Support Healthier Snacks and Beverages in Schools
As a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids’ Act passed in 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated the nutrition standards for snacks and beverages ("competitive foods") sold in schools. This applies to vending machines, a la carte sales in the cafeteria, school stores, and some fundraisers.
The previous standards for foods sold outside the school meal program were 30 years out of date and did not address calories, saturated and trans fats, salt, and sugars which are key public health concerns for child nutrition and obesity.
During the past decade, many states and school districts have adopted policies setting school nutrition standards. The new national standards will ensure that students in all states and districts have access to healthy options. Local or state policies may go beyond the national standard.
The new policy is called an "interim final rule," however it has the effect of a final regulation (interim means that USDA still has the ability to make technical corrections if needed). The updated standards became effective July 1, 2014.
Schools need support from parents, health professionals, and other community members to successfully implement Smart Snacks in Schools. Below are resources and ideas for school officials, parents, teachers, and students to help implement the updated school snack and beverage standards.
- USDA summary of Smart Snacks Final Rule
- USDA Q&A on Smart Snacks
- Smart Snacks in Schools (interim) Final Rule
- National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) Fact Sheet on School Snacks and Beverages
- NANA Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Summary
Fact Sheets, Infographics, & Reports
- USDA infographic on Smart Snacks
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation's (AHG) Smart Snacks Resources
- AHG Smart Snacks Product Calculator
- AHG Product Nagivator
- NEA Health Information Network ‘Bag the Junk’ Advocacy Website
- USDA short video on new school foods
General / Background
- Kids' Safe & Healthful Foods Project (KSHF) Competitive Foods Health Impact Assessment
- Healthy Eating Research (HER) Brief on Competitive Foods
- NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) Fact Sheet on Improving Competitive Foods
- NANA Fact Sheet on Sports Drinks in Schools
- HER Brief on Consumption of Sports Drinks by Children and Adolescents
- Smart Snacks and Back to School Talking Points
- Smart Snacks Q&A
- NANA Fact Sheet on School Food Funding Myths
- CDC Fact Sheet on the Financial Implications of Strong Competitive Foods Standards
- KSHF School Foods Financial Infographic
- KSHF School Foods Financial Impact Q&A
- NEA HIN Healthy Rewards Fact Sheet
State & Local Policies + Success Stories
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation Competitive Foods Case Studies
- Illinois Public Health Institute Competitive Foods Case Studies
- California Project LEAN Success Stories
- NASBE State School Health Policy Matrix
- NASBE Fundraiser exemption tracker
- CDC Competitive Foods State Policy Analysis
- Voices For Healthy Kids Competitive Foods Toolkit: Make Food Choices an Easy 'A'
- NANA Healthy School Fundraising Fact Sheet
- USDA School Fundraising Factsheet
- Healthy Fundraising Ideas
- Healthy Fundraising Success Stories
- CSPI: Sweet Deals: School Fundraising Can Be Healthy and Profitable
Other Foods Not Covered by Smart Snacks
If you have any questions or have success stories to share, please email Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.