Since July 1, 2014, the US Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks in School rules have required all foods and beverages sold separate from school meals to meet new nutrition standards. Often referred to as “competitive foods,” because they are sold in competition to the complete reimbursable school meal, these items include entrees, sides, snacks or drinks sold during the school day in vending machines, snack bars and a la carte lines. The rules do not apply to food and beverages brought from home or sold during non-school hours, weekends or at offcampus events (e.g. concessions during sporting events and school plays).

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