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Competitive Foods

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Nebraska Competitive Food Policy

In December 2010, Congress enacted the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which requires the development of federal nutrition standards for all competitive foods sold in schools. Competitive foods and beverages are widely available in schools. State and
local education agencies have the ability to set rules for competitive foods that are more stringent than federal regulations. The Nebraska Competitive Food Policy is designed to assure healthy foods/meals for children are provided during the school day. Schools who participate in the NSLP and SBP are required to adhere to the following:

  • No food or beverages can be sold to children anywhere on school premises beginning one half hour before breakfast and/or lunch service until one half hour after meal service unless all proceeds earned during these time periods go to the school nutrition program.
  • No other program or club can sell foods/beverages during times that overlap (compete) with the meal service offered by the school lunch/breakfast programs.
  • If a vending machine, not operated by the school nutrition program, is open during the meal service period, the profit during that period must go to the school nutrition program.
  • All foods sold during the school day will need to meet the nutrition standards as outlined in the Smart Snacks guidance. The Smart Snacks in Schools regulation applies to foods sold a la carte, in the school store and vending machines.
  • There are no requirements for food/beverages sold during non-school hours for example weekends and evenings.
  • The list of “Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value” has been replaced by the Smart Snack guidelines.

Smart Snacks in Schools

USDA released updated nutrition standards for snacks and drinks served throughout the school building, in vending machines, school stores, snack carts and a la carte lines. The guidelines go into effect July 1, 2014. These new guidelines will replace the current Competitive Foods guidance.

Smart Snack Graphic