Having nutritious food and beverage options available both in and outside the cafeteria contributes to the overall health, well-being and academic success of students.

Federal law requires that all food and beverages made available to students during the school day (outside of the school meal programs) must meet Smart Snack nutrition standards. This includes food sold in vending machines, school stores, in-school fundraising and a la carte items in the cafeteria.

Smart Snack nutrition standards

All food and beverages must meet one of the following guidelines:

  • be a whole grain rich product
  • have a fruit, vegetable or protein food as the first ingredient
  • be a combination food with at least 1/4 cup of fruit and/or vegetable

Nutrition limits

In addition, all foods must meet calorie, sodium, fat and sugar limits.


  • Snack items must have 200 calories or less
  • Entree items must have 350 calories or less


  • Snack items must have 200 mg of sodium or less
  • Entree items must have 480 mg of sodium or less


  • total fat must be 35% or less of the total calories
  • saturated fat must be less than 10% of calories
  • zero grams of trans fat


  • no more than 35% of weight can come from sugars

Smart Snack calculator

Use the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Product Calculator to easily determine whether your beverage, snack, side or entree item meets the USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines.

Contact us

For more information about Smart Snacks, contact: