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Smart Snacks

Smart Snacks Product Calculator

Click to evaluate an item in the Smart Snacks Product Calculator to determine if a product meets the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.

Effective July 1, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a memorandum to inform State agencies and School Food Authorities (SFAs) that USDA will not be providing waivers for Smart Snacks requirements that went into effect on July 1, 2014.

Snack smart. Snack healthy.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act required the USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students outside of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meals on the school campus  during the school day. 

 

USDA’s interim final rule “Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School,” is effective July 1, 2014.  These science-based nutrition standards promote a healthy school environment and apply to all foods sold, such as:

  • A la carte cafeteria sales
  • School stores
  • Snack bars
  • Vending machines
  • Fundraisers

The Texas Department of Agriculture has created and collected resources to aid schools in providing healthy snack options for all Texas students.

Competitive Foods and Fundraisers in Texas

Over the last few months TDA has analyzed the potential impacts of USDA’s Competitive Rule requirements in light of Texas Laws and the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy. For the upcoming school year, SY 2014-2015, schools will be allowed to have unlimited fundraisers as long as the fundraisers adhere to the federal Competitive Rule (i.e. Smart Snacks) requirements.  Food items that do not meet the Competitive Rule requirements must be sold outside of the school day. The following are additional examples of allowable fundraisers that may occur during the school day: 

  • Any non-food items
  • Any food items not meant for consumption on the school campus during the school day (e.g. cookie dough to be prepared at home)
  • Any food item sold after the end of the school day (e.g. 30 minutes after the end of instruction on campus)
  • Food items sold in concession stands after the end of the school day (e.g. 30 minutes after the end of instruction on campus)
  • Any food items that meet the federal Competitive rule requirements

Q&A Regarding Roles and Responsibilities

Minimize

The USDA interim final rule Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 designates responsibilities of contracting entities (CE)1 for maintaining records that ensure compliance with competitive food nutritional standards.  To read the exact requirement per 7 CFR § 210.11(b)(2) Recordkeeping click here.

The following Q&A will help CEs in establishing local procedures to ensure compliance with competitive food nutritional standards and rules. 


Roles

1) I am a CE operating NSLP. Who in my organization is responsible for ensuring compliance with competitive food nutritional standards and rules?

Any department, group or organization at your contracting entity (CE) that is involved in any food sales to students is responsible for following competitive food nutritional standards established by USDA’s Smart Snacks rule and additional Texas competitive food rules.2

As a CE operating NSLP/SBP in Texas, your compliance is demonstrated by maintaining the proper records to show that all foods sold to students meet competitive food nutritional standards.

 

2) Who is responsible for maintaining the records that show I am compliant with USDA’s Smart Snacks rule and additional Texas competitive food rules?

A CE’s Local Education Agency (LEA) is responsible for maintaining records for all competitive food sales not sold by the CE’s School Nutrition Program (SNP).  

A CE’s School Nutrition Program (SNP) is responsible for maintaining records for all competitive foods sold under the auspices of the nonprofit school food service account.

3) What types of competitive food sales fall under the responsibility of the CE’s LEA?

Food sales from non-SNP sources including foods sold through LEA-operated vending machines, school stores, snack bars, school functions/event sales, fundraisers and other venues.

Recordkeeping

4) What types of documents must be kept to demonstrate that a food meets competitive food nutritional standards?

Documents or records that demonstrate that food or beverage items sold meet competitive food nutritional standards include, but are not limited to, receipts, nutrition labels and product specifications or formulation statements.

5) Do I need to maintain these records for all food sales?

No. Only records from food sales that occur on the school campus during the school day to students must be maintained to demonstrate compliance with competitive food nutritional standards. After‐school events (occurring 30 minutes after the official end of the school day up until midnight), off‐campus events, and non‐food based sales are not affected by these rules.

Monitoring and Compliance

6) Who will monitor compliance with USDA’s Smart Snacks rule and additional Texas competitive food rules?

TDA will monitor a CE’s compliance with all competitive food nutritional standards and rules during an Administrative Review.  This will include a review of a CE’s records from both SNP and non-SNP food sales as part of the State Agency Administrative Review.

A CE is responsible for ongoing monitoring of all their competitive food sales to ensure that competitive food nutritional standards and rules are followed.

Technical Assistance and Support

7) I am not sure if the foods I want to sell to students meet competitive food standards. Where can I go for help?

Section 20. Competitive Food Nutritional Standards of the Administrator’s Reference Manual available at http://squaremeals.org/Programs/NationalSchoolLunchProgram/NSLPPolicyamp;ARM.aspx

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Smart Snacks Food Calculator available at http://tools.healthiergeneration.org/calc/calculator/

Additional guidance, tools and resources from Squaremeals.org

and from USDA available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks

Or call your regional ESC Child Nutrition Team 


1
In Texas, there is no distinction between local education agency (LEA) and school food authority (SFA).  Both terms are synonymous and fall under the jurisdiction of the entity that has contracted with TDA to administer the school nutrition program (the CE).

2 Texas-specific competitive food rules apply only to public, private and charter schools and not to RCCIs. RCCIs are only required to follow the USDA Smart Snacks rule.


Actual requirement per 7 CFR § 210.11(b)(2)

Recordkeeping.  The local educational agency is responsible for the maintenance of records that document compliance with the nutrition  standards for all competitive food available for sale to students in areas under its jurisdiction that are outside of the control of the school food authority responsible for the service of reimbursable school meals. In addition, the local educational agency is responsible for ensuring that organizations designated as responsible for food service at the various venues in the schools maintain records in order to ensure and document compliance with the nutrition requirements for the foods and beverages sold to students at these venues during the school day as required by this section. The school food authority is responsible for maintaining records documenting compliance with these for foods sold under the auspices of the nonprofit school food service. At a minimum, records must include receipts, nutrition labels and/or product specifications for the competitive food available for sale to students.

Competitive Foods Brochure  Brochure Outlines Competitive Foods Regulations
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