Snacking between regular meals can be a great source for providing extra calories for growing 

children. It is important for parents and caregivers to regulate whether a child's snacking is 

nourishing their bodies for necessary day to day activity or if those snacks are becoming a 

source of excess calories and in turn contributing to weight gain and childhood obesity.

Monitor where children are snacking and what snacks they are choosing to eat throughout the 


With normal breakfast and lunch consumption, school age children should need nothing more

 than one mid-morning/mid-afternoon milk or snack to provide them with the energy they 

need during the school day.

Snacks should be given at least 2 hours prior to lunch so it does not interfere with the 

children’s meals.

Avoid snacks that are high in calories, fat, and sugar.

In a “Nutshell” Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold In Schools

Interim Final Rule (Smart Snacks)

School Year 2015-2016

The Smart Snacks interim final rule, which establishes science-based nutrition guidelines for

competitive foods sold on the school campus during the school day, became effective 

July 1, 2014.

Foods and beverages sold in schools must now meet both the general standards and the 

nutrient standards outlined in the interim final rule if they do not qualify for an exemption.

Foods  General Standards

Entrées, snacks, and sides must meet one of the following criteria:

 Be a whole grain-rich product

 Have a fruit, vegetable, dairy product, or protein food (meat, beans, poultry, etc.) as the first


 Be a combination food with at least ¼ cup fruit and/or vegetable

 Contain 10% of the Daily Value of calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber (only allowable

through June 30, 2016)

Nutrient Standards

Nutrient standards should be assessed for the serving size available for purchase and include 

all accompaniments. Entrées, snacks, and sides must meet all of the following standards:

 Calories

o Entrée: ≤350 calories

o Snack or side: ≤200 calories

 Fat

o ≤35% of total calories from fat

 Exemptions: reduced-fat cheese, part-skim mozzarella, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters,

dried fruit with nuts or seeds (with no added nutritive sweeteners or fat), and seafood with

no added fat

o <10% of total calories from saturated fat

 Exemptions: reduced-fat cheese, part-skim mozzarella, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters,

dried fruit with nuts or seeds (with no added nutritive sweeteners or fat), and seafood with

no added fat

o 0 g of trans fat (<0.5 g)

 Sodium

o Entrée: ≤480 mg

o Snack or side:

 ≤230 mg (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2016)

 ≤200 mg (beginning July 1, 2016)

 Sugar

o ≤35% of weight from total sugar

 Exemptions: dried/dehydrated fruits or vegetables without added nutritive sweeteners,

dried fruits with nutritive sweeteners for processing and/or palatability, and dried fruit with

only nuts/seed (no added nutritive sweeteners or fat)

Exemptions from general and nutrient standards

The following items are exempt from all of the general and nutrient standards:

 An entrée the day of and the day after it is served as part of a reimbursable meal

 Fresh, canned, and frozen fruits with no added ingredients except water or packed in 100%

juice, extra light syrup, or light syrup

 Fresh, canned, and frozen vegetables with no added ingredients except water or a small

amount of sugar for processing purposes


A product or dish must meet one of the following standards to qualify as an entrée under 

Smart Snacks:

 A combination food of meat/meat alternate and whole grain-rich grain

 A combination food of meat/meat alternate and vegetable or fruit

 A meat/meat alternate alone (excludes yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters, and 

meat snacks [e.g. beef jerky])

 A breakfast entrée defined by the menu planner and served as part of the School Breakfast 


If a product does not meet any of the qualifications for an entrée, it must be evaluated against

 the nutrient standards for a snack/side.


Combination foods: foods that contain more than one component representing more than one

 of the recommended foods groups (fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, and grains.)

Competitive foods: all foods and beverages sold to students on the school campus during the

 school day, other than reimbursable meals.

School campus: all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are 

accessible to students during the school day.

School day: the period from the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the

 instructional school day.


The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction allows two fundraiser exemptions per student organization per school per school year. A fundraiser cannot exceed two consecutive weeks.

 An exempt fundraiser may sell foods and beverages that are not allowable under the Smart 

Snacks rule but may not compete directly with the sale of reimbursable meals.

The Smart Snacks standards represent the minimum standards and the exemption policy

 represents the maximum exemptions allowed; school food authorities (SFAs) have the 

discretion to establish additional restrictions on competitive foods and further limit

 fundraiser exemptions through their Local School Wellness Policy if they are consistent with 

Federal requirements.

Smart Snacks Product Calculator

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation created a Smart Snacks Product Calculator to assist

 SFAs in determining whether a product meets the general and nutrient standards outlined 

in the Smart Snacks interim final rule. After a determination is made, an informational sheet 

can be printed and maintained as documentation. The calculator can be found at

For more information and updates, visit:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

January 2016