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 (CNS). 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 CNS; 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 CNS, but are not included in this list, unless they are individually packaged. There may be additional products that meet the CNS 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 CNS specifies 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 assists schools with identifying commercially available products. It is important to note that these products may meet the 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. 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 are looking for.

  • 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 7     Yogurt and pudding
  • 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)

    Summary of Recent List 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 5/12/2015 1:40:17 PM