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Breaking News: Snacks and Drinks in Schools Nutrition Standards Updated

 

After more than 30 years with no updates, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued an update to the nutrition standards for school snack food and beverages.  The updates will move schools to provide healthy vending machine choices, a la carte items, and healthy choices in other places where foods and beverages are sold outside of the school meals program.                                       

The new standards include requiring healthier foods, including more whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and leaner protein.  Food items will be required to be lower in fat, sugar, and sodium and provide more nutrients that kids need.  The plan allows for variation by age group for certain factors, such as portion size and caffeine comment, and allows for parents to send homemade treats and allows for schools to have fundraisers and bake sales.  Foods sold at after school sporting events will not be affected by the new standards.

Implementation of the standards will have to be in effect for the 2014 – 2015 school year, so schools will have a year to work on their implementation plans.  The new updates also allow for schools and communities with stronger standards to maintain their own policies.

You’re the Cure advocate, Diana Craft, had this to say about the new standards:

“I am happy to see the USDA take this step for all our kids.  And it is good to see that as an advocate our voices were heard.  Now we all need to work together to make sure this is implemented in our schools.”

What are your thoughts on the new nutrition standards for snack foods and drinks in schools?  Do you think they are strong enough?  Too strong?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

To read more about the USDA’s new nutrition standards for school snack food and beverages, you can visit their website here.

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