USDA Issues "Smart Snacks in School" Proposal On February 1, USDA unveiled its “Smart Snacks in School” proposed rule that includes provisions such as promoting availability of healthy snack foods with whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein foods as their main ingredients. The proposal seeks to ensure that snack food items are lower in fat, sugar and sodium and provide more of the nutrients that children need.
The new proposed standards draw on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, existing voluntary standards already implemented by thousands of schools around the country, and healthy food and beverage offerings already available in the marketplace. Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, there will be a 60 day comment period. This issue will be discussed at the ABA FTRAC meeting February 25-26 in Atlanta.
To view the proposed rule, click here.
Also recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report that analyzed state policies for food and beverages served outside the school lunch line which noted that 39 states already have a state law, regulation or policy in place related to the sale or availability of snack foods and beverages in schools. In many cases, local level (district and school) policies and practices exceeded state requirements or recommendations. USDA's proposal would establish a national baseline of these standards, with the overall goal of improving the health and nutrition of our kids.