The word’s out: Starting July 1, 2014, all US schools that get assistance from the National School Lunch Program are required to comply with USDA “Smart Snacks in School” rules for food and beverages.
Part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the rules require schools to serve snacks with more dairy, whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables. They also set limits on calories, fat, sugar and sodium in snacks and beverages sold during school hours in vending machines, student stores and at fundraisers.
Fresh Picks Café is already complying with USDA beverage rules by offering a variety of Smart Snacks-standard drinks in school cafeterias. These include 100% fruit or vegetable juice, unflavored low fat milk and zero calorie sparkling beverages to name a few.
USDA beverage standards vary for elementary, middle and high school students. The USDA provides a fact sheet with beverage options on its website, which you can download here.
Your Fresh Picks Café district manager or corporate resources director will be in touch soon with information to help you meet Smart Snacks in Schools beverage guidelines. This includes information on nutrition standards, reporting guidelines, and tips on using the Smart Snacks Calculator and other USDA resources to ensure your compliance. Visit the USDA website for more resources.