Go For The Bronze, Silver or Gold With Your Snacks

The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) recognizes schools that go above and beyond national standards to create a school environment that fosters healthy student choices. A critical component of the HUSSC award is applying the new Smart Snack criteria for all foods sold in schools.

What is a Smart Snack?

The “Smart Snacks in School” rule applies to any food item sold a la carte, in school stores or in vending machines. Updated nutrition standards put limitations on caloric value, as well as set specific nutrient requirements regarding fat, sugar and sodium. You can find the specific nutrient requirements in this USDA’s “All Foods Sold in Schools” Standards resource.


Smart Snacks are under 200 calories per serving.

HUSSC: Smart Snack Application Tips

Smart Snacks criteria are an important part of the HealthierUS School Challenge application. Criteria becomes stricter as the award levels increase.

Susan Patton, Ohio Team Nutrition Coordinator, has provided a few tips to reach HUSSC’s Bronze level of achievement:

  1. Document your Smart Snacks training session. Schools are required to offer annual training on Smart Snacks criteria to all individuals involved in the sale of foods to students on the school campus during the school day. Documenting the date, time and attendance of your session will aid in filling out the application.
  1. Avoid advertising food and beverages that do not meet the Smart Snack criteria. Signs and marketing materials promoting these foods should not be visible to students on the school campus during the school day. This restriction includes flyers on vending machines. A statement in your wellness policy would provide evidence that your school is following this criteria.
  1. Save product labels. If product labels are unavailable, use a Smart Snack calculator. The calculator will provide documentation of your snack compliance and should accompany your HUSSC application. You can find the Smart Snack Calculator below.

Is Your Snack Smart?

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has come up with an easy way to find out! Simply enter the product information, answer a few questions and find out if your item meets the new USDA guidelines for a healthy smart snack. Click the image below to launch the Alliance Product Calculator.


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