provide specific guidance for whole-grain products and combination products that contain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
Implementing the standards recommended in this report for Tier 1 and 2 snacks, foods, and beverages will only be accomplished with coordination and cooperation among federal agencies and the food industry. Product information currently available to foodservice operators is not always sufficient to determine whether products meet nutrition standards. In order for school foodservice operators to identify and evaluate foods and beverages that meet specified standards, detailed product information must be provided by manufacturers.
The federally reimbursable school nutrition programs are traditionally an important means to ensure that students have access to fruits, vegetables, whole-grain-based foods, and nonfat and low-fat dairy products during the school day. These programs are the main source of nutrition provided at school. However, there are increasing opportunities for students to select competitive snacks, foods, and beverages through à la carte services, vending machines, school stores, snack bars, concession stands, classroom or school celebrations, achievement rewards, after-school programs, and other venues. Schools are encouraged to limit these opportunities. When such opportunities arise, they should be used to encourage greater consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat dairy products. The recommendations in this report are intended to ensure that competitive foods and beverages offered in schools are consistent with the DGA and, in particular, to encourage children and adolescents to develop healthful lifelong eating patterns.