School Snack Rules Make Healthy Choice, the Easy Choice

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6.28.2013 USDA released an interim rule, Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School, which will put into practice science-based nutrition standards for foods sold outside of the cafeteria during the school day in schools across the nation.

The nutrition standards promote snacks that contain whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or lean protein as the main ingredients, and sensible limits on sugar, fat, and salt – making the healthy option more widely available to students. The standards, which must be implemented by the start of the 2014-15 school year, are strong and comparable to California's already existing competitive food and beverage standards. States and school districts with stronger nutrition standards already in practice will be allowed, and are encouraged, to exceed the minimum national standards.

Check out the following links to see how California's competitive food and beverage standards compare with the national standards.

USDA's Smart Snacks in School Interim Rule Summary. link

Quick highlights:

    • Flexibility for a la carte entrée items. link
    • Beverage options. link
    • Fundraisers. link

California nutrition standards for elementary schools. link

California nutrition standards for middle and high schools. link

Children spend much of their day in school, which is why CFPA applauds the USDA for leading the way to creating healthy school food environments by adopting improved nutrition standards for both school meals and foods and beverages sold in vending machines, student stores, and a la carte lines. Additionally, CFPA strongly supports USDA's decision to make potable water available to children at no charge where breakfast and lunch meals are served. For more information on how to make fresh, free drinking water available at your school, please visit waterinschools.org.

While the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards will help change the way our students eat, it also important to not loose sight of the important role a school lunch can play in shaping students'eating habits. Offering more appealing and tasty school lunches will help bring in more students to the cafeteria to eat a healthy meal.

Take Action!

USDA received nearly 200,000 comments in support of the Smart Snacks in School proposed rule. USDA's interim rule is very similar to the proposed rule you saw only a few months ago. Now is your chance to comment on the interim rule. You have until October 28, 2013 to submit your thoughts. 

Interim rule. link

Submit your comment on the interim rule here. link

Now is also a good time to review your school's wellness policy and to assess its effectiveness at creating healthy food environments.

Reuters'article. link

For more information, please contact Ariana Oliva at 213-482-8200 x203.