Competitive Food Nutritional Standards
Competitive foods and beverages are those that are sold to students on school campus, during the school day, outside of and in competition with the federally reimbursable meal programs. Examples of competitive foods and beverages include those sold during the school day in vending machines (that are not reimbursable meals), snack bars, á la carte items sold by the school food service department, or as fundraisers. Sale of a food and/or beverage includes all direct or indirect sales such as cash, credit transactions, tokens, tickets, or donations.
Exceptions to the Competitive Food and Beverage Nutrition Standards
Food and/or beverages sold or served in the following special situations are not required to meet the Competitive Food and Beverage Nutrition Standards:
- Accommodating students with special needs whose Individualized Education PLan indicates the use of a food and/or beverage item of any type for behavior modification (or other suitable need).
- School Nursesor, another school official permitted by local policy to assist school nurses, using a food and/or beverage item of any type during the course of providing health care to individual students.
- Locations students travel to for competitions or other events if a school nutrition program (SNP) does not provide the students with meals as long as the competitive or event location is not an extended area of a school campus.
- Food and/or beverages brought from home.
- Food and/or beverages that parents provide for their own children’s lunches or snacks
- Food and/or beverages that are given to students at no charge. This includes, but is not limited to, food and/or beverages provided for birthday parties or special events.
- Food Sold During the School Day Not Intended for Consumption in Schools.
- Fundraising activities that include the ordering and distribution of food and/or beverages not intended to be consumed during the school day on the school campus. This includes ordering food items that will be picked up a later time in the future. Typically, these food items need further preparation before they can be served. For Example: Cookie dough or frozen sausage.
- Food and/or beverages used as rewards for good behavior or grades is not considered a sale to the student.
More program information can be found at www.squaremeals.org.