Study says competitive foods should be healthy too

Many districts have already complied with proposed regulations.

June 26—The federal government is slated to come up with rules governing the food sold at school that’s not part of the regular meals.

Those foods are often called competitive foods, because what’s sold in the student store or in vending machines or other spots at schools often competes with the meal programs.

“Ensuring that schools sell nutritious foods is critical to improving children’s diets,” a report issued Tuesday says. “This is one of the goals of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

An assessment of what those new rules might do for kids’ health and the schools’ bottom line was released Tuesday by two projects from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The projects argue for standards that require competitive foods and beverages to be healthy. Many districts have implemented standards already: In Los Angeles, for example, no soda can be sold and there are fat, salt and sugar standards for snack foods sold at schools.