Child Nutrition

children receiving food


Ithaca Child Nutrition
1601 N Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Phone: (607) 274-2302
Fax: (607) 274-6836

Beth Krause
Director of Child Nutrition


The Ithaca City School District participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to providing reimbursement and government-donated commodities for meals, the USDA also sets the nutrition standards our meals must meet.

School meals offer students fruits and vegetables, proteins and grains, and milk, all of which must meet strict limits on saturated fat and portion size. The USDA guidelines include:

  • Age-appropriate calorie limits

  • Servings of vegetables and fruit

    • Students MUST take ½ cup serving of fruit or vegetable with their meal

  • A wide variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes

  • Fat-free milk

  • More whole grains

  • Less sodium

While five options must be offered, only three need to be taken for the school to receive reimbursement for the meal. One of those three must be a fruit or a vegetable. (In addition to students who receive free or reduced-price meals, we also receive a smaller reimbursement for students who pay for their meals). Schools receive reimbursements from the federal government and a smaller reimbursement from the state government.

So students can take a vegetable, a fruit, and a grain, and that would allow the school to be reimbursed. Students could also take a protein (such as a bean-based entrée), a vegetable, and a fruit for the meal to be reimbursed. As long as students take three options, and one is a fruit or a vegetable, the school district gets reimbursed.

Water must be made available to all students and is available in all cafeterias.