USDA Proposes Stricter School Snack Requirements

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On Friday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed new, stricter guidelines for school snacks, calling for items lower in fat, salt, and sugar, with more whole grain options. The proposal also places a 200-calorie limit on snacks sold during the school day from vending machines or other places outside of the lunch line.

However, the USDA said these guidelines would not include foods sold at after-school activities like sports events. “Important traditions,” like parents sending cookies or cupcakes to school for a child’s birthday or “occasional fundraisers and bake sales” would also be allowed.

As far as beverages are concerned, USDA proposed schools be able to sell water, low-fat and fat-free milk, and 100 percent juices, with 8-ounce (240-ml) portions created for younger students. 20-ounce servings of calorie-free beverages, and 12-ounce servings of drinks that have 75 calories or less would be allowed for high school students but not during lunch or breakfast.

You can read more here. The public has 60 days to comment on this proposal before the USDA finalizes new regulations, and after that, schools would have a year after their issue to implement the changes.

Check out this infographic which compares current school snacks to what the USDA is proposing.  

What do you think of the USDA’s proposal?