Support Materials for Software Developers


Support Materials for Software Companies Developing Software for State Agency Administrative Reviews

These materials were compiled to assist companies who are developing or revising nutrient analysis software for USDA to approve for use in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

          1. Annual Update Letter to Software Developers (PDF | 160 KB)
            This letter is sent out annually after each release of the CN Database and includes important information about changes to the software evaluation and approval process.

          2. Brief Description of Requirements for Nutrient Analysis Software Approved for Use in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. (PDF | 35 KB)
            This document gives a quick overview of the requirements for nutrient analysis software approved for use in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. .

          3. List of Approved Software
            This list includes the nutrient analysis software currently approved by USDA for use in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The list of approved software is updated annually and when new software is approved.

          4. Specifications Document for Nutrient Analysis Software Approved by USDA for Use in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. (PDF | 848 KB)- Pre-publication draft April 2012, updated October 2013
            This document explains the requirements for nutrient analysis software approved for use in the for National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.. Referred to as the "specifications document."

          5. Checklist for Nutrient Analysis Software Approved by USDA for Use in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. - CN 18 Version Revised (PDF | 196 KB)- April 2014
            Software developers who submit new software for evaluation and approval must complete and submit this form with the software. Developers of currently approved software may use this checklist to test their approved software to ensure that the software continues to meet the basic requirements and specifications. Revised text is in red font.

          6. Test Food Items, Recipes, and Menus for Software Evaluations (PDF | 110 KB)- March 2014
            This document contains sample food items, recipes, and menus. It is recommended that the software developers enter these items into their software before submitting it for evaluation.

          7. Child Nutrition Database
            Here you will find the Child Nutrition Database and its documentation. This database must be included in all nutrient analysis software approved by USDA for use in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program..

          8. Nutrient Analysis Protocols: How to Analyze Menus for USDA's School Meals Program Manual (1.6 MB)
            This manual establishes procedures (protocols) to conduct an accurate nutrient analysis. It is developed for:
            • State agencies, during an Administrative Review, that:
              • Conduct a nutrient analysis of one school week's menus for a school being reviewed
              • Validate a School Food Authority (SFA)-conducted nutrient analysis
            • SFAs that may conduct an optional nutrient analysis

            This manual may also be a useful resource for software developers with software for the school food service market.


            Guidance for software developers
            These documents provide guidance for developers creating nutrient analysis software for use in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program..


          9. Historical Documents
            Here you will find historical documents, such as CN Database release announcements, old letters updating the requirements and other old documents related to the software evaluation and approval process.