The New Texas Public School Nutrition Policy and Federal Smart Snack Guidelines
More than 35% of Texas schoolchildren are considered overweight or obese. Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) cites studies showing that these dietary problems often lead to more severe health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, asthma, and certain cancers. To help address these issues, TDA created the new policy to promote a healthier environment in our public schools. Hubbard ISD School Nutrition Department has implemented the guidelines of the new Texas Public School Nutrition Policy as mandated by TDA into its breakfast, lunch, and after school snack programs.
July 1, 2014, federal Smart Snack guidelines took effect across the United States. These science-based nutrition standards apply to all foods sold at school, such as: a la carte cafeteria sales, schools stores, vending machines, and fundraisers. Fundraiser items that are not compliant with the Smart Snack guidelines can still be sold and distributed, but only outside of the school day. Smart Snack guidelines define the school day as starting at midnight and ending 30 minutes after school.
To determine if an item meets the Smart Snacks nutrition guidelines, please click here.
The new Texas Public School Nutrition Policy still prohibits the use of fryers and the sale of soft drinks in our schools. In addition, TDA implemented a statewide standard that restricts the time and location that competitive foods may be sold to students based on grade level - even if the food or beverage meets the Smart Snack guidelines. Competitive foods are defined as any food or beverage that is not provided by school food service. They are not allowed to be sold to elementary students anytime, anywhere on school premises until after the end of the last scheduled class. Competitive food sales are also not allowed anywhere on middle school premises from 30 minutes before to 30 minutes after meal periods. High schools are restricted from selling competitive foods during meal periods in areas where reimbursable meals are served or consumed.
To learn more about the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy, please visit the TDA website at squaremeals.org