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Greetings Good Food Force! This week we're all about SMART SNACKS! Check out a summary of exciting updates to snacks in schools, as well as some tips on great options you can make at home. Please read and share! 

1. THE HOT LINE: Let's get excited about #SmartSnacks!

We've been talking a lot about healthy changes to school meals, and now the new Smart Snack Standards have also gone into effect! 

The changes will help ensure that snacks and beverages sold in 
schools meet basic healthy standards, while still giving schools flexibility to choose from a wide variety of options. Check out some great facts from our friends at the Center for Science in the Public Interest explaining why the new standards such a big deal! 

  • A study published in Pediatrics found that children and teens living in states with strong school snack laws gained less weight over a three-year period than those living in states without policies. (1)
  • Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods’ research found that school districts that have healthier snack food and beverage policies saw their total food service revenues either increase or remain steady after standards were put in place. (2) 
  • Many schools find they can raise money without selling unhealthy food and sugary beverages. There are many examples of practical and profitable healthy school fundraising approaches. 
Schools and parents need to support one another in teaching kids healthy habits.

In short, the new standards cover the amount of sugar, fats, sodium, grains, calories and caffeine in foods sold outside the meal program (for example, in à la carte lines, snack bars, student stores, vending machines, etc.). Check out a summary of specific changes on the USDA website.

Helpful resources: 

2. MORNING STRETCH: Join the next #FoodFri Tweetchat: We're going #BacktoSchool!This year as kids go back to school, school food will be getting even healthier. Smart Snacks went into effectJuly 1st, updating the national nutrition standards for vending, school stores and a la carte options in school cafeterias. Talk about GREAT news!

Join @MomsRising and @CSPI for this week's #FoodFri tweetchat TODAY (Friday) at 1pm ET to learn more about the changes and how they will benefit all schoolchildren!

3. SALAD BAR: Yummy and healthy snack ideas!

Check out these healthy snack ideas from our friends atBag the Junk! They're a great alternative to the typical french fries, cookies and chicken fingers sold in many school cafeteria a la carte lines.

  • Hardboiled egg - The humble egg is a protein powerhouse! At only 75 calories, one hard-boiled egg packs in 6 grams of lean protein and is a good source Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Selenium, and Phosphorus.
  • Pita chips & hummus – A great snack on the go, whole wheat pita chips and hummus provide a good mix of whole grains and protein. Hummus is very low in Cholesterol and is a good source of essential nutrients like Dietary Fiber, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus Copper, and Manganese.
  • Trail mix – Mix together your favorite dried fruit and nuts (and maybe even some chocolate chips!) for a filling, hearty snack that is high in fiber and protein.
  • Apples – Fruit, its nature’s candy! Apples are sweet, tasty, and easy to eat on the go. Pair them with your favorite nut butter for an added protein boost.
  • Baby carrots – Crunchy, sweet and a great source of Vitamin A and fiber, baby carrots are the perfect veggie snack on the go.
  • Unsalted nuts – Nuts are a great source of protein and fiber, and have a nice crunchy texture. While they have no cholesterol, they are high in healthy fats so enjoy in moderation.

Please share your blog posts, back to school tips, jokes and more! We're eager to profile the great work all of YOU are doing in future updates! Send content to

We're going to close out with this funny bit of back-to-school humor: Q. What is yellow on the outside and gray on the inside? A. A school bus full of elephants!

Have a great week! 

- Karen, Migdalia, Monifa, Donna, Dream and the rest of the Food Team!


(1) Taber DR, Chriqui JF, Perna FM, Powell LM, Chaloupka FJ. “Weight status among adolescents in states that govern competitive food nutrition content.” Pediatrics 2012:130;437-444.
(2) standards-for-snack-and-a-la-carte-foods-and-beverages-sold-in-schools

Good Food Force (GFF) Volunteers are real-life superheroes who take action in their schools and communities, and/or on their blogs and online networks, to get the word out about healthy school foods, junk food marketing to kids, and strategies that are working to reduce childhood obesity. Together with staff, they help advocate for healthier kids and families. Help spread the word! Contact us:


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