Parents, students, school staff, community partners and others are invited to comment on USDA’s newly proposed rule supporting “Smarter Snacks in Schools.” These new nutrition standards will ensure that schools offer healthier snacks for our children, while limiting less nutritious foods and beverages sold in school vending machines, snack carts, a la carte, and school stores during the school day.
Parents and schools can and should work together to make certain children are eating healthfully. Many children consume up to half their daily calories at school, and most are eating a snack. Let’s make sure our children are eating healthy options!
The proposed rule:
Promotes snack foods with whole grains, low-fat/fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein as the main ingredient.
Ensures that snack foods are lower in fat, sugar and sodium and that snacks provide more of the naturally occurring nutrients that kids need to consume more often. (i.e., calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber).
Varies the portion size and caffeine content for beverages that are based on the age group of students.
Allows schools to conduct food fundraisers during the school day if the food meets certain nutrition standards. There may be occasional exemptions for food fundraising, but the details have not been specified.
Ensures that the standards only affect foods that are sold on campus during the school day. Foods sold at after-school sporting events or other activities aren’t covered. Foods served at classroom parties and as a reward are also not covered.
Sets a minimum standard for schools allowing schools to maintain local authority to set stronger standards and maintain their own policies.
Write USDA by April 9 to show your support for healthier snacks in schools!
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