SDE: List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages

List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages

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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 Connecticut Nutrition Standards (CNS) and beverages that comply with the beverage requirements of Section 10 -221q of the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.). These foods and beverages also meet the USDA's Smart Snacks nutrition standards.

  • Minimally processed naturally nutrient-rich foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes comply with the CNS, but are not included on the List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages, unless they are individually packaged.
  • The CSDE encourages schools and vendors to submit new product information to the CSDE for evaluation. The handout, Submitting New Products for Approval, summarizes the information required to submit products for review.
  • The CSDE updates the List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages every few months. The handout, Summary of Recent List Updates, lists products that have been added or deleted since the last online update.
  • The CSDE's Vendor Contact Information is a list of manufacturers, brokers, and distributors selling foods and beverages on the CSDE's List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages

All public schools must comply with the beverage requirements of C.G.S. Section 10. Public schools that choose to implement the healthy food option of Healthy Food Certification under C.G.S. Section 10-215f must follow the CNS for all foods sold to students separately from reimbursable school meals.

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.

Note: 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.

  • List 1:  CHIPS, popcorn, rice cakes, puffed snacks
  • List 2:  CRACKERS, pita chips, hard pretzels, snack mix
  • List 3:  COOKIES AND BARS (e.g., granola/cereal bars, animal/graham crackers)
  • List 4:  BAKERY PRODUCTS (e.g., waffles, pancakes, soft pretzels, muffins, rolls, 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, 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, frozen fruit/juice bars)
  • List 11:  FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (individually packaged fresh, frozen, canned, dried)
  • List 12:  SOUPS (ready-to-serve, condensed, 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, 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
Child Nutrition Programs
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 504
Hartford, CT 06103-1841

Nondiscrimination Statements (USDA and CSDE)

Content Last Modified on 4/17/2017 2:23:48 PM