School lunches: What foods are in and what foods are out

The Agriculture Department is proposing new nutritional rules that would apply to most foods sold in schools

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School lunches: What foods are in and what foods are out (Credit: Stephen Oung, Flickr Creative Commons)

The Agriculture Department is proposing new nutritional rules that would apply to most foods sold in schools. The rule would apply to “a la carte” lines in school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars and any other food sold regularly on campus. It wouldn’t apply to fundraisers, after-school concession stands, class parties or foods brought from home.

Most every food sold in school would be subject to fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits. Snack foods would have to be under 200 calories and have some nutritional value. All drinks would be limited to 12 oz. portions in high schools and middle schools, and 8 oz. portions in elementary schools.

Some examples of what could be in and out under the rules, provided the items meet or don’t meet all of the requirements:

WHAT’S IN

Baked potato chips

Granola bars

Cereal bars

Trail mix

Dried fruits

Fruit cups

Yogurt

Whole grain–rich muffins

100-percent juice drinks

Diet soda (high schools)

Flavored water (high schools)

Lower-calorie sports drinks (high schools)

Unsweetened or diet iced teas (high schools)

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100-percent juice popsicles

Baked lower-fat french fries

Healthier pizzas with whole grain crust

Lean hamburgers with whole wheat buns

WHAT’S OUT

Candy

Snack cakes

Most cookies

Pretzels

High-calorie sodas

Many high-calorie sports drinks

Juice drinks that are not 100-percent juice

Most ice cream and ice cream treats

Greasy pizza and other fried, high-fat foods in the lunchroom

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