The new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Smart Snacks in School rule will go into effect during the 2014-2015 school year. Raising the nutritional standards to ensure that snack foods and beverages are healthy, this mandate is long overdue. Research by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project shows most U.S. secondary schools do not offer the option of fruits and vegetables in stores, snack bars, or vending machines.
The highlights of the USDA Smart Snacks in School rule as outline by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution include
• Snacks need to be reasonable, kid-sized portions. They generally must have fewer than 200 calories, and be low in fat, sodium, and sugar. At a minimum, these foods must fit into these categories:
o Whole grain
• Food fundraisers are still an option. The rule covers foods and beverages usually available to students. If parents, teachers, and students want occasionally to sell items that depart from the nutritional standards as fundraisers, state and local leaders can allow that. Many schools, however, find they can make just as much money, if not more, with nonfood campaigns.
• The rule only applies to the “school day.” The standards pertain to all foods sold before, during, or up to 30 minutes after the school day. They do not apply to evening or weekend activities such as football games or band concerts.
This school year, make you and your child's whole body happy - stick to non-processed, organic, vitamin-rich foods.