Stillwater News Press

July 12, 2013

Director: Stillwater is above the curve in healthy snacks

By Mark Rountree
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Recent mandates issued by the United States Department of Agriculture intended to ensure healthier snacks in schools will not result in many changes at Stillwater Public Schools.

The USDA issued its Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards June 27 for competitive foods, or foods sold outside of the national school lunch program.

Krista Neal, director of school nutrition for Stillwater, said the new mandates will have little impact on Stillwater schools because students do not have access to vending machines, soda or candy on school grounds.

“The USDA said we are getting healthy snacks now, but we are already doing healthy snacks in Stillwater,” Neal said.

The new guidelines, which take effect in the 2015 school year, limit serving sizes of beverages to 12 ounces. Neal said 16-ounce drinks are now available to students, so those serving sizes will have to be reduced.

“That’s the biggest change we are going to see,” Neal said.

Neal said the new guidelines include maximum caloric levels for each snack. She said only one item now on the menu exceeds that caloric level — a four-ounce muffin.

“That’s an easy fix, we’ll just take that off (the menu),” Neal said.

Neal said the guidelines are intended to limit the amount of fat calories available to students at school.

“The biggest mandate for me is making sure that everything fits under the calorie level that they are looking for,” Neal said.