Feds Crack Down on Schools: Mandates Healthier Snacks

vending machinesNew Federal Rules that were announced last week will require that schools replace unhealthy snacks such as potato chips, doughnuts, and candy bars with that of healthier snacks like baked potato chips, granola bars, and trail mix.

This is the first time that the snack guidelines in school have been overhauled in 3 decades by the U.S Agriculture  Department,, but comes as no surprise as the United States Government  is taking large steps to address the obesity epidemic that is plaguing millions of children of this generation.

School vending machines are typically flourished with all sorts of goodies the kids can buy for snacks, but the new regulations will regulate limits of sugar, salt, and fat contained in any snacks placed in vending machines from here forward. In addition, the new laws mandate that the  healthier snacks provided by the schools also contain 1/2 protein, vegetable, fruit, or whole grains as the  initial ingredient.

Beverages allowed in vending machines will also be under tight scrutiny. Low-calorie beverages, juices, and milks will be provided and flavored waters that contain calories will vanish.

According to the USDA, all of these healthier snacks standards must be put into placed by July 1, 2014. So the new regulations will be enforced for the 2014/2015 school term.

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Secretary of the USDA Tom Vilsack made this statement in lieu of the new healthier snacks laws:

“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Parents and schools work hard to give our youngsters the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, and providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts.”

Childhood obesity is an ongoing problem that affects nearly 18% of all children and youth. These new regulations are one of the  many steps that the US government is taking in order to combat childhood obesity, with the premise of the laws being put into place by the  Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act that was passed in 2010.

The  Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required all food served in schools to be improved and monitored by the USDA. There have been several overhauls to the National School Lunch Program since this act was placed and began implementation in 2012.

Those standards went into effect in July 2012 and are being phased in over a three-year period, according to the USDA.


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Written by Heidi Shepard

Heidi was born and raised in Vero Beach, Florida. At a very young age she discovered her passion for writing, and graduated in 1996 from Florida State University with a major in journalism and minor in Nursing. She is a licensed RN part-time and also works full-time writing for various local health journals and papers. She is a definite asset to Newhealthalert. Not only does her experience and passion show through her keen writing, but her expertise in the medical field enables her to capture the best news topics and subjects found in the health niche.

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