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Chef Solus gives USDA two thumbs up on Snack Nutrition Standards

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 by Maggie LaBarbera
  • The USDA held true to their commitment to help kids eat healthier at school.  Chef Solus We are so happy to give the USDA a Chef Solus Two Thumbs Up Award!  This is a huge win for all children across America and families.

  • Great job.

  •  If you have not seen the new snack standards, here is a quick summary.

Any food sold in schools must*:

  • Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product; or
  • Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food; or
  • Be a combination food that contains at least 1/⁄4 cup of fruit and/or vegetable; or
  • Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber).*

Foods must also meet several nutrient requirements:

Calorie limits:

  • Snack items: ≤ 200 calories Entrée items: ≤ 350 calories

Sodium limits:

  • Snack items: ≤ 230 mg** Entrée items: ≤ 480 mg

Fat limits:

  • Total fat: ≤35% of calories Saturated fat: < 10% of calories Trans fat: zero grams

Sugar limit:

  • ≤ 35% of weight from total sugars in foods 


Nutrition Standards for Beverages

All schools may sell:

  • Plain water (with or without carbonation)
  • Unflavored low fat milk
  • Unflavored or flavored fat free milk and milk alternatives permitted by NSLP/SBP
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juice and
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juice diluted with water (with or without carbonation), and no added sweeteners.

Elementary schools may sell up to 8-ounce portions, while middle schools and high schools may sell up to 12-ounce portions of milk and juice. There is no portion size limit for plain water.


Beyond this, the standards allow additional “no calorie” and “lower calorie” beverage options for high school students.

  • No more than 20-ounce portions of
  • Calorie-free, flavored water (with or without carbonation); and
  • Other flavored and/or carbonated beverages that are labeled to contain < 5 calories per 8 fluid ounces or ≤
  • 10 calories per 20 fluid ounces.
  • No more than 12-ounce portions of
  • Beverages with ≤ 40 calories per 8 fluid ounces, or ≤ 60 calories per 12 fluid ounces.

Other Requirements


  • The sale of food items that meet nutrition requirements at fundraisers are not limited in any way under the standards.
  • The standards do not apply during non-school hours, on weekends and at off-campus fundraising events.
  • The standards provide a special exemption for infrequent fundraisers that do not meet the nutrition standards. State agencies may determine the frequency with which fundraising activities take place that allow the sale of food and beverage items that do not meet the nutrition standards.


  • Accompaniments such as cream cheese, salad dressing and butter must be included in the nutrient profile as part of the food item sold.
  • This helps control the amount of calories, fat, sugar and sodium added to foods by accompaniments, which can be significant. 






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