School Junk Food Rules: What's In & What's Out

(AP) — The government for the first time is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are healthful. The rule announced Thursday will apply to "a la carte" lines in school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars and any other food sold regularly on campus. It won't apply to fundraisers, after-school concession stands, class parties or foods brought from home.

In this May 3, 2006 file photo, a student purchases a brown sugar Pop-Tart from a vending machine in the hallway outside the school cafeteria, in Wichita, Kan. High-calorie sports drinks and candy bars will be removed from school vending machines and cafeteria lines as soon as next year, replaced with diet drinks, granola bars and other healthier items the Agriculture Department said Thursday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Mike Hutmacher, File)

A separate set of rules already applies to meals in the main lunch line.

Under the new rules, most food sold in school will now be subject to fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits. Snack foods will have to be less than 200 calories and have some nutritional value instead of being mostly empty calories.

Some examples of snacks likely to miss or make the requirements:

Before the New Standards After the New Standards                                                  


 Chocolate sandwich cookiesLight Popcorn
Total Calories286161
Empty Calories18217
 Chocolate barGranola bar
Total calories23595
Empty calories11232
 Regular colaFlavored water
Total calories1360
Empty calories1260
Other examples of what's in and what's out under the new guidelines:
What's out What's in
CandyBaked potato chips
Snack cakesTrail Mix
Most cookiesDried Fruits
Most pretzelsFruit cups
Most ice cream and ice cream treatsYogurt
Deep-fried, high-fat foodsBaked lower-fat french fries
Greasy pizzaHealthier pizzas with whole grain crust
Many juice drinks100 percent juice drinks
High-calorie sodasDiet soda (high schools)
High-calorie sports drinksDiet sports drinks (high schools)