Cathy Isom tells us why a new school year is also bringing on new changes for the types of snacks being offered on campus. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
USDA’s “All Foods Sold in Schools” Standards
USDA recently 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 School 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 schools must:
1. Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product; or
2. Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food; or
3. Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable; or
4. Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber).*
Foods must also meet several nutrient requirements:
- Calorie limits:
Entrée items: ≤ 350 calories
- Sodium limits:
Snack items: ≤ 230 mg**
Entrée items: ≤ 480 mg
- Fat limits:
Total fat: ≤35% of calories
Saturated fat: < 10% of calories
Trans fat: zero grams
- Sugar limit:
≤ 35% of weight from total sugars in foods
*On July 1, 2016, foods may not qualify using the 10% DV criteria.
**On July 1, 2016, snack items must contain ≤ 200 mg sodium per item