SDE: Beverage Requirements

Beverage Requirements


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STATE AND FEDERAL BEVERAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOLS
{Students selecting milk from vending machine}

Section 10-221q of the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) governs beverages sold to students in public schools at all times. It applies to beverages sold as part of school meals and separately from school meals anywhere on school premises, such as cafeteria sales, school stores, vending machines, fundraisers, and any other locations where beverages are sold.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Smart Snacks nutrition standards apply to beverages sold to students separately from school meals during the school day on school premises, e.g., cafeteria a la carte sales, school stores, vending machines, fundraisers, and any other locations where beverages are sold. It applies to public schools, private schools, and residential child care institutions (RCCIs) that participate in the USDA school nutrition programs, e.g., National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Afterschool Snack Program (ASP), and Special Milk Program (SMP).

Private schools and RCCIs must comply with Smart Snacks. Public schools must comply with Smart Snacks and the stricter provisions of Connecticut's beverage statute. All schools and institutions that participate in the USDA school nutrition programs must also comply with the state competitive foods regulations (Sections 10-215b-1 and 10-215b-23). The resources below provide guidance on the state and federal beverage requirements for all schools and institutions.



BEVERAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Public school districts include the Connecticut Technical High School System, charter schools, interdistrict magnet schools, and endowed academies. All public schools must comply with the Smart Snacks beverage standards and the stricter provisions of the state beverage statute. The state beverage statute applies to all public schools, regardless of whether they choose the healthy food option of Healthy Food Certification (HFC) under C.G.S. Section 10-215f or participate in the USDA school nutrition programs.

Five Allowable Beverage Categories Prohibited Beverages
{School Beverages (low-fat milk, orange juice, water, lactose-free fat-free milk and soy milk that meets the USDA standards for fluid milk substitutes)} {Examples of beverages that do not comply with the state beverage statute (soda, sports drinks, coffee, tea, iced tea, hot chocolate, sweetened waters and fruit drinks that are not 100% juice)}
The requirements below include the stricter provisions of the state beverage statute and Smart Snacks beverage standards.
  1. Milk, low- fat (1%) unflavored and nonfat flavored or unflavored with no more than 4 grams of sugar per ounce and no artificial sweeteners.
  2. Nondairy milk substitutes such as soy or rice milk (flavored or unflavored), that meet the USDA nutrition standards for nutritionally equivalent milk alternatives and contain no artificial sweeteners, no more than 4 grams of sugar per fluid ounce, no more than 35 percent of calories from fat, and no more than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat. For information on the USDA’s nutrition standards for fluid milk substitutes, see the CSDE’s handout, Allowable Milk Substitutes for Nondisabled Children.
  3. 100 percent juice (fruit, vegetable or combination), containing no added sugars, sweeteners (including nonnutritive sweeteners), or artificial sweeteners.
  4. Beverages that contain only water and juice, with no added sugars, sweeteners (including nonnutritive sweeteners), or artificial sweeteners, and that meet the requirements specified in Requirements for Beverages Containing Water and Juice; and
  5. Water (plain or carbonated), which may be flavored but contains no added sugars, sweeteners (including nonnutritive sweeteners), artificial sweeteners, or caffeine.

Portion sizes cannot exceed 8 fluid ounces for elementary schools and 12 fluid ounces for middle and high schools, with the exception of water, which is unlimited.

Prohibited beverages include soda (regular and diet), sports drinks (regular, low-calorie and zero calorie), hot chocolate (regular, low-calorie and sugar-free), energy drinks, sweetened beverages (with or without carbonation) that are not 100 percent juice such as lemonade and fruit punch drinks made with 10 percent juice, and any other beverages that do not comply with state statute.

Beverages that do not comply with state beverage statute can only be sold to students on school premises if the board of education or school governing authority votes to allow exemptions, and the beverages:
  1. are sold after the school day or on the weekend;
  2. are sold at the location of an event; and
  3. are not sold from a vending machine or school store.
Beverages that do not comply with the requirements of state statute can never be sold in vending machines or school stores. For more information on beverage exemptions, see the CSDE's handout, Exemptions for Foods and Beverages in Public Schools.

The school day is the period from midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.
Resources


BEVERAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND RCCIS

Private schools and RCCIs that participate in the USDA school nutrition programs must comply with the Smart Snacks standards for all beverages sold to students separately from reimbursable meals during the school day (the period from the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day). Beverage sales must also comply with the state competitive foods regulations (Sections 10-215b-1 and 10-215b-23).

Resources


CONTACT:  CSDE School Nutrition Programs Staff
Connecticut State Department of Education
Bureau of Health, Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education
Child Nutrition Programs
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 504
Hartford, CT 06103-1841
Phone: 860-807-2050
Fax: 860-807-2127


Nondiscrimination Statements (USDA and CSDE)




Content Last Modified on 4/17/2017 2:18:31 PM