Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards were implemented during the 2014-2015 school year. Here are a few things parents need to know.
What are Smart Snacks?
The USDA published 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 and include the time before school begins and 30 minutes after the school day ends. The standards provide guidelines to 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 youth.
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:
- 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
- The food item must meet the nutrient standards for calories, sodium, sugar, and fats.
What do parents need to know?
- Smart Snacks will apply 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 apply to classroom celebrations and do not apply during evening, weekend or community events.
What information is available for school volunteers who provide snacks for students?
To help our school volunteers through this process, we have developed a Smart Snacks resource. Learn the three steps that school volunteers need to know.
A Guide to Smart Snacks in School
In addition, our school administrators will be able to help our school volunteers with the implementation of these USDA standards at our schools. For more information, contact Rockwood Child Nutrition at (636) 733-3250.