WASHINGTON (AP) — Kids, your days of skipping those healthier school lunches and filling up on cookies from the vending machine are numbered. The government is onto you. For the first time, the Agriculture Department is telling schools what sorts of snacks they can sell.
The new restrictions fill a gap in nutrition rules that allowed many students to load up on fat, sugar and salt despite the existing guidelines for healthy meals. That doesn’t mean schools will be limited to doling out broccoli and brussels sprouts. Snacks that still make the grade include granola bars, low-fat tortilla chips, fruit cups and 100 percent fruit juice. And high school students can buy diet versions of soda, sports drinks and iced tea.
But say goodbye to some beloved school standbys, such as doughy pretzels, chocolate chip cookies and those little ice cream cups with their own spoons. Some may survive in low-fat or whole wheat versions. The idea is to weed out junk food and replace it with something with nutritional merit.