Is Your Snack a Smart Snack?
This past June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released updated nutrition standards for snacks and drinks served throughout the school building, in vending machines, school stores, snack carts and a la carte lines.
The USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines will go into effect July 1, 2014 and we are working nationwide to assist schools with implementation efforts and ensure a successful roll-out.
As a first step, we have launched a Smart Snacks Product Calculator. This tool takes the guesswork out of evaluating products based on the new federal guidelines. Simply enter the product information, answer a few questions, and determine whether your snack, side or entrée item meets the new USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines.
We worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture while developing this tool to ensure the Smart Snacks Product Calculator meets stringent regulatory requirements. As a result, this calculator can be used to evaluate compliance for the federal regulations.
In addition to the calculator, our Product Navigator now features snack, side, entrée and beverage products that meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines from leading manufacturers. You can use our Product Navigator to browse products that meet the new guidelines. Just look for the Smart Snacks category heading and take a tour to see healthier options on the market today.
It will take a collaborative effort to make Smart Snacks a success within the school building. The great news is that everyone has a role to play and many people can serve as champions to help spread the word and support changes. Better yet, school nutrition professionals, teachers, administrators, parents and coaches can rest assured they have a partner at their side to help implement the new guidelines in their school. Take a look at our Healthy Schools Program resources to get expert advice on transforming your school environment, one vending machine at a time.