What Does This Mean For Your School?
The Smart Snacks in School standards stipulate that all snack foods sold in school must be “whole grain rich,” meaning they contain 50% whole grains or have whole grains as the first ingredient, or have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product or a protein-rich food. Combination foods that contain at least ¼ cup fruit and/or vegetable or naturally contain 10% of the daily value (DV) of calcium, potassium, vitamin D or dietary fiber will also be accepted.
USDA “Smart Snacks in School” Standards & Rules
• Snacks must contain less than or equal to 200 calories
• A la carte entrees must contain less than or equal to 350 calories
• Snacks must contain less than or equal to 35% sugar by weight
• There are exemptions for dried fruit without added sugars and even those with added nutritive sweeteners that are required for processing and/or palatability purposes (such as cranberries, tart cherries, and blueberries). The USDA will be providing more guidance on this particular exemption in the coming months. Products that consist of only dried fruit with nuts and/or seeds with no added nutritive sweeteners or fat will also be exempt.
• Snacks must contain less than or equal to 230mg of sodium until July 1, 2016; thereafter, snacks must contain less than or equal to 200mg sodium
• A la carte entrees must contain equal or less than 480mg
• Total fat must be less than or equal to 35% of calories
• Saturated fat must be less than or equal to 10% of calories
• There must be no trans fat in the product, per the label
• There are exemptions for nuts & seeds, nut & seed butters, seafood and part-skim mozzarella cheese
Beverage limits differ based on grade level
As a part of the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School Standards, allowable beverages for all students are limited to plain water (carbonated or uncarbonated), lowfat milk (unflavored) and nonfat milk (including flavored), nutritionally equivalent milk alternatives (as permitted by the school meal requirements), and full strength fruit or vegetable juices and full strength fruit and vegetable juice diluted with water or carbonated water. With the exception of water, which has no portion limit. Beverages are limited to:
• 8 fluid ounces for elementary schools
• 12 fluid ounces for middle schools and high schools.
With the exception of trace naturally occurring caffeine, beverages must be caffeine-free for elementary and middle schools.
For high schools
• Calorie free beverages are allowed in up to 20oz containers (less than five calories per 8 ounce serving or less than or equal to 10 calories per 20 fluid ounces)
• Lower calorie drinks are accepted with up to 40 calories per 8 ounces or 60 calories per 12 ounces.
• Caffeine is permitted in beverages
These rules do not apply to foods brought from home as bagged lunches or for birthday parties, off campus fundraisers, athletic events and school plays or foods sold during non-school hours.
If you want to see a product mix or have questions about our vending program, sign up for our FREE step-by-step guide to Smart Snacks in School rules. You can also talk to one of our Smart Snacks in School Specialists and get your new vending contract started by calling 310.845.7745.