Strategies that support guideline 3 (provide a quality school meal program and ensure that students have appealing, healthy food and beverage choices offered outside of the school meal program) include:
Promote access to and participation in school meals for all students.
Provide nutritious and appealing school meals that comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and federal nutrition standards for school meals.
Ensure that all foods and beverages sold or served outside of school meal programs are nutritious and appealing.
What are competitive foods?
Competitive foods are foods and beverages that are available outside of the federally reimbursable meal programs. These can be foods that are sold, served, or given to students, such as in classroom celebrations or vending machines.
Where are competitive foods sold?
In addition to the school meal programs, many schools offer other foods and beverages, called competitive foods, in cafeteria à la carte lines, vending machines, school stores, concession stands, fund‐raisers, and classroom parties.
What types of competitive foods are commonly available?
Historically, most competitive foods were high in sugar, fat, and calories, such as chips, candy, soda, and pastries. Beginning in the 2014‐2015 school year, foods and beverages sold outside of the school meal programs during the school day must meet Smart Snacks standards, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy products.