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USDA ‘Smart Snacks in School’ plan covers dairy

USDA ‘Smart Snacks in School’ plan covers dairy
USDA opened a public comment period on its new "Smart Snacks in School" proposal to ensure foods offered in vending machines and snack bars include “healthy choices.” Specific to dairy:
• All schools may sell plain lowfat milk, plain or flavored fat-free milk and milk alternatives. Portion sizes of milk vary by the age of students. Elementary schools may sell up to 8-ounce
portions. Middle schools and high schools may sell up to 12-ounce portions.
• Reduced fat cheeses would be exempt from total fat and saturated fat standard, but subject to
the trans fat, calorie, sugar and sodium standards. The exemption for reduced fat cheese is based primarily on the availability of lower fat cheeses that children find palatable and the recognition that reduced fat cheese is a source of calcium, a nutrient of concern, and contributes to overall bone health.
• Flavored and unflavored nonfat and low-fat yogurt with no more than 30 grams of total
sugars per 8 ounce serving are exempt from the sugar standard, but are subject to the calorie,
total fat, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium standards.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools – beyond the federally-supported school meals programs. The public is encouraged to review the proposal and to provide comments and information for consideration by USDA. The text of the proposed rule is available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cga/020113-snacks.pdf. Once the rule is published in the Federal Register, which is expected next week, the public will be able to provide feedback through www.regulations.gov. USDA will seek public comment on the proposal for 60 days.