Menu Planning Tools

Girl eating lunch at school Tools for School Food Service

Planning menus for your school or district? View these helpful resources!


Boy eating at child care Tools for Child Care Providers

These menu planning tools were specifically created for child care providers in homes or centers.


Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

USDA. FNS. Team Nutrition.

A guide for purchasing the correct amount and type of food, and for determining the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements.


Food Buying Guide (FBG) Calculator for Child Nutrition Programs

National Food Service Management Institute; USDA. FNS. Team Nutrition.

Online calculator for building shopping lists from the FBG and determining how much of each item to purchase.


Nutrient Analysis Protocols: How to Analyze Menus for USDA's School Meals Program Manual (PDF | 1.6 MB)

United States Department of Agriculture. Food and Nutrition Service.

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