SDE: List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages

List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages

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{boy eating fruit salad} Districts that choose to implement Healthy Food Certification under Section 10-215f of the Connecticut General Statutes must follow the Connecticut Nutrition Standards. The Connecticut State Department of Education's (CSDE) List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages is a brand-specific list of commercially prepared:
  • food products that meet the Connecticut Nutrition
    Standards; and
  • beverages that meet the state requirements of
    Section 10-221q of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Minimally processed naturally nutrient-rich foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes meet the Connecticut Nutrition Standards, but are not included in this list, unless they are individually packaged. There may be additional products that meet the Connecticut Nutrition Standards and the state beverage statute. Schools are encouraged to submit product information to the CSDE for evaluation. The CSDE updates the list every few months.

The Connecticut Nutrition Standards specify that a la carte food choices should focus on a variety of minimally processed and whole foods that are naturally nutrient rich, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats and legumes. The List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages is intended to assist school districts with identifying commercially available packaged products. It is important to note that these products may meet standards for fat, sugar and sodium, but still lack the naturally occurring variety of nutrients (e.g., vitamins, minerals and fiber) found in minimally processed and whole foods. For example, baked chips contain less fat than regular chips, but still do not provide any significant nutritional value. Therefore, the CSDE strongly encourages districts to ensure an optimal selection of healthy food choices for students, by providing a variety of minimally processed and whole foods.

Foods and beverages on the lists below also meet the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition standards. For more information on Smart Snacks, visit the CSDE's Competitive Foods Web page.

List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages
Timesaver Tip: To search the list for specific foods, beverages or manufacturers, open the appropriate list. On the toolbar, click on “edit” then “find” and enter the information you are looking for.
List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages
  • List 1     Chips, Popcorn, Rice Cakes and Puffed Snacks
  • List 2     Crackers, Pita Chips, Hard Pretzels and Snack Mix
  • List 3     Cookies and Bars (e.g., granola, breakfast, cereal),
                        including animal and graham crackers
  • List 4     Bakery Products (e.g., soft pretzels, muffins, bagels)
  • List 5     Cereals
  • List 6     Nuts, Seeds, Soy Nuts, Trail Mix and Jerky
  • List 7     Yogurt and Pudding
  • List 8     Cheese
  • List 9     Smoothies
  • List 10   Frozen Desserts and Ice Cream
  • List 11   Fruits and Vegetables
  • List 12   Soups
  • List 13   Non-entree Combination Foods
  • List 14   Entrees
  • List 15   Cooked Grains
  • List 16   Beverages – Milk
  • List 17   Beverages – Dairy Alternatives
  • List 18   Beverages – 100% Juice
  • List 19   Beverages – 100% Juice Frozen Slush
  • List 20   Beverages – Water with Juice (Carbonated and
  • List 21   Beverages – Water
    • Summary of Recent Updates
      Changes since the previous online update of the list [PDF]

      Vendor Contact Information
      Manufacturers, brokers and distributors that sell foods and beverages on the list [PDF]

      Submitting New Products for Approval
      Information required to submit products to the CSDE for review [PDF]


      Susan S. Fiore, M.S., R.D.:
      Connecticut State Department of Education
      Bureau of Health, Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education
      25 Industrial Park Road, Middletown, CT 06457
      Telephone: 860-807-2050
      Fax: 860-807-2127

      Content Last Modified on 6/5/2014 1:04:35 PM