New federal rules require healthier school snacks

New federal rules require healthier school snacks

New federal rules require healthier school snacks

(CNN) — Candy bars, doughnuts and regular potato chips will become scarce in schools under new federal rules, replaced by healthier options such as granola bars, trail mix and baked chips.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards represent the first nutritional overhaul of school snacks in more than 30 years.
The regulations set limits for fat, salt, and sugar sold in places such as vending machines and snack bars. School foods must contain at least 50% whole grains or have a fruit, vegetable, dairy or protein as the first ingredient. Foods that contain at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetables will also be allowed.

Beverages will be under the microscope as well. Sports drinks that contain relatively high amounts of sugar are prohibited, but the low-calorie versions will be for sale. Low-fat and fat-free milk, 100% fruit and vegetable juice, and no-calorie flavored waters are permitted. Potable water must be made available to kids for free where meals are served.

Schools and food and beverage companies must meet these standards by July 1, 2014, according to the USDA. That means the rules would be in effect for the 2014-2015 school year.

Children will still be allowed to bring in any snacks from home that they choose, and parents can continue to deliver treats for birthday celebrations or holidays to the classroom. Special fund-raising events such as bake sales are also allowed.

The new rules are meant to help curb childhood obesity in the United States, which affects about 17% of children and adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Do you think children will eat the healthier snacks? Will the USDA’s efforts decrease the amount of high calorie, high fat, high sugar snacks that school aged children consume? Please comment below.

Source: CNN