New California School Nutrition Standards Go Into Effect
July 3, 2007 -- All California school districts are required to follow new nutrition standards, as two bills went into effect on July 1, 2007. According to these bills, all school districts must follow new guidelines for fat, sugar and fried items in a la carte lines, vending machines, and school stores during the school day. The new guidelines also set restrictions on the types of beverages schools serve during the school day.
Under the new guidelines, competitive food items may have no more than:
· 35% calories from fat (excluding legumes, nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, non-deep fried vegetables, and cheese packaged for individual sale.)
· 10% of its calories from saturated fat (excluding eggs and cheese packaged for individual sale).
· 35% sugar by weight (excluding fruits and vegetables).
· 175 calories for items sold in elementary schools.
· 250 calories for items sold in middle and high schools.
Individually sold entrees may not have more than:
· 4 grams of fat per 100 calories
· 400 calories
· Must follow the federal reimbursable meal requirements
In high schools, at least half of all drinks sold immediately before, during or after the school day must consist of fruit and vegetable drinks without added sweeteners, bottle water, low- or nonfat milk, nondairy milk and sports drinks. These standards are already in place in elementary and middle schools. By July 1, 2009, all beverages sold in high schools must meet these requirements. Exceptions will be made for some after-school activities and sporting events.
Many California school districts began implementing these standards well ahead of the July 1 deadline. Both bills were passed in 2001, but implementation of the competitive foods portion (SB 12) stalled due to an initial requirement that increase funding for school meals. The bill was reintroduced the following year and passed without the funding requirement.