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Smart Snacks Standards

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Overview

Kids Eating FruitDoes your school participate in the National School Breakfast or School Lunch Program? If so, all foods and beverages sold at school during the school day are required to meet nutrition standards, including those sold outside of school meals. Starting in 2014-2015, schools were required to ensure that foods and beverages sold a la carte, in the school store, vending machines, in-school fundraisers, and any other venues where food is sold to students met “Smart Snacks Standards.” Is your school smart snack savvy? Read on to find out!

Take Action

Try one or more of these actions to help your school be smart snack savvy:

  • Become familiar with the Smart Snacks Standards and their nutritional requirements.
  • Complete an inventory of foods and beverages sold on the school campus, even fundraisers, during the school day to determine what your school sells to students.
  • Eliminate foods and beverages that do not meet Smart Snacks Standards. Use this calculator to determine if products meet these standards.
  • Consider adding additional options that meet Smart Snacks Standards, particularly if you have to eliminate existing options. Survey teachers and students to learn about the kinds of healthy snacks they would like to see sold at school.
  • Negotiate with fundraising, snack and vending companies to increase the number and variety of food and beverage choices available that meet Smart Snacks Standards.
  • Educate school staff and students about healthy choices through posters, school news articles and the school announcements.
  • Host a taste test to sample new snack options, or options that students purchase less frequently.

Tips

The school day refers to midnight through 30 minutes after the last bell. Foods that are sold outside of this time frame do not have to meet the guidelines (though we think they should anyway!).

Remember that beverages are also part of the smart snacks rules and serving sizes vary by student ages.

Engage volunteers by recruiting a parent volunteer to complete an inventory of foods sold on the school campus to determine what healthy items are available or to organize a taste test to sample new snack options.

Ask a registered dietitian to volunteer to give an educational presentation on healthy snack choices.