SDE: List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages

List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages

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All public schools must comply with the beverage requirements of Section 10-221q of the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.). Public schools that choose to implement Healthy Food Certification under C.G.S. Section 10-215f must follow the Connecticut Nutrition Standards (CNS) for all foods sold to students separately from reimbursable school meals.

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 comply with the CNS; and
  • beverages that comply with the state beverage statute.
Minimally processed naturally nutrient-rich foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes comply with the CNS, but are not included on the CSDE list, unless they are individually packaged. Schools are encouraged to submit new product information to the CSDE for evaluation. The CSDE updates the list every few months.

{boy eating bowl of fruit salad}

The CNS specifies that a la carte food choices should include a variety of naturally nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and legumes. The List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages assists schools with identifying commercially available products. However, some products may 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. 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.

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 would like to find.
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 bars, cereal bars, animal crackers and graham crackers)
List 4 BAKERY PRODUCTS (e.g., waffles, pancakes, soft pretzels, muffins, rolls and bagels)
List 5 BREAKFAST CEREALS (cold ready-to-eat cereal and cooked hot cereal, e.g., oatmeal)
List 6 NUTS, SEEDS AND JERKY (including nut/seed butters, soy nuts and trail mix)
List 8 CHEESE (low-fat or reduced fat natural cheese)
List 9 SMOOTHIES (made with low-fat yogurt and fruits/vegetables/100 percent juice)
List 10 FROZEN DESSERTS (e.g.,ice cream, ice cream novelties and frozen fruit/juice bars)
List 11 FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (individually packaged fresh, frozen, canned and dried)
List 12 SOUPS (ready-to-serve, condensed and frozen)
List 13 NON-ENTREE COMBINATION FOODS (contain more than one food component)
List 14 ENTREES (sold only a la carte)
List 15 COOKED GRAINS (e.g., pasta, rice, quinoa and bulgur)
List 16 Beverages – MILK (low-fat unflavored and fat-free unflavored or flavored)
List 17 Beverages – DAIRY ALTERNATIVES, e.g., soy milk
List 18 Beverages – 100% JUICE (carbonated and noncarbonated)
List 19 Beverages – 100% JUICE FROZEN SLUSH
List 20 Beverages – WATER WITH JUICE (carbonated and noncarbonated)
List 21 Beverages – WATER (carbonated and noncarbonated)
CONTACT:  Susan S. Fiore, M.S., R.D. at or 860-807-2075
Connecticut State Department of Education
Bureau of Health, Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 504
Hartford, CT 06103
Telephone: 860-807-2050 • Fax: 860-807-2127

CSDE Nondiscrimination Statement

Content Last Modified on 1/18/2017 1:15:22 PM