Smart Snacks Standards are a Federal requirement for all foods sold outside the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Programs. These standards apply to all locations where foods and beverages are sold to students during the school day, which may include, but are not limited to, a la carte options in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and snack or food trucks. In addition, per the Wellness Policy, these standards apply to all food available to students for in-school celebrations.
To qualify as a Smart Snack, a snack or entrée must first meet the general nutrition standards:
• Be a grain product that contains 50 percent or more whole grains by weight (have a whole grain as the first ingredient); or
• Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy food, or a protein food; or
• Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable (for example, ¼ cup of raisins with enriched pretzels); and
• The food must meet the following nutrient standards for calories, sodium, fats, and total sugars:
|Calories||200 calories or less||350 calories or less|
|Sodium||200mg or less||480mg or less|
|Total Fat||35% of calories or less|
|Saturated Fat||10% of calories or less|
|Total Sugars||35% by weight or less|
How Can I Tell If My Snack Meets The Smart Snacks Standards?
The USDA’s Tools for Schools: Focusing on Smart Snacks website and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation provide resources to assist schools, parents, and teachers with identifying food items that meet the Smart Snacks standards.
Smart Snacks Guide[PDF]
The Healthier Generation’s Smart Snack Product Calculator takes the guesswork out of identifying qualifying items.