Smart Snacks in School USDA s All Foods Sold in Schools Standards

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1 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 standards will build on those healthy advancements and ensure that kids are only offered tasty and nutritious foods during the school day. 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: 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; or 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: Snack items: 200 calories 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

2 : USDA s All Foods Sold in Schools Standards Nutrition Standards for Beverages All schools may sell: Plain water (with or without carbonation) Unflavored low fat milk Unflavored or flavored fat free milk and milk alternatives permitted by NSLP/SBP 100% fruit or vegetable juice and 100% fruit or vegetable juice diluted with water (with or without carbonation), and no added sweeteners. Elementary schools may sell up to 8-ounce portions, while middle schools and high schools may sell up to 12-ounce portions of milk and juice. There is no portion size limit for plain water. Beyond this, the standards allow additional no calorie and lower calorie beverage options for high school students. No more than 20-ounce portions of Calorie-free, flavored water (with or without carbonation); and Other flavored and/or carbonated beverages that are labeled to contain < 5 calories per 8 fluid ounces or 10 calories per 20 fluid ounces. No more than 12-ounce portions of Beverages with 40 calories per 8 fluid ounces, or 60 calories per 12 fluid ounces. Other Requirements Fundraisers The sale of food items that meet nutrition requirements at fundraisers are not limited in any way under the standards. The standards do not apply during non-school hours, on weekends and at off-campus fundraising events. The standards provide a special exemption for infrequent fundraisers that do not meet the nutrition standards. State agencies may determine the frequency with which fundraising activities take place that allow the sale of food and beverage items that do not meet the nutrition standards. Accompaniments Accompaniments such as cream cheese, salad dressing and butter must be included in the nutrient profile as part of the food item sold. This helps control the amount of calories, fat, sugar and sodium added to foods by accompaniments, which can be significant. Public Comment USDA is seeking comments on these standards. The formal 120-day comment period is open through October 28, We also want to continue to receive feedback during implementation of the standards, so that we are able to make any needed tweaks to the standards based on real-world experience. Feedback from students, parents, school food staff, school administrators, State agencies and other interested parties is critical to ensuring successful standards. To find the standards online, simply go to and search by the docket number, which is FNS , or you may type in the name of the rule Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School. Comment Online: Comment by Mail: William Wagoner Section Chief, Policy and Program Development Branch Child Nutrition Division Food and Nutrition Service P.O. Box St. Louis, MO 63166

3 Fundraisers The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students in school during the school day, including foods sold through school fundraisers. The new nutrition standards will help schools to make the healthy choice the easy choice by offering students more of the foods and beverages we should be encouraging whole grains, fruits and vegetables, leaner protein, lower-fat dairy while limiting foods with too much sugar, fat and salt. USDA understands that fundraisers are time-honored traditions that support local school activities, including class trips, athletic programs and the purchase of school supplies. Under the nutrition standards, USDA has sought to balance the needs of schools to conduct occasional fundraisers, while still ensuring that students have access to healthier foods and beverages during the school day. Highlights of the nutrition standards include: States set an appropriate number of exempt school-sponsored fundraisers. States are well-positioned to identify the particular needs of their local communities. As such, each state will have the flexibility to set a certain number of fundraisers that can sell foods or beverages that do not meet the nutrition standards. No limits on fundraisers that meet the new standards. In addition, fundraisers that sell non-food items or foods or beverages that meet the new standards are not limited under the nutrition standards. There are many healthy fundraising options available to schools, including selling books, fresh produce, school spirit merchandise or other non-food items during the school day. Your school s local wellness committee may have some great tips on how to raise funds and help students make healthy choices at the same time. Schools decide what can be sold at events outside of school hours. only applies to foods and beverages sold to students on the school campus during the school day. The nutrition standards do not apply to foods and beverages sold at events held after school, off campus, or on weekends, such as school plays or sporting events. Exceptions for fundraiser foods not intended for consumption in schools. Fundraising activities that take place outside of school, such as cookie dough or frozen pizza sales, are exempt from the nutrition standards. Distribution of order forms and foods not intended for consumption at school may continue.

4 Flexibility for Entrees Served as Part of National School Lunch and School Breakfast The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students in school during the school day. The new nutrition standards will help schools to make the healthy choice the easy choice by offering students more of the foods and beverages we should be encouraging whole grains, fruits and vegetables, leaner protein, lower-fat dairy while limiting foods with too much sugar, fat and salt. The new nutrition standards apply to all foods sold to students at school outside of the federally reimbursable meals served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. A less commonly thought-of food that will be subject to the new standards are entrée items served as part of the reimbursable school meal that are also sold individually to students (e.g. students that just buy an individual slice of pizza on the day it is served as part of the school lunch). School meals are science-based, nutritionally balanced and provide age-appropriate portions to children. Recognizing that components of school meals are healthier items, USDA has provided schools with the flexibility to sell certain entrée items as a la carte foods. USDA anticipates that this approach, along with the recent changes to school meals, will result in healthier menu items being offered in the a la carte line than in the past. Highlights of the nutrition standards include: Allow schools to offer certain entrée items in the a la carte line. Schools may offer entrée items for sale as a la carte foods on the day they are served as part of the meal and the day after. These entrées would be exempt from the nutrition standards on those days in order to send a consistent nutritional message about school meals, as they already fit into a balanced and nutritionally sound meal, and represent a healthier choice for students who do not want the whole meal. This balanced approach mitigates potential confusion among parents, students and schools that a particular entrée item is healthful when sold as part of the reimbursable meal but not when the same entrée item is sold separately. Provide flexibility for school food service operators to plan and prepare healthful meals. Allowing entrée items to be sold a la carte on the day they are served and the day after helps school food service operators to better manage their programs, including the service of leftovers, and to prevent food waste. It also helps to mitigate potential disruption that may occur from students being confused about whether particular foods being served to other students can be purchased individually. Ensure that all other food and beverage items for sale in schools are healthier. Side items, snack foods, beverages and any entrées not served as part of a reimbursable meal will need to comply with the nutrition standards, including calorie, fat, sugar and sodium limits, in order to be sold to students in school. USDA will closely monitor this exemption during implementation to determine the overall nutrient profile of products being offered under the exemption, as well as any food safety impacts related to leftovers served à la carte.

5 Beverage Options The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the USDA to establish science-based nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students in school during the school day. The new nutrition standards will help schools to make the healthy choice the easy choice by offering students more of the foods and beverages we should be encouraging whole grains, fruits and vegetables, leaner protein, low-fat dairy, while limiting foods with too much sugar, fat and salt. lays out targeted, science-based nutrition standards for beverages that reflect current nutrition science and progress being made in States and local communities across the country, as well as through existing voluntary efforts. The new standards allow variation by age group for factors such as portion size and caffeine content. While water is available on an unlimited basis, USDA has established reasonable, age-appropriate portion size standards for all other beverages in order to reinforce the important concepts of moderation and balance in student diets. Highlights of the nutrition standards include: Healthier beverage options during the school day. 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 percent fruit and vegetable juices, and full-strength juice diluted with water, carbonated or non-carbonated, with no added sweeteners. Portion sizes based on age. 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. Additional options for older students. The new standards provide additional beverage options to high school students, recognizing their increased independence, relative to younger students, and the wide range of beverages available to high school students in the broader marketplace. Beyond water, milk and juice, 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. Caffeinated beverages remain an option for high school students. The new nutrition standards do not restrict the sale of caffeinated beverages to high school students. USDA encourages school districts to exercise caution when selecting items for sale to their students. USDA will continue to monitor the Food and Drug Administration s (FDA) work on caffeine and will consider revising the nutrition standards in the future as appropriate.

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