Support Healthier Snacks and Beverages in Schools

As a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids’ Act passed in 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated the nutrition standards for snacks and beverages ("competitive foods") sold in schools. This applies to vending machines, a la carte sales in the cafeteria, school stores, and some fundraisers.

The previous standards for foods sold outside the school meal program were 30 years out of date and did not address calories, saturated and trans fats, salt, and sugars which are key public health concerns for child nutrition and obesity.

During the past decade, many states and school districts have adopted policies setting school nutrition standards. The new national standards will ensure that students in all states and districts have access to healthy options. Local or state policies may go beyond the national standard.

The new policy is called an "interim final rule," however it has the effect of a final regulation (interim means that USDA still has the ability to make technical corrections if needed). The updated standards became effective July 1, 2014.

Schools need support from parents, health professionals, and other community members to successfully implement Smart Snacks in Schools. Below are resources and ideas for school officials, parents, teachers, and students to help implement the updated school snack and beverage standards.

Fact Sheets, Infographics, & Reports

Implementation Resources

General / Background

Cost/Financial Implications

State & Local Policies + Success Stories

Healthy Fundraisers

Other School Foods Not Covered by Smart Snacks

If you have any questions or have success stories to share, please email us at

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