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DEPARTMENTS   »   District Operational Services   »   Nutrition Services   »   Menus   »   Smart Snacks

Smart Snacks in School

Smart Snacks in School

What are Smart Snacks?
Smart Snacks are nutritional guidelines established by the USDA for all food and beverage items sold to students during the school day. This includes a la carte items, school stores, vending machines, fundraisers, food sold in offices, etc. The school day is defined as 12:00 AM (prior to the start of the school day) until 30 minutes after the end of the school day.

Smart Snacks in School Nutritional Guidelines

All Food Sold in School Must:
    • Be a whole grain-rich product; or
    • Have as the first ingredient a fruit, vegetable, dairy product, or protein food; or
    • Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup fruit and/or vegetable; or
    • Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of a nutrient of public health concern (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber). *

*On July 1, 2016, foods may not qualify using the 10% DV criteria.

AND
Foods Must Also Meet Several Nutrient Requirements:
Calorie Limits:
    • Snack/side items: ≤ 200 calories
    • Entrée items: ≤ 350 calories
Sodium Limits:
    • Snack/side Items: ≤ 230 mg **
    • Entrée Items: ≤ 480 mg
** On July 1, 2016, snack items must contain ≤ 200 mg sodium per item.

Fat Limits:
    Total Fat: ≤ 35% of total calories
         Exceptions: reduced fat cheese (including part-skim mozzarella), nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters, products consisting of only dried fruit with nuts/seeds with no added nutritive sweeteners or fats.
    Saturated Fat: < 10% of total calories
         Exception: reduced fat cheese (including part-skim mozzarella), nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters, products consisting of only dried fruit with nuts/seeds with no added nutritive sweeteners or fats.
    Trans Fat: 0 grams per serving

Sugar Limits:

    •    ≤ 35% of weight from total sugars.
               Exceptions: dried fruit and vegetables; and dehydrated fruit and vegetables with no added nutritive sweeteners.
Accompaniments such as cream cheese, salad dressing and butter must be included in the nutrient profile as part of the food item sold.

Beverages
Elementary School
    Plain or Carbonated Water: Any size
    Low Fat Milk (1%), Unflavored: ≤ 8 ounces
    Nonfat Milk (Skim), Flavored or Unflavored: ≤ 8 ounces
    100% Fruit or Vegetable Juice (plain or carbonated) with no added sweeteners: ≤ 8 ounces
    100% Fruit or Vegetable Juice, Diluted with Water (plain or carbonated) with no added sweeteners: ≤ 8 ounces
    Calorie-Free beverages, Flavored and/or Carbonated: Not Permitted
    Low Calorie Beverages, Flavored and/or Carbonated: Not Permitted

Middle School
    Plain or Carbonated Water: Any size
    Low Fat Milk (1%), Unflavored: ≤ 12 ounces
    Nonfat Milk (Skim), Flavored or Unflavored: ≤ 12 ounces
    100% Fruit or Vegetable Juice (plain or carbonated) with no added sweeteners: ≤ 12 ounces
    100% Fruit or Vegetable Juice, Diluted with Water (plain or carbonated) with no added sweeteners: ≤ 12 ounces
    Calorie-Free beverages, Flavored and/or Carbonated: Not Permitted
    Low Calorie Beverages, Flavored and/or Carbonated: Not Permitted


High School
    Plain or Carbonated Water: Any size
    Low Fat Milk (1%), Unflavored: ≤ 12 ounces
    Nonfat Milk (Skim), Flavored or Unflavored: ≤ 12 ounces
    100% Fruit or Vegetable Juice (plain or carbonated) with no added sweeteners: ≤ 12 ounces
    100% Fruit or Vegetable Juice, Diluted with Water (plain or carbonated) with no added sweeteners: ≤ 12 ounces
    Calorie-Free beverages, Flavored and/or Carbonated: ≤ 20 ounces
 
        ≤ 5 calories per 8 ounces, or ≤ 10 calories per 20 ounces

    Low Calorie Beverages, Flavored and/or Carbonated: ≤ 12 ounces
         ≤ 40 calories per 8 ounces, or ≤ 60 calories per 12 ounces
Note: Caffeinated beverages are only permitted at the High School level.


Exemptions from Meeting all Nutritional Guidelines:
Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables with no added ingredients except water; or in the case of fruit, packed in 100% juice, extra light, or light syrup.
Canned vegetables that contain a small amount of sugar for processing purposes.

Additional Exemptions:
Food and beverage items sold 30 minutes after the school day, such as concessions and/or vending machines do not need to meet the smart snack guidelines. Also, food/beverages provided free to students as a reward or celebration do not need to meet smart snack guidelines. It is encouraged that efforts are made to include items which meet the Smart Snack guidelines to help develop healthy eating habits.

Fundraisers:
Smart Snacks in Schools applies to any food/beverage item sold to students during the school day on the school campus, including food and beverages sold as fundraisers. If the item being sold is a nonfood item or a food/beverage item that meets the Smart Snacks standards, it can be sold anytime. Nutrition Services has a list of items which meet the USDA Smart Snack guidelines. Please contact nutrition services at 402-557-2231 if you are interested in purchasing any of the items.

Smart Snacks in Schools does not apply to food or beverage items sold during non-school hours, on weekends, and at off-campus fundraising events. Also, any food or beverage item that is preordered and distributed in bulk quantities for consumption at home does not need to meet the standards. For these items you may take fundraising orders and distribute the items during school hours, but the students may not consume the items at school.