Smart Snacks: Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice in Schools & Home
Updated: Oct 11, 2018
For the teachers and students in the struggle to become healthier and would prefer not give into peer pressure and be junk food eaters, we hope this is a more healthful year for you. Perhaps some standard already in place may offer you some support. Smart Snacks in School refers to the national nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold outside of the federal reimbursable school meal programs during the school day. These items are called “competitive foods” because they can compete with participation in school meal programs.
Since the 2014–2015 school year, all competitive foods and beverages sold during the school day must meet or exceed Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, which include limits on fat, sugar, sodium, and calories. These standards are the minimum requirement for schools, but states and local education agencies can continue to implement stronger nutrition standards for all competitive foods in schools. Georgia chose to adapt the most exemptions to the ruling making our school environment a lot less healthy. In general, the guidelines apply to schools, PTA's and Clubs that:
Coordinate school fundraisers
Manage a school store or snack bar
Sell food during the school day on campus(Applies only during school hours)
Manage school vending machines
Because determining what is healthy is often misleading, the standards offer a few tools to make it easier. Being that fruits and veggies don't come with labels we know that is already a Smart Snack.
See if your snack is listed in the Products section of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Smart Foods Planner (https://foodplanner.healthiergeneration.org/products).
See if your favorite snack meet the standard with the Healthier Generation’s Smart Snacks Product Calculator (https://foodplanner.healthiergeneration.org/calculator).
As a nutrition practice we are work with many children that are struggling with adult chronic conditions such as overweight, insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension and then some. Because every child is not a visible sign of these conditions make the entire environment healthy by making the healthy choice a bit easier. Parents and teachers can also utilize these guideline at home and outside of school sports and social events.
Nibble on Something Healthy!