The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has made some important changes to food services in conjunction with updated health standards published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The new standards focus on snack foods and beverages sold to children during the school day at school “snack bars.”
The new “Smart Snacks” standards, means that parents can count on their students making healthy choices for snacks and beverages purchased from the ala carte cart, school stores and vending machines. It also means that students may no longer see some of their favorite snack items such as some chips, beverages, corn nuts and other snacks that do not meet nutrient requirements due to calorie, sodium, fat and sugar limits.
Pizza slices, chicken sandwiches and burritos will no longer be available ala carte in middle and high schools. These items will still be offered as part of the full lunch meal, and do meet specific lunch standards that include several items.
Over the past year, SMMUSD has made notable changes to the daily lunch offerings to include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. With the launch of the Smart Snacks program the district can ensure that kids are offered tasty and nutritious foods during the school day, both in the cafeteria and at snack bars.
“The health and safety of our students is our top priority,” Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said.
“Research shows that kids who have healthy eating patterns are more likely to perform better academically, and we can do our part to contribute to these lifelong habits.”
The food and nutrition services department continues to seek out and add new items to menus regularly, to ensure that students have access to healthy and nutritious foods that are tasty, too.
The standards are different for elementary, secondary and high school and can be found on this website, along with additional information: