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Smart Snacks In Schools

Smart Snacks in School Standards

The new USDA Snack Standards for schools, which is required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, now ensures students across the country receive nutritious & healthy foods during the school day for lunch & snacks. If you're offering snacks from a vending machine to high school or middle school students, the items for sale in the vending machine must also meet the Smart Snack guidelines approved by the USDA.

USDA's Nutrition Standards for any food sold in schools must meet the following criteria:
  1. Be a whole grain-rich grain product; or
  2. Have the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food; or
  3. Be a combination food that contains at least 1/4 cup of fruit and/or vegetable;
Besides the criteria of standards above, Snack Foods in school from the cafeteria or out of a vending machine, must also meet the following nutrient requirements:
  • Snack Item Calorie Limit: ≤200 calories
  • Snack Item Sodium Limit: ≤200 mg.
  • Snack Item Fat Limit: ≤35% of calories
  • Snack Item Sugar Limit: ≤35% of weight from total sugars
Shop from our Smart Snack Lists below to ensure you're following the USDA regulations for all the snack foods sold in a school cafeteria, at the concession stands, or in a vending machine. More popular Smart Snack vending items include, Simply Chex, BBQ Popchips, Kettlecorn, Nature Valley Crisps, and Welch's Fruit Snacks.

For further support or details regarding the USDA Smart Snacks in School program, please contact our customer support team via phone (855) 845-2935.

Are you serving a Smart Snack compliant item in your school? Check your nutrition labels on each item with the Smart Snack Calculator below provided by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.



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