000 meals daily during the school year.

This page is under construction. More information coming soon!

Nutrition Guidelines

The chart below provides an easy reference to the nutrition guidelines for food and beverages sold and served to students on campus. 

Carbohydrate Count

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) continues its efforts to include local agriculture in student meals through its 'Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program, which kicked off in December 2017 with locally grown beef. In January 2018, HIDOE and the Lieutenant Governor's Office have partnered up with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and various local farms across the state to serve fresh bananas at all public schools.

"We're highlighting locally grown bananas by serving either a fresh Banana Pie or Banana Crumble one day in January at every school cafeteria," said Albert Scales, administrator, School Food Services Branch. "By introducing a produce that is locally grown in Hawaii to our students each month, we hope to expand their palates and allow them to try new foods that they might not have been exposed to at home." Click here for more information. 

Carbohydrate counts posted for individual menus/food items will correspond to these monthly features.  

Glossary and Additional Resources

Combination Food: A product that contains two or more foods representing two or more of the food groups: fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein or grains.

Examples of combination foods: smoothie, blueberry muffin (containing 1/4 c blueberries)

Entrée: An item that is

    • a combination food of meat or meat alternate and whole grain-rich item;
    • a combination food of fruit or vegetable and meat or meat alternate; or
    • a meat or meat alternate alone, with the exception of yogurt, low fat or reduced fat cheese, nuts, seeds and nut or seed butters and meat snacks (such as dried beef jerky) 
F/V: Fruit/Vegetable

Fundraiser: An event that includes any activity during which currency/token/tickets, etc. are exchanged for the sale/purchase of a product in support of the school or school related activities. For example, giving away food but suggesting a donation would be considered a fundraiser since funds will be raised as a result. Purchasing tickets or tokens to be exchanged for food items would also be considered to be a sale of food and/or a fundraiser and would be subject to the Smart Snack standards.

NSLP and NSBP: The National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program are federally assisted meal programs operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. The programs provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free breakfast, lunches, and afterschool snacks to children each school day.

School Campus: All areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the school day.

Whole Grain-Rich: Contains 100 percent whole grain or a blend of whole-grain meal and/or flour and enriched meal and/or flour of which at least 50 percent is whole grain. The remaining 50 percent or less of grains, if any, must be enriched.


Note: Do not use to calculate nutrition requirements for beverages.

  • Scratch-made items calculator, click here for the Alliance Product Calculator or click here for SELFNutritionData.


Click here to view the Wellness Guidelines Implementation Checklist. 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Strategic Plan 2017-2020

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