Sharpen the Wellness Policy in your School

Foods Available at School:
School Meals and Competitive Foods

Wellness policies are required to address foods available in schools. This includes:

  1. School meals
  2. Competitive Foods

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service recently published an interim final rule for Competitive Foods titled, National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Further guidance from USDA is anticipated.

These new standards are the minimum requirements for schools, however many states, including Massachusetts have stronger standards. The Massachusetts Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages in Public Schools are more comprehensive. All Massachusetts schools are required by law to follow these state standards. The standards do not apply to school meals programs, which are to follow USDA national guidelines.

Competitive foods are those foods served in addition to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These standards were created in order to enhance learning, contribute to healthy student growth and development, and cultivate life-long healthy eating behaviors. To help schools implement these standards, Massachusetts created a comprehensive guidance document:

Healthy Students, Healthy Schools: Guidance for Implementing Massachusetts School Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages

This includes links to resources such as healthy fundraisers and classroom celebrations and features numerous success stories from schools across Massachusetts.

The following resources are also available: