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School Snack Rules: New Regulations Require Food Sold In Schools To Be More Healthful

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SCHOOL LUNCH
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The government for the first time is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are healthful. The rule announced Thursday will apply to "a la carte" lines in school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars and any other food sold regularly on campus. It won't apply to fundraisers, after-school concession stands, class parties or foods brought from home.

A separate set of rules already applies to meals in the main lunch line.

Under the new rules, most food sold in school will now be subject to fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits. Snack foods will have to be less than 200 calories and have some nutritional value instead of being mostly empty calories.

Some examples of snacks likely to miss or make the requirements:

Before the New Standards After the New Standards

Snack Chocolate sandwich cookies Light popcorn

Total calories 286 161

Empty calories 182 17

Snack Chocolate bar Granola bar

Total calories 235 95

Empty calories 112 32

Snack Regular cola Flavored water

Total calories 136 0

Empty calories 126 0

Other examples of what's in and what's out under the new guidelines:

What's out What's in

Candy Baked potato chips

Snack cakes Trail mix

Most cookies Dried fruits

Most pretzels Fruit cups

Most ice cream and ice cream treats Yogurt

Deep-fried, high-fat foods Baked lower-fat french fries

Greasy pizza Healthier pizzas with whole grain crust

Many juice drinks 100 percent juice drinks

High-calorie sodas Diet soda (high schools)

High-calorie sports drinks Diet sports drinks (high schools)

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

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