Elementary & Middle School Food Restrictions per California Department of Education, Nutrition Services

General Requirements

An elementary school contains no grade higher than grade 6. A middle/junior high school contains grades 7 or 8.

Food restrictions are effective from midnight to one-half hour after the end of the official school day.

The food restrictions apply to all foods sold to pupils by all entities.

Sold means the exchange of food for money, coupons, vouchers, or order forms, when any part of the exchange occurs on a school campus.

Groups or individuals selling food/beverages to students must keep their own records as proof of compliance.

Compliant foods must meet one of the following general food standards:

  • Must be a fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, or whole grain item* (or have one of these as a first ingredient), OR
  • Be a combination food containing at least 1/4 cup fruit or vegetable

AND must meet the following nutrition standards:

  • ≤ 35% calories from fat (except nuts, seeds, reduced-fat cheese or part skim mozzarella, dried fruit and nut/seed combo, fruit, non-fried vegetables, seafood), and
  • < 10% calories from saturated fat (except nuts, seeds, reduced-fat cheese or part skim mozzarella, dried fruit and nut/seed combo), and
  • ≤ 35% sugar by weight (except fruit**, non fried vegetables, dried fruit and nut/seed combo), and
  • < 0.5 grams trans fat per serving (no exceptions), and
  • ≤ 200 mg sodium per item/container (no exceptions), and
  • ≤ 200 calories per item/container (no exceptions)

Paired foods:

  • If exempt food(s) are combined with nonexempt food(s) or added fat/sugar they must meet ALL nutrition standards above.
  • If two foods exempt from one or more of the nutrition standards are paired together and sold as a single item, the item must meet for trans fat, sodium, and calories.

Middle/Jr. High ONLY - “Entrée” foods must be intended as the main dish and be a:

  • Meat/meat alternate and whole grain rich food, or
  • Meat/meat alternate and fruit or non-fried vegetable, or
  • Meat/meat alternate alone (cannot be yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds, or meat snacks = these are considered a “snack” food).

AND

A competitive entrée sold by District/School Food Service the day of or the day after it appears on the reimbursable meal program menu must be:

  • ≤ 400 calories, and
  • ≤ 35% calories from fat
  • < 0.5 grams trans fat per serving

A competitive entrée sold by Food Service if NOT on the menu the day of or day after or any other entity (PTA, student organization, etc.) must meet one of the following general food standards:

  • Be a fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, or whole grain item (or have one of these as the first ingredient), or
  • Be a combination food containing at least ¼ cup fruit or vegetable

AND meet the following nutrition standards:

  • ≤ 35% calories from fat, and
  • < 10% calories from saturated fat, and
  • ≤ 35% sugar by weight, and
  • < 5 grams trans fat per serving, and
  • ≤ 480 milligrams sodium, and
  • ≤ 350 calories

* A whole grain item contains:

  • The statement “Diets rich in whole grain foods… and low in total fat… may help reduce the risk of heart disease…,” or
  • A whole grain as the first ingredient, or
  • A combination of whole grain ingredients comprising at least 51% of the total grain weight (manufacturer must verify), or
  • At least 51% whole grain by weight.

** Dried blueberries cranberries, cherries, tropical fruit, chopped dates, or chopped figs that contain added sugar are exempt from fat and sugar standards. Canned fruit in 100% juice only.

Non-compliant foods may be sold from one-half hour after school.

Beverages that comply with the restrictions are:

glass of milkCompliant beverages:

1. Fruit or Vegetable juice:

  1. ≥ 50% juice and
  2. No added sweeteners
  3. ≤ 8 fl. oz. serving size for elementary, ≤ 12 fl. oz. serving size for middle

2. Milk:

  1. Cow’s or goat’s milk, and
  2. 1% (unflavored), nonfat (flavored, unflavored), and
  3. Contains Vitamins A & D, and
  4. ≥ 25% of the calcium Daily Value per 8 fl. oz., and
  5. ≤ 28 grams of total sugar per 8 fl. oz.
  6. ≤ 8 fl. oz. serving size for elementary, ≤ 12 fl. oz. serving size for middle

3. Non-dairy milk:

    a.  Nutritionally equivalent to milk (see 7 CFR10(d)(3), 220.8(i)(3)), must contain per 8 fl. oz.:

  • ≥ 276 mg calcium
  • ≥ 8 g protein
  • ≥ 500 IU Vit A
  • ≥ 100 IU Vit D
  • ≥ 24 mg magnesium
  • ≥ 222 mg phosphorus
  • ≥ 349 mg potassium
  • ≥ 44 mg riboflavin
  • ≥ 1 mcg Vit B12, and

   b.  ≤ 28 grams of total sugar per 8 fl. oz., and

   c.  ≤ 5 grams fat per 8 fl. oz.

   d. ≤ 8 fl. oz. serving size for elementary, ≤ 12 fl. oz. serving size for middle

4.  Water:

  1. No added sweeteners
  2. No serving size

All beverages must be caffeine-free (trace amounts are allowable).

Foods Sold by Elementary School Organizations

Student organization is defined as a group of students that are NOT associated with the curricula or academics of the school or district.

Effective from midnight to one-half hour after the end of the official school day.

Student organization sales must comply with all food and beverage standards AND all of the following:

  1. Only one food or beverage item per sale.
  2. The food or beverage item must be pre-approved by the governing board of the school district.
  3. The sale must occur after the last lunch period has ended.
  4. The food or beverage item cannot be prepared on campus.
  5. Each school is allowed four sales per year.
  6. The food or beverage item cannot be the same item sold in the food service program at that school during the same school day.

Foods Sold by Middle/High School Organizations

Student organization is defined as a group of students that are NOT associated with the curricula or academics of the school or district.

Effective from midnight to one-half hour after the end of the official school day.

Student organization sales must comply with all food and beverage standards AND all of the following:

  1. Up to three categories of foods or beverages may be sold each day (e.g., chips, sandwiches, juices, etc.).
  2. Food or beverage item(s) must be pre-approved by the governing board of the school district.
  3. Only one student organization is allowed to sell each day.
  4. Food(s) or beverage(s) cannot be prepared on campus.
  5. The food or beverage categories sold cannot be the same as the categories sold in the food service program at that school during the same school day.

In addition to one student organization sale each day, any and all student organizations may sell on the same four designated days per year. School administration may set these dates.

References

For Elementary School Food and Beverage Restrictions: Education Code sections 49430, 49431, 49431.5, 49431.7; California Code of Regulations sections 15575, 15576, 15577, 15578.

For Middle/High School Food and Beverage Restrictions: Education Code sections 49430, 49431, 49431.2, 49431.5, 49431.7; California Code of Regulations sections 15575, 15576, 15577, 15578.

For Elementary School Organizations California Code of Regulations sections 15500; Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Section 210.11, Appendix B (Food of Minimal Nutritional Value).

For Elementary School Organizations California Code of Regulations sections 15501; Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Section 210.11, Appendix B (Food of Minimal Nutritional Value).

 

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