USDA Policy Targets Vending Machine Snacks In Schools

School vending machines are getting a facelift – say goodbye to the candy bars and hello to dried fruit and granola. Under the United States’ plan to impose nutritional guidelines for sodas, snacks and other foods sold outside the regular meals.

Due to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposal, which is a part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, schools would have to reduce the number of unhealthy foods sold away from federal school meals. It said vending machine snacks would be limited to 200 calories or less and need to meet other nutritional rules like limits on sugar and fat.

A year ago, the government revamped its nutritional standards for its school breakfasts and lunches in order to reduce the number of obese children. Parents, even before these standards had been changed, were concerned about food outside the meals program being cancelled. According to the proposal, states will make the call about bake sales and other foods outside the meals programs.

Tom Vilsack, agriculture secretary, said teachers and parents work hard to make sure their kids have healthy eating habits in their lives and the efforts they make should be continued when they go to school. He said good nutrition is the footing for both academic success and good health. This proposal does not include food that is in bagged lunches. It does not apply to food that is sold from concessions stands when school is over or that children bring for special events or birthdays.

The rules state that foods that are sold by the school but not provided in the regular meal program must meet the lunch fare’s nutritional guidelines. Margo Wootan, Center for Science in the Public Interest’s nutrition policy director, said the news is good for people who want junk food out of the schools and vending machines.

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Posted by on Feb 4 2013. Filed under Health, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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