What's in and out under new school snack rules

  • Article by: The Associated Press
  • June 27, 2013 - 3:49 PM

The government for the first time is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are healthful. The rule announced Thursday will apply to "a la carte" lines in school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars and any other food sold regularly on campus. It won't apply to fundraisers, after-school concession stands, class parties or foods brought from home.

A separate set of rules already applies to meals in the main lunch line.

Under the new rules, most food sold in school will now be subject to fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits. Snack foods will have to be less than 200 calories and have some nutritional value instead of being mostly empty calories.

Some examples of snacks likely to miss or make the requirements:

  Before the New Standards After the New Standards


Snack Chocolate sandwich cookies      Light popcorn     

Total calories            286                      161          

Empty calories            182                       17          


Snack        Chocolate bar             Granola bar      

Total calories            235                       95          

Empty calories            112                       32          


Snack        Regular cola             Flavored water    

Total calories            136                       0           

Empty calories            126                       0           

Other examples of what's in and what's out under the new guidelines:

What's out                               What's in

Candy                      Baked potato chips

Snack cakes                               Trail mix

Most cookies                            Dried fruits

Most pretzels                              Fruit cups

Most ice cream and ice cream treats                                 Yogurt

Deep-fried, high-fat foods            Baked lower-fat french fries

Greasy pizza Healthier pizzas with whole grain crust

Many juice drinks                100 percent juice drinks

High-calorie sodas                Diet soda (high schools)

High-calorie sports drinks       Diet sports drinks (high schools)

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

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