Recommended School Beverage Guidelines Released


Recommended School Beverage Guidelines Released

May 3, 2006 -- Today, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation announced new school beverage guidelines. These guidelines were developed to serve as the beverage criteria for the Healthy Schools Program.  They may accelerate the shift to lower-calorie and nutritious beverages that children consume during the regular and extended school day.  The guidelines were adopted by the American Beverage Association, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes as their new school beverage policy. 

While the announcement today does not affect many school nutrition and foodservice programs, as they currently do not sell soda, SNA supports this policy direction as it contributes towards the efforts of our 55,000 members in promoting a healthy school environment.

Since 2003, 26 states have passed legislation or regulations addressing the sale of foods and beverages outside of the school meal programs.

Additionally, according to SNA’s 2005 Trend Survey, limiting the hours of operation and/or the availability of vending machines and their contents remains the most popular nutrition policy in place in school districts, with 65% of respondents having such a policy in place.

Just as national recommendations addressing types of beverages in schools will help promote a healthy childhood weight for all students, so to do many actions underway in school cafeterias, including:

  • Implementing wellness policies that will, in turn, spark a significant number of healthy changes;
  • Offering greater choices for fruit, vegetables, whole grain foods and other nutritious offerings;
  • Revamping menus and implementing cuts in areas such as fat, sugar and calories,
  • Reducing portion sizes, and the amount of processed foods to bolster nutritional standards;
  • Eliminating or cutting back on the availability of certain foods (such as French fries and chips) from a la carte lines;
  • Implementing a “marketing push” for greater consumption of healthier fare as well as lifestyle issues (i.e., exercise, nutrition education, etc.);

The announced school beverage guidelines are as follows:


Elementary School

  • Bottled water
  • Up to 8 ounce servings of milk and 100% juice**
    • Low fat and non fat regular and flavored milk* with up to 150 calories / 8 ounces
    • 100% juice** with no added sweeteners and up to 120 calories / 8 ounces

Middle School

  • Same as elementary school, except juice and milk may be sold in 10 ounce servings***

High School

  • Bottled water
  • No or low calorie beverages with up to 10 calories / 8 ounces
  • Up to 12 ounce servings of milk, 100% juice**, light juice and sports drinks
    • Low fat and non fat regular and flavored milk with up to 150 calories / 8 ounces
    • 100% juice** with no added sweeteners and up to 120 calories / 8 ounces
    • Light juices and sports drinks with no more than 66 calories / 8 ounces
  • At least 50% of beverages must be water and no or low calorie options

Time of Day
All beverages sold on school grounds during the regular and extended school day.  The extended school day includes activities such as clubs, yearbook, band and choir practice, student government, drama, and childcare / latchkey programs. 

This beverage Policy does not apply to school-related events; such as interscholastic sporting events, school plays, and band concerts; where parents and other adults constitute a significant portion of the audience or are selling beverages as boosters.

* Milk includes nutritionally equivalent milk alternatives (per USDA), such as soy milk.

** 100% juice that contains at least 10% of the recommended daily value for three or more vitamins and minerals.

*** As a practical matter, if middle school and high school students have shared access to areas on a common campus or in common buildings, then the school community has the option to adopt the high school standard.



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