USDA approved menu planning software has become a hot topic among Food Service Directors. New standards and targets are implemented while some are relaxed or temporarily waived. It can be difficult to keep them all straight and maintain consistent compliance in creating and maintaining menus, especially in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs are in place so that students have accessibility to meals with proper nutrition to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To meet industry needs, a wide variety of school nutrition software programs have been created so that state agencies, school food authorities, and local schools can demonstrate compliance with the requirements of these programs.
Why Should My Software Be USDA Approved?
- USDA approved menu planning software ensures that the software program calculates appropriately with a weighted average nutrient analysis and properly reflects menu compliance required for school meal programs.
- Only USDA approved software can be used for nutrient analysis in Administrative Reviews.
- Only USDA approved software is considered as an allowable cost for nonprofit school food service accounts.
Why Should I Choose Health-e Pro For MY USDA Approved Software?
Health-e Pro went through the rigorous two-year process for USDA approval, with every square inch of the software scrutinized to ensure that the menu planning software would provide the numbers and calculations expected. Every year, Health-e Pro is reviewed again to maintain USDA approved status. We do this for one simple reason: to give customers the confidence that the information they submit for Administrative Review will be accurate and meet all requirements.
In order to become USDA approved, Health-e Pro had to meet certain standards for Nutrient Analysis Software used for National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast. These standards included the following for USDA approved school nutrition software:
- Must incorporate the most recent version of the Child Nutrition Database
- Users must be able to enter new food items and be able to convert measurements into recipe development.
- Must be able to develop menus and enter in prepared numbers for a menu plan.
- Must provide training resources and support materials.
- Must include the Food Buying Guide as a reference for the user.
OK, So Health-e Pro is USDA Approved. What Sets Health-e Pro Apart From Other USDA Approved School Nutrition Software?
The generic term “USDA Approved” often refers to Nutrient Analysis only. Not all USDA approved software for nutrient analysis are also approved to provide Certification of Compliance for menus of school meal programs.
In addition to receiving USDA approval for performing nutrient analysis, Health-e Pro is also USDA approved as a tool authorized for Certification of Compliance for menu planning software. Health-e Pro makes menu planning simple with a color-coding system that allows you to see immediately if your menu is in compliance. Additionally, Health-e Meal Planner highlights missed meal components at a glance, so they can be easily corrected.
Health-e Pro offers many resources that help prepare you for a review, including easy-to-read reports and standardized recipes.
Health-e Pro provides impeccable training and customer support. With personal trainers to walk you through your menu building process and ongoing web-based trainings for menu management and maintenance, Health-e Pro is unmatched in its dedication to helping you succeed.
Health-e Pro also offers an EZ Review Service that acts as a mock Review conducted by a team of Administrative Review experts so you can go into your review stress free and confident.
In addition to being USDA approved, Health-e Pro also provides the following:
- Nutrient analysis portion of six cent certification (certification of compliance) for breakfast and lunch
- Nutrient analysis of recipes to ensure compliance with Smart Snack standards.
- CACFP Standards
Tackling the time and resources required for USDA approval is worth it to Health-e Pro because it provides our customers confidence. Health-e Pro puts in the effort behind the scenes so that you don’t have to. Going through an administrative review, especially for a food service director who hasn’t gone through it before, can be a challenging–and sometimes scary–process. Having a partner you can trust can make all the difference.
For a full list of requirements, click here.
Click here for a list of USDA approved nutrient analysis software.