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Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading the Way Toward Healthier Youth
feine in significant quantities has no place in foods and beverages offered in schools. The committee recognized that some foods and beverages contain trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine and related substances and did not intend to exclude such foods or beverages if the amounts of caffeine consumed are small and the product otherwise complies with the recommended nutritional standards.
Standards for the School Day
Standard 7: Foods and beverages offered during the school day are limitedto those in Tier 1.
Because of their nutritional attributes, consumption of Tier 1 foods and beverages is to be encouraged. Thus it is appropriate to make them available as competitive foods during the school day. Evidence supports the use of Tier 1 foods and beverages to increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat and low-fat dairy products by school-age children, and to reinforce innovation by industry to create products more consistent with the DGA, thereby increasing healthful competitive food choices for school-age children.
Standard 8: Plain, potable water is available throughout the school day atno cost to students.
Water is essential to health, and is naturally calorie free with few known negative health consequences. Either tap or bottled water or water from fountains or other sources represents a safe, desirable way of maintaining hydration during the school day, and is therefore included as a Tier 1 beverage. The committee’s interpretation of limited available evidence is that carbonated water, fortified water, flavored water, and similar products are excluded because such products are associated with displacement of more healthful beverages (see Chapter 2); they are unnecessary for hydration purposes; and the increasing variety of products increases the difficulty of making clear distinctions among them. In addition, if flavored or fortified waters are included, they may serve, in the committee’s judgment, as implicit encouragement to produce more foods with nonnutritive components for children at the expense of more healthful foods.
Standard 9: Sports drinks are not available in the school setting exceptwhen provided by the school for student athletes participating in sportprograms involving vigorous activity of more than one hour’s duration.
The committee concluded that, in most contexts, sports drinks are equivalent to flavored water, and because of their high sugar content it is appropriate that they be excluded from both Tier 1 and 2 beverages. However, for students engaged in prolonged, vigorous activities on hot days, evi-