Junk Food Ban: USDA To Expel Sweet, Fatty Foods From Schools

A junk food ban is on the way for schools across the country, so students who want a high-sugar snack will have to bring it themselves and clubs looking to sell cookies for a fundraiser will have to switch to fruits and vegetables.

The USDA’s Smart Snacks in School rules will go into effect on July 1, meaning that all school vending machines, lunches, students stores, and fundraisers will be barred from selling junk food.

Under the new rules, fruits and vegetables are allowed along with protein-rich foods and those made with whole grain. Water and milk are also on the new menu along with 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice. High schools will be able to sell caffeinated and low-calorie carbonated drinks.

But the school junk food ban takes aim at foods high in calories, sodium, sugar, and fat.

On its site, the USDA lays out all the guidelines for the school junk food ban:

“The Smart Snacks in School standards stipulate that all snack foods sold in school must be “whole grain rich,” meaning they contain 50% whole grains or have whole grains as the first ingredient, or have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product or a protein-rich food. Combination foods that contain at least ¼ cup fruit and/or vegetable or naturally contain 10% of the daily value (DV) of calcium, potassium, vitamin D or dietary fiber will also be accepted.”

Many parents are welcoming the new rules keeping junk food out of schools.

“I think that’s great!” said Betsy Hunsucker, a mother from Indianapolis. “I think kids would love fruits and vegetables.”

“I’m afraid that parents have spoiled their children so much with the choices that they allow them to make at home that the kids will turn up their noses to the nutrition,” she added.

Full rules about the USDA school junk food ban can be found here.