School Food Laws – California


The following are the two main laws affecting the sale of beverages and snacks sold in California State Public Schools. Other state laws will be posted shortly.

CALIFORNIA
Senate Bill (SB) 12, passed in 2005, set standards for foods sold in California public schools. These standards became effective July 1, 2007 and limit the amount of non-nutritious competitive foods that can be sold in grades K-12. Senate Bill (SB) 965, also passed in 2005, set standards for beverages sold in California Public Schools. A portion of beverages had to meet SB 965 criteria by July 1, 2007 and all beverages sold to students must meet SB 965 criteria by July 1, 2009.

This legislation applies only to those foods sold outside of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.

In elementary schools, these food standards apply at all times and the beverages standards apply before school and up to ½ hour after school. In middle and high school, the food and beverage standards apply ½ hour before school until ½ hour after school.

SB 12 compliant foods are those foods sold outside of the federally reimbursable meal program and must meet the following standards:

Elementary School

Individually sold dairy items and whole grain food items must meet the following standards:

* No more than 35% total calories from fat
* No more than 10% total calories from saturated fat
* No more than 35% total weight from sugar
* No more than 175 calories per individual food item

These foods are always allowed: non-fried fruits/vegetables, nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, and string cheese.

Middle and High School

Snacks:
Snack are generally regarded as supplementing a meal, such as chips, pretzels, crackers, nachos, french fries, onion rings, donuts, cookies, pastries, cinnamon rolls, candy, bread, bagels, baked potatoes (plain) egg rolls, trail mix, jerky/dried meat sticks, popcorn, poptarts®, energy/cereal bars.

* No more than 35% total calories from fat (*see exclusions)
* No more than 10% total calories from saturated fat
* No more than 35% total weight from sugar (excluding fruits and vegetables)
* No more than 250 calories per individual food item

* Exclusions: The following foods do not have to meet the fat and saturated fat limits for snacks but must be 250 calories or less per serving: non-fried fruits/vegetables, nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, and cheese packaged for individual sale (e.g. string cheese).

Entrees:
Entrees are the primary food in a meal, such as: sandwiches, burritos, pasta, pizza, bagel with cream cheese, fries with chili, baked potato with toppings, soup, lo mein, chow mein, chimichangas, cereal with milk, hamburgers/hotdogs.

* No more than 400 calories
* No more than 4 grams of fat per 100 calories
* Must be categorized as an entrée item according to the National School Breakfast or Lunch Program


SB 965 compliant beverages include:


Elementary School

* Water with no added sweetener
* 2%, 1% or nonfat milk, soy milk, rice milk and other similar nondairy milk
* Fruit or vegetable-based drinks that are composed of at least 50% fruit or vegetable juice and have no added sweetener

Middle and High School

* Water with no added sweetener
* 2%, 1% or nonfat milk, soy milk, rice milk and other similar nondairy milk
* Fruit or vegetable-based drinks that are composed of at least50% fruit or vegetable juice and have no added sweetener
* Electrolyte replacement beverages that have no more than 42 grams added sweetener per 20oz. serving

This applies to beverages sold ½ before or after the beginning and end of the school day.