Thursday 24 Jul 2014

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USDA recommends tool to help schools pick healthier foods

Published: 4:12 pm CDT, February 25, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended on Tuesday that schools use a Smart Snacks Product Calculator to pick food that meets new federal snack regulations.

Schools can use the calculator by entering a particular entrée, snack or side item and answering a few questions. The calculator responds with whether the product meets the new USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines. The nutrition standards apply to snacks and drinks served in school buildings, including vending machines, school stores, snack carts and a la carte items.

“This is a profoundly important endorsement of our work,” said Howell Wechsler, EdD, MPH, chief executive officer of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which developed the calculator. “It will greatly increase our capacity to help schools provide healthier foods to students.”

In addition to the calculator, the Alliance Product Navigator helps outline what products from leading manufacturers meet nutritional guidelines.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation.

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