California "Smart Snacks in School" Nutrition Standards

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required the US Department of Agriculture to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools. The new Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards became effective July 1, 2014.  This guidance provides updated nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold on school campuses, to students during the school day, outside of the school meals programs.  In California, these federal standards are combined with existing California law regarding competitive food sales on school campuses.  This includes foods and beverages sold a la carte in nutrition centers, in school stores, at snack bars, through fundraising, from vending machines, and any other venues that sell food to students.  The intent of the legislation is to increase the consumption of healthy foods during the school day and create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits.

The Smart Snacks standards do not apply to: (1) items sold more than 30 minutes after school ends, on weekends, or off and away from school grounds; or (2) foods brought from home for personal consumption.  Additional information about Smart Snacks in Schools is available here:

Smart Snacks Menu (a la carte items) for Middle and High School Nutrition Centers

Frequently Asked Questions about Competitive Food Sales

Smart Snacks Standards for Elementary Schools

Smart Snacks Standards for Middle and High Schools

Food Sales Approval Request Form - Elementary Schools

Food Sales Approval Request Form - Middle and High Schools

Ideas for Healthy Fundraisers

Healthy Alternatives to Food Rewards



Kids in the Kitchen




Kids in the Kitchen: Ideas for Home

There are plenty of fun ways to liven up snack time using healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Kids will love creating and eating fun-to-make snacks with you in the kitchen! Click on the "Kids in the Kitchen" link above to view videos of fun and healthy snack ideas that you can make with your kids in the kitchen.

Snacking Tips for Parents

  • Plan ahead and buy healthy snacks when you shop. You will save money and make healthier choices than if you or your kids are buying snacks on the go.
  • Provide kids with choices and make those choices nutritious.
  • Pre-portion your child's snacks into small plastic bags to grab on the go.
  • Combine snacks from at least two food groups to pack more nutrients into your child's diet... it will be more filling and it will hold them over to the next meal.
  • And remember... space snacks far enough between meals so appetites are not spoiled!

Two Simple Steps to Delicious and Nutritious Snacks
Katie-Jeffery-Lunn, MS, RD, CDN, LDN

Healthy, Fun Snacks and Desserts for the Whole Family
Reyna Franco, MS, RD, CDN

Healthy, Tasty and Creative Snacks for Kids
Katie-Jeffery-Lunn, MS, RD, CDN, LDN