Schools switch out vending machine products as new regulations i - CBS46 News

Schools switch out vending machine products as new regulations go into effect

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Students headed back to school this fall will find new snacks in the vending machines, and some of their favorites may not be available anymore.

The change comes about because of new federal regulations that impose limits and requirement on snacks and beverages that are sold through school stores and vending machines.

The new USDA Smart Snacks in Schools standards went into effect July 1.

They effectively eliminate the most popular sodas from being sold and replace them with lower calorie options. The same can be said for snacks.

Limits on calorie, sodium and fat content are resulting in smaller portions to be sold. In some cases that will mean items with serving sizes less than an ounce.

Gwinnett County Public Schools has been preparing for the changes since January.

According to their spokesman, Jorge Quintana, the changes haven't cost the district a dime. He also says the district is using its own employees to train their vendors on the new regulations.

"They've been very receptive about it. Of course it does involve a little bit more work but they are working around it to try to meet those guidelines," said Quintana.

The guidelines apply to any food sold in schools during school hours.

Those foods must be a fruit, vegetable, dairy product, protein food, "whole-grain rich" grain product.

They must also meet calorie and nutrient requirements. Total fat must be less than 35 percent of calories, saturated fat must be less than 10 percent, and trans fat must be zero percent.

Snacks can be no more than 200 calories and must contain less than 200 milligrams of sodium. Total sugar must be less than 35 percent of weight or calories.

As for beverages, schools can sell plain water, plain low fat milk, plain or flavored fat free milk, or milk alternatives. They can also sell 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, as well as calorie free beverages that comply with FDA standards.

The rules do not apply to food and beverage sold as part of school fundraisers. However, the new regulations do allow the USDA to limit the number of fundraisers a school can conduct if the products sold do not meet the nutrient requirements.

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