When classes begin this fall, Michigan public schools will be operating under new nutritional guidelines. The new guidelines focus on beverage standards and a la carte food items, such as foods from vending machines.
Under the new beverage guidelines schools are only allowed to serve plain water, 100 percent juice or water blends with no added sugar and milk that has 1% or less fat content. High schools are allowed to serve caffeinated or flavored beverages but only if they are less than 5 calories per serving and 20 ounces or less.
Under the new snack guidelines food items must be 200 calories or less, have no trans fat, the fat content must be less than 35% of the calories from fat and sugar can only be 35% of the total weight.
Lindsay Webb, the Food Service Director for Mount Pleasant High School said most of the changes will be impacting the a la carte items and vending machines.
“It’s not as big of an issue for food service because we already have a lot of restrictions that we follow. But vending machines and things like that, they’ve never had a restriction they’ve never had to look okay this is 150 calories versus 350 calories or this much fat from that much fat so it’s going to be a big dip in their sales.”
Webb says, as soon as she is able to buy the new food items she is going to have students sample them before they have to buy them.
The new guidelines are part of the federal Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.
ON THE WEB
New School Nutritional Guidelines (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Michigan_Nutrition_Standards_Approved_10.12.10_338356_7.pdf)