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LA Smart Snacks

Join the American Heart Association in advocating for healthy snacks in Louisiana's public schools.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q: What bill does the American Heart Association ask the Louisiana Legislature to support? 

A: During the 2017 legislative session, the American Heart Association asks Louisiana legislators to support House Bill 208 by Rep. Stephen Carter. The bill would update the Louisiana nutrition standards of competitive foods only to match the USDA competitive food nutrition standards and provides for exemptions. It also would change the definition of a school day to mean 12:01 AM until 30 minutes after the end of the instructional day. Why? To include more time a student may be on campus! 

Q: What are competitive foods? 

A: Competitive foods are any food or beverage sold or available in schools outside of federally reimbursable school meal programs. They're foods and drinks that compete with the federal breakfast and lunch meals. 

Q: What changes could we see to snacks available or sold in schools?

A: Louisiana currently does not have standards for saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and caffeine. House Bill 208 would add the following standards:

  • <10% calories from saturated fat as served;
  • Zero grams of trans fat as served (<0.5g per portion);
  • <200 mg sodium per item as served, including any added accompaniments for snack items and side dishes; 
  • <480 mg sodium per item as served, including any added accompaniments for entree items; and  
  • Foods and beverages must be caffeine-free with the exemption of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances for elementary and middle school students. Foods and beverages may contain caffeine for high school students.

The bill also would strengthen nutrition standards for sugar, juice, milk and milk alternatives, and other beverages. Read more here (pdf).

Additional Resources:

A Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools (pdf) 

Smart Snack Financial Impact Study (pdf)

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