The new Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards will go into effective July 1, 2014. This guidance from U.S. Department of Agriculture provides updated nutrition standards to all foods and beverages sold across the entire school campus, to students during the school day, outside of the school meals programs. This includes a la carte, school stores, vending machines, snack carts, and fundraising. The “school day” is defined as midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day.
Ever since Sodexo’s alignment with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s healthier snack and beverage guidelines, Sodexo Food Service has taken a proactive role in managing the snacks and beverages we serve, as well as reviewing menu items to ensure we are fully compliant with these nutrition standards.You can expect that we will be encouraging students to consume a more balanced meal with healthy sides such as fruits and vegetables to compliment a la cart entrees.
Probably of greatest concern to schools across the country is the impact Smart Snacks in Schools will have on food-related fundraisers, after school functions and classroom celebrations. First, it is important to emphasize the time that this ruling is in effect. If your school day ends at 2:30 p.m., then the nutrition standards only extend to 30 minutes after the end of the school day or 3 p.m. With regards to fundraisers, the foods and beverages sold to students must meet the Smart Snacks nutrition standards if they are selling the item during the school day. Collecting orders for a fundraiser would not be affected.
It has become a recognized fact that students who are well nourished are also better prepared to learn. By implementing nutrition standards throughout all corners of the school building, we can enhance the learning environment and contribute to the overall health and well-being of the students. Our district is fully prepared to implement these nutrition standards. Our Sodexo team welcomes the opportunity to speak with you more about the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, as well as share how we are adjusting, if at all, the food service program to be compliant with this ruling. We know that as we all work together to find solutions during this change process that we can be successful.
For additional information or questions, please contact the food service department. Please see the question and answers listed below for additional information.
Diane M Bucknum MS, RDN, LDN
Manager of Food Services