What's In and Out Under New School Snack Rules

Updated: 06/27/2013 9:51 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

Photo: MGN Online
Photo: MGN Online

The government for the first time is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are healthful. The rule announced Thursday will apply to "a la carte" lines in school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars and any other food sold regularly on campus. It won't apply to fundraisers, after-school concession stands, class parties or foods brought from home.
A separate set of rules already applies to meals in the main lunch line.
Under the new rules, most food sold in school will now be subject to fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits. Snack foods will have to be less than 200 calories and have some nutritional value instead of being mostly empty calories.
Some examples of snacks likely to miss or make the requirements:

Before the New Standards                 After the New Standards

Snack          Chocolate sandwich cookies      Light popcorn     
Total calories            286                      161          
Empty calories            182                       17          
Snack           Chocolate bar             Granola bar      
Total calories            235                       95          
Empty calories            112                       32          
Snack           Regular cola             Flavored water    
Total calories            136                       0           
Empty calories            126                       0           
Other examples of what's in and what's out under the new guidelines:
What's out                                                     What's in
Candy                                                   Baked potato chips
Snack cakes                                                      Trail mix
Most cookies                                                  Dried fruits
Most pretzels                                                   Fruit cups
Most ice cream and ice cream treats                   Yogurt
Deep-fried, high-fat foods                    Baked lower-fat French fries
Greasy pizza                       Healthier pizzas with whole grain crust
Many juice drinks                                 100 percent juice drinks
High-calorie sodas                                Diet soda (high schools)
High-calorie sports drinks               Diet sports drinks (high schools)
Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Click here for the homepage for the Smart Snacks in Schools initiative.

Click here for Minnesota's school standards for health.

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