USDA Proposes New Standards For Snacks In Schools

USDA Proposes New Standards For Snacks In Schools

Fri 01 Feb 2013

Story by The Food Revolution Team
 

Today the USDA proposed national nutrition standards for snacks and beverages sold in schools.

These long awaited standards, part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, apply to items sold outside of the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs – anything that can be purchased from vending machines, schools stores, and cafeteria a la carte lines.

Such items often include sugary drinks and snacks high in salt, fat and sugar and are called ‘competitive’ foods as they compete with school meals for student’s spending. The standards that currently apply to these foods are over 30 years old and no longer reflect current nutrition science.

The availability of vending machines in middle schools has more than doubled since the 1990s and it has been reported that nearly half of the nation’s elementary school students can buy unhealthy snack foods at schools.

This proposed rule is the first step in a process to create national standards. The new proposed standards are based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), existing voluntary standards already implemented by many schools around the country, and healthy food and beverage offerings already available in the marketplace.

School meal standards for the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs were updated last year for the first time in 15 years in a huge step to improve diet and health of children across the nation. The new proposed national nutrition standards for snacks and beverages will build on this progress.

Stay tuned to find out exactly what is included within this proposed rule and how you can take action and comment!

The Food Revolution Team

Image: 'Competitive Food in Schools' CSPI Pinterest Board

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