Smart Snacks in School Rule
USDA published practical, science-based nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold to children at school during the school day. The standards, required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, will allow schools to offer healthier snack foods to children, while limiting junk food.The health of today’s school environment continues to improve. Students across the country are now offered healthier school lunches with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The Smart Snacks in School standards will build on those healthy advancements and ensure that kids are only offered tasty and nutritious foods during the school day. Smart Snacks in Schools also support efforts by school food service staff, school administrators, teachers, parents and the school community, all working hard to instill healthy habits in students.
Nutrition Standards for Foods
Any food sold in school must:
- Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product; or
- Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product or a protein food; or
- Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable
Foods must also meet several nutrient requirements:
- Snack items: ≤ 200 calories
- Entrée items: ≤ 350 calories
- Snack Items: ≤ 200 mg
- Entree items: ≤ 480 mg
- Total fat: ≤ 35% of calories
- Saturated fat: ≤ 10% of calories
- Trans fat: zero grams
Sugar limit ≤ 35% of weight from total sugars in foods
Nutrient Standards for Beverages
All schools are allowed to sell:
- Plain water (carbonated or uncarbonated);
- Unflavored low-fat milk;
- Flavored or unflavored non-fat milk (and milk alternatives); and
- 100% fruit and vegetable juices, and full-strength juice diluted with water, carbonated or non-carbonated, with no added sweeteners.
Elementary schools may sell up to 8-ounce portions of allowable milk and juice beverages, while middle and high schools may sell up to 12-ounce portions. In high schools, the standards limit the maximum container size to 12-ounces for lower calories beverages and 20 ounces for calorie-free beverages.
Smart Snacks in School provides additional calorie-free and lower-calorie beverage options for high school students:
- Calorie-free beverages, in up to 20-ounce portions; and
- Lower-calorie beverages with up to 40 calories per 8 ounces or 60 calories per 12 ounces. These may be sold in up to 12 ounce portions.
- No entrees (meat & grain combination items) can be sold by anyone outside of the foodservice staff at any time during the school day.
- School-sponsored fundraisers are only allowed 30 minutes after the conclusion of lunch. Vending machines, school stores, and/or snack bars are not considered school-sponsored fundraisers.
- Elementary schools may conduct exempt food fundraisers no more than 5 days out of the school year.
- Middle and combination schools may conduct exempt food fundraisers no more than 10 days out of the school year.
- High schools may conduct exempt food fundraisers no more than 15 days out of the school year.
- A Healthy School Team at each school must be established by June 30, 2015, that:
o Ensures compliance with competitive foods
o Maintains records of exempt fundraisers
o Reports compliance to our district's wellness policy official
Plug nutrition and ingredient information into the Smart Snack Product Calculator to see if your beverage or snack is compliant!
For more information, please visit: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cn/smart-snacks-school.