sugars in excess of 25 percent of calories, and total sugars in excess of 35 percent of calories. To avoid elimination of these dairy products on the basis of their sugars content, the committee has made an exception to the added sugars limit. In setting the proposed higher standards for dairy products, the committee attempted to set limits that are attainable while maintaining product palatability, and reducing intake of added sugars from these products. The total sugars limit for flavored milk, set at 22 grams per 8-ounce serving, will allow for about 10 grams of added sugars because the naturally occurring sugar content in nonfat and low-fat milk is about 12 grams (USDA, 2005). The total sugars limit for flavored yogurt, set at 30 grams per 8-ounce serving, will allow for about 12 grams of added sugars because the naturally occurring sugars content in nonfat and low-fat yogurt is about 18 grams (USDA, 2005). In making its recommendations, the committee is mindful of the positive efforts of some states and school districts, sometimes working together with the dairy industry, to develop dairy products lower in added sugars.

Calorie Limits

Standard 3: Snack items are 200 calories or less per portion as packaged and à la carte entrée items do not exceed calorie limits on comparable NSLP items. For à la carte entrée items, the 200-calorie limit does not apply and does not exceed the calorie content of comparable NSLP entrée items.


Most U.S. children consume at least one snack per day, consuming nearly one quarter of their dietary energy intake as snacks. Energy intake should be commensurate with energy expenditure in order to achieve energy balance and avoid overweight and obesity. Unhealthy weight gain may develop over time from a relatively small daily excess of calories consumed, the energy density of foods being higher for snacks compared to meals. In accordance with estimates of energy needs and accounting for physical activity levels, the committee calculated that approximately 91 percent of daily energy intake would be consumed as meals, leaving no more than 9 percent of total daily energy intake for discretionary energy consumption from snacks (see discussion in Chapter 2). The committee’s judgment is that a 200-calorie maximum limit per portion for snacks may be high for some children, but it is assumed that variations in other daily caloric intake will compensate for shortfalls or excesses.

Furthermore, à la carte entrée items should not provide more calories or larger portion sizes than the comparable NSLP entrée items they may replace. The standard is established for whole servings rather than half

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