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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board Of Education
Chapter 740. Regulations Governing Nutritional Standards for Competitive Foods Available for Sale in the Public Schools
11/26/2020

8VAC20-740-30. Nutrition standards.

A. The nutrition standards apply to all foods available for sale to students (i) outside the school meal programs; (ii) on the school campus; and (iii) at any time during the school day. The nutrition standards shall be consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

B. To be allowable, a competitive food must (i) meet all of the competitive food nutrient standards and (ii) must either:

1. Be a grain product that contains 50% or more whole grains by weight or have as the first ingredient a whole grain (i.e., whole-grain rich);

2. Have as the first ingredient one of the nongrain major food groups: fruits, vegetables, dairy, or protein foods (e.g., meat, beans, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.); or

3. Be a combination food that contains 1/4 cup of fruit or vegetable.

If water is the first ingredient, the second ingredient must be one of the food items listed in this subsection.

C. General exemptions:

1. Fresh, canned, and frozen fruits or vegetables with no added ingredients except water or, in the case of fruit, packed in 100% juice, extra light, or light syrup are exempt from the nutrient standards.

2. Canned vegetables that contain a small amount of sugar for processing purposes are also exempt from the nutrient standards.

3. An entree item offered as part of the national school lunch program under 7 CFR Part 210 or the school breakfast program under 7 CFR Part 220 is exempt from all competitive food standards if it is offered as a competitive food on the day of, or the school day after, it is offered in the lunch or breakfast program. Exempt entree items offered as a competitive food must be offered in the same or smaller portion sizes as in the lunch or breakfast program.

Side dishes offered as part of the lunch or breakfast program and served a la carte must meet the nutrition standards in this section.

D. The accompaniments to a competitive food item must be included in the nutrient profile as a part of the food item served in determining if an item meets the nutrition standards for competitive food. The contribution of the accompaniments may be based on the average serving size of the accompaniment used per item.

E. Nutrient standards:

1. Standard 1: Calories.

a. Snack items and side dishes sold a la carte (i) shall be no more than 200 calories per item as served or as packaged, including the calorie content in any accompaniments, such as butter, cream cheese, and salad dressing, and (ii) must meet all other nutrient standards.

b. Entree items sold a la carte, unless the entree item meets the exemption for NSLP/SBP entree items in subdivision C 3 of this section, shall (i) contain no more than 350 calories, including the calorie content of any accompaniments, per item as served or as packaged, and (ii) meet all of the other nutrient standards in this section.

c. The calories contained in any accompaniments must be included in the nutrient profile as a part of the item served.

2. Standard 2: Fat.

a. Total fat. Competitive foods shall contain no more than 35% of total calories from fat per item as packaged or served. Exemptions to the total fat standard are granted for:

(1) Reduced fat cheese and part-skim mozzarella cheese. This exemption does not apply to combination foods.

(2) Nuts, seeds, and nut or seed butters. This exemption does not apply to combination foods that contain nuts, seeds, or nut or seed butters, such as peanut butter and crackers and trail mix.

(3) Products consisting of only dried fruit with nuts or seeds with no added nutritive sweeteners or fat.

(4) Seafood with no added fat.

b. Saturated fat. Competitive foods shall have less than 10% of total calories from saturated fat per item as packaged or served. Exemptions to the saturated fat standard are granted for:

(1) Reduced fat cheese and part-skim mozzarella cheese. This exemption does not apply to combination foods.

(2) Nuts, seeds, and nut or seed butters. This exemption does not apply to combination foods that contain nuts, seeds, or nut or seed butters, such as peanut butter and crackers and trail mix.

(3) Products consisting of only dried fruit with nuts or seeds with no added nutritive sweeteners or fat.

c. Trans fat. Competitive foods must have zero grams of trans fat per item as packaged or served.

3. Standard 3: Sugar. Total sugar shall be no more than 35% of weight per item as packaged or served. Exemptions to the sugar standard are provided for:

a. Dried whole fruits or vegetables.

b. Dried whole fruit or vegetable pieces.

c. Dehydrated fruits or vegetables with no added nutritive sweeteners.

d. Dried fruits with nutritive sweeteners that are required for processing or palatability purposes.

4. Standard 4: Sodium.

a. Sodium content in snacks (i) shall be no more than 200 mg per item as packaged or served, including the sodium content in any accompaniments, such as butter, cream cheese, and salad dressing; and (ii) must meet all other nutrient standards.

b. Entree items sold a la carte, unless the entre item meets the exemption for NSLP/SBP entree items in subdivision C 3 of this section (i) shall have no more than 480 mg of sodium per item as packaged or served, including the sodium content in any accompaniments, such as butter, cream cheese, and salad dressing; and (ii) must meet all other nutrient standards in this section.

Statutory Authority

§ 22.1-207.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 34, Issue 02, eff. October 18, 2017.

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