Smart Snacks In School

Nutrition Standards for Snack Foods

Foods sold in school must:

  • Be a "whole grain-rich" grain product; or
  • Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product or a protein food; or
  • Be a combination food that contains at least 1/4 cup of fruit and or vegetable; or
  • Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber).

Foods must also meet several nutrient requirements:Calories

Calorie limits:

  • Snack items: ≤ 200 calories
  • Entree items: ≤ 350 calories

Sodium limits:

  • Snack items: ≤ 230 mg**
  • Entree items: ≤ 480 mg

Fat limits:

  • Total fat: ≤ 35% of calories
  • Saturated fat: ≤ 10% of calories
  • Trans fat: zero grams

Sugar limit:

  • ≤ 35% of weight from total sugars in food

Healthy Snack Calculators

Children often need snacks to help supplement the meals throughout the day. It is essential to choose healthy snacks that added the much needed nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, to their diets. Making smart snack choices is a great way to meet daily nutrient requirements that are sometimes missed at meal times. Is your snack a Smart Snack? Take the guesswork out of nutrition guidelines, and enter all required information to determine whether your food item meets the new USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines; click on the image below.