The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Obama administration to release final rule on school snack foods


The Agriculture Department’s Food and Nutrition Service today will release the final rule on what foods can be sold in schools under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Schools will have a full year to comply with the rules, USDA officials said in a briefing late Wednesday.

According to a graphic released by USDA, chocolate sandwich cookies, fruit-flavored candies, doughnuts, chocolate bars and regular sodas will no longer be sold in schools, while peanuts, light popcorn, low-fat tortilla chips, granola bars, fruit cups and water will be allowed.

The rules will apply to alternative food lines and to vending machines in the nation’s 100,000 elementary, middle and high schools that participate in the federal school lunch program. About 99 percent of public schools and half the nation’s private schools take part.

The new standards will be basically the same as those applied to school meals and represent the last of the major rules under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The rules will not affect school birthday parties, bake sales or after school events, the officials said.

USDA will initially focus on helping schools meet the standards rather than on how to enforce the rules. States and localities that have higher standards than the federal rules can maintain those standards.

The full rule will be available on the Federal Register later today.