Frequently Asked Questions

  •                MCPS Smart Snacks in School Rule FAQ   
    1. What is the Smart Snacks in School Rule?
    • The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in school - beyond the federally-supported meals programs.  This new rule carefully balances science-based nutrition guidelines with practical and flexible solutions to promote healthier eating on campus.  The rule draws on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, existing voluntary standards already implemented by thousands of schools around the country, and healthy food and beverage options already available in the marketplace.
    1. What areas will the rule affect?
    • The rule will affect all foods and beverages sold outside of the school lunch and breakfast program, during the school day.  A school day is defined as midnight to 30 minutes after the school day ends. 
      • Foods sold a la carte within the food service; unless they are sold as part of the lunch or breakfast program.  These foods are exempt on the day and day after service in the program..
      • School stores
      • Vending machines
      • Snack bars
      • Food-based fundraisers that take place during the school day
    1. What areas will the rule not affect?
    • The rule will not affect food sold after school, on the weekend, and off campus.  Examples include:
      • Concessions
      • Food and snacks that students bring from home
      • Classroom events (birthdays, holiday parties, etc.), although schools may consider this area as an opportunity for positive change.
      • Teachers' lounges
    1. What are state and national rule expectations?
    • The Smart Snacks in School Rule (starts July 1, 2014) will establish nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold on school grounds during the school day.  The rule allows schools to gradually phase in the changes over the first year.
    1. What are the next steps for MCPS Schools?
    • The MCPS Smart Snacks Took Kits have been given to all MCPS principals.  The kit has all the tools needed to comply with the Smart Snack Rule.  Principals can use the Smart Snack Implementation Checklist to self-assess and guide activities.  The fall of 2014, schools are expected to communicate with parents and teachers the Smart Snack implementations.