Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards are now required by all schools that participate in federally funded National School Lunch Program. Here are a few things you should know.
What are Smart Snacks?
On July 1, 2014 USDA implemented practical, science-based nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students during the school day. These nutrition standards are called Smart Snacks in School are in effect from before the start of school to 30 minutes after the official end of the school day. The standards will make healthier foods and beverages available to students.
Why are Smart Snacks important?
Healthy, well-nourished students are better learners! Students who consume healthier foods and beverages are more likely to get the nutrients they need to learn, play and grow. Having healthier foods and beverages available contributes to the overall health and well-being of our students.
What do parents, students and staff need to know?
- Smart Snacks apply to all foods and beverages sold to students outside of the school meals programs - including vending machines, a la carte, school stores, snack carts and in-school fundraising.
- Smart Snacks will be in effect all school day - including before school and 30 minutes after the end of the school day - across the whole school campus.
- Smart Snacks will not apply to foods being sent from home, such as a bagged lunch. In addition, the standards do not apply to classroom celebrations and during evening, weekend or community events.
- While Smart Snacks rules do not apply to classroom parties, celebrations and rewards, recommendations and standards provided in the SCASD Coordinated School Health Policy do apply.
What will the changes look like?
Cookies, candy, chips, donuts and high-sugar drinks will be replaced with items like popcorn, baked chips, fruit cups and plain water. Some clubs and activities may opt to sell non-food items for fundraisers.
What are the Smart Snacks standards for food?
Students will be able to buy snacks that meet common-sense standards for fat, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium - while promoting products that have whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein foods as their main ingredients. Read more about these standards, which include that foods:
- Be a whole grain rich product; or
- Have as the first ingredient a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or protein food; or
- Be a “combination food” with at least ¼ cup fruit and/or vegetable; or
What are the Smart Snacks standards for beverages?
Plain water, milk, and 100% juice may be sold, in varying sizes, at all grade levels. Additional no-calorie and low-calorie beverage choices may be sold to students in High School.
What information is available for groups who sell snacks to students?
To help any groups who engage in food sales through this process, we have developed a Smart Snacks resource. Learn the three steps that you need to know.
In addition, our school administrators will be able to help with the implementation of these USDA standards at our schools. For more information, contact SCASD Food Service Department at (814)231-5095 or via email.