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Healthier Snacks Are Heading To Schools

Healthier changes are finally coming to school snacks -- the first major overhaul in 30 years.

apple and cheese

Photo: Livin' Spoonful (Flickr)

No longer will high-calorie snacks be available for kids to purchase during the school day.

School snacks are undergoing a healthy makeover — the first of its kind in more than 30 years.

Smart Snacks

Snacks bought and sold during the school day now are subject to strict salt, sugar and fat restrictions and contain more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and protein.

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the plan Wednesday as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Titled “Smart Snacks in School,” the program will go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year, allowing schools time to make the change.

In With The New

The changes include capping the calorie count on snacks at 200, meaning most candy bars won’t make the cut.

(Granola bars, cereal bars, trail mix, 100 percent juice drinks and yogurt are all in.)

Pizzas will be made healthier with whole grains, hamburgers will be lean with whole grain buns, and french fries will be baked instead of fried.

Youth Revolt

On CNN’s morning show, New Day, the anchors laughed at the idea that students would accept these new changes.

As they detailed what was “out” (like potato chips) and what was “in” (like baked chips) CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said, “We’ll see how many kids actually like those.”

“You know what I really want right now? A bag of almonds. Nobody says that. They say, ‘I want a doughnut,’” CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo said.

In related news, 17 percent of children under the age of 19 are considered obese or overweight.

Unofficial Poll: Which would you choose, almonds or a doughnut?

Read More:

  • New U.S. school snack food rules clamp down on calories, fat (Chicago Tribune)
  • What’s in and what’s out under new school snack rules (Washington Post)
  • New federal rules require a better grade of school snacks (with video) (CNN)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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