These standards for food and beverages represent minimum standards that local educational agencies, school food authorities and schools will be required to meet. State agencies and/ or local schools would have discretion to establish their own standards for non-program foods should they wish to do so, as long as such standards are consistent with the final minimum standards.
The proposed rules apply to foods sold a la carte, in school stores, snack bars or vending machines.
In the proposed rules there is recognition that many products would not meet these standards under current product formulations and package sizes but could meet the standards with changes to the product packaging or product formulation. There is also recognition that for some products, such as those in which sugar is the primary ingredient, it is unlikely that they could be modified to allow the product to comply with the competitive food standards. Such products would include soft drinks that contain sugar, candy and confections, whole milk, jams, jellies, certain dessert items as well as fruit products that contain added sugars.
Snack foods such as chips and other bagged snack items would be the most impacted by the proposed sodium, calorie and fat standards as well as the requirement that the item contain 50 percent or more whole grains or have its first ingredient be whole grain.
Grain based dessert items such as cookies, snack bars, pastries and cakes would likely be most impacted by the proposed grain, sugar, fat and calorie standards.
Fruit snacks and fruit beverages that have added ingredients would be limited by sugar and calorie limits.
Dairy snack products would be impacted by proposed fat, sugar and sodium standards.
Beverages, other than milk, would be limited by calorie and caffeine standards.
NAMA is preparing comments and encourages members to also submit written comments. The proposed regulations specifically requests comments on the impact of the rule on the U.S. Food industry, including small businesses and on ways that these impacts can be minimized consistent with the purpose of the Child Nutrition Act.
To submit comments electronically from the proposed rule document choose "comment now".
Before officially submitting comments, NAMA urges members to email their comments to Sandy Larson at email@example.com for review.