Healthy Snacking in Schools in Massachusetts

Whitsons School Nutrition is committed to providing the best combination of nutrients available to your child while they are in our care. Our highest priority is to serve your children healthy meals that offer them the best in choice, quality and taste.

The USDA has recently changed the regulations regarding

snacks in schools

These mandated changes are part of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) and require snack foods and beverages sold to children at school during the school day to meet certain nutritional guidelines.

What does this new ruling mean for my child?

This ruling ensures that children are only offered nutritious foods during their school day and minimizes their exposure to “junk” foods.

The standard requires all foods sold in school to:

• Be whole grain; or

• Have a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product or a protein as first ingredient; or

• Be a combination food of at least 1/4 cup of fruit and/or vegetable.

 

These foods must also meet the following nutrient requirements:

Calories

Snack/Sides - 200 or less

Entrees- should not exceed the calorie count of entrιe items of the equivalent portion size offered in NSLP.

Sodium

Snack/Sides – 200mg or less

Entrees-480mg or less

Fats

Snack/Sides/Entrees- Total fat: less than 35% of total calories. Saturated fat: less than 10% of total calories.

Sugar

Snack/Sides/Entrees- Contain less than 35% of total calories from sugar.

 

• Exemptions for these rules are: 100% fruit with no added sugar; 1oz. nuts, nut butters, seeds and reduced fat cheese. This list is not exhaustive.  Check with your Food Service Director for more information.

• Yogurt is allowed as long as it is low-fat or non-fat yogurt (including drinkable yogurt) with less than 30g of sugar per 8oz.

What about beverages?

This rule also applies to beverages. The ruling requires that beverages sold at all school levels be:

• Plain regular or carbonated water

• Unflavored 1% or fat free milk (flavored or unflavored)

• 100% fruit or vegetable juice with no added sugar

• No artificial sweeteners or caffeine are allowed

 

Elementary

Middle School

High School

Plain/Carbonated

Water

Any Size

Any Size

Any Size

Low-fat and fat free milk (unflavored)/fat free milk (flavored)

8oz or less, must contain 22g of sugar or less

8oz or less, must contain 22g of sugar or less

8oz or less, must contain 22g of sugar or less

100% Fruit/Vegetable Juice: No added Sugar

4oz or less

4oz or less

4oz or less

Other flavored/carbonated drinks

Not allowed

Not allowed

Not allowed

 

 

What about a la carte items?

Lunch or breakfast items served a la carte must comply with this standard. Side

dishes sold a la carte are also not exempt from this rule.

Do these changes affect fundraising activities?

It depends on the state you live in. Different states have different restrictions on

a la carte and fundraising sales. Contact your Food Service Director for more

information.