Horry County, SC School Board Policy on "Competitive Foods"

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Horry County, SC, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Last updated on 7/1/07

Source File: Click here



Nutrition Guidelines for Competitive Foods and Beverages
2007-2008 School Year

Competitive foods and beverages are those foods and beverages sold or distributed during the school day to students on school campuses (1) other than school meals and snacks reimbursed by the National School Lunch Program (however, a la carte items are considered to be competitive foods and beverages) and (2) other than foods and beverages prepared and consumed as part of the instructional program. School campuses do not include college campuses which house certain high school students.

Competitive food and beverage sales to students are not permitted in primary and elementary schools other than those a la carte items sold by the School Food Service Program.

Other than a la carte items sold by the School Food Services Program, competitive foods and beverages are not to be sold or distributed while meals are being served in the cafeteria.

These guidelines do not apply to foods and beverages brought to school by individuals for personal consumption as may be permitted by the principal as long as such foods and beverages are not distributed to others.

S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Competitive foods and beverages must be handled in a manner which meets South Carolina regulations for their sale and distribution. Competitive foods. A competitive food item:

  • must have no more than 35% of its total calories from fat (does not apply to nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and other nut butters);
  • must have no more than 10% of its total calories from saturated fats;
  • must have no trans fat; and
  • must have no more than 35% of its total weight from added sugars.

The percentage of calories from fat is computed as follows:

  • Total calories from fat – multiply the number of grams of fat by 9, divide the result by the total number of calories, and multiply the result by 100;
  • Calories from saturated fat – multiply the number of grams of saturated fat by 9, divide the result by the total number of calories, and multiply the result by 100.

Competitive beverages. Acceptable beverages are:

  • water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners;
  • fruit and vegetable juices and fruit-based drinks that contain at least 50% real fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners;
  • beverages labeled as diet or light with less than 20 mgs of caffeine per serving;
  • unflavored or flavored fluid milk and nutritionally equivalent nondairy beverages labeled as low-fat or fat-free.

The following beverages are not allowed:

  • sports drinks which are not labeled as diet or light;
  • fruit-based drinks that contain less than 50% real fruit juice or that contain additional caloric sweeteners.

The school district recognizes that some middle and high schools have contracts/agreements with vendors for food and/or beverage sales through vending machines. The school district will honor those contracts/agreements; however, such schools will implement the affected portions of the nutrition guidelines for competitive foods and/or beverages upon the termination of, or amendment to, the current contracts. Principals must note that they are not permitted by school district policy to enter into any contract or agreement that would extend the current contracts/agreements (see “Signatory Authority for Purchase Orders, Contracts, and Agreements” in District Policies).

Portion Sizes. Competitive foods and beverages must be within the following portion sizes:

  • One and one-half ounces for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or jerky;
  • One ounce for cookies;
  • Two ounces for cereal bars, granola bars, pastries, muffins, bagels, and other bakery items;
  • Four fluid ounces for frozen desserts, including, but not limited to, low-fat or fat-free ice cream;
  • Eight ounces for non-frozen yogurt; and
  • 100% fruit juices and other beverages up to twenty ounces.

Celebrations. Celebrations involving the distribution of foods and/or beverages to students may not have more than one food or one beverage that does not comply with the nutrition guidelines. Unless approved by the principal for extraordinary reasons, such celebrations are not to take place for students within one-half hour before and one-half hour after the time they are scheduled for lunch and are not to be a substitute for lunch.

Fundraising Activities. To support children’s health and school nutrition-education efforts:

  • schools will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity;
  • fundraising activities organized by schools and involving food will only use foods that will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health; and
  • any food-related fundraising during the school day must meet the above nutrition and portion size standards for foods and beverages sold individually.