It is almost time to get ready for back to school! For many of us packing lunches is part of our regular routine. The hardest part of packing a lunch is trying to stay creative in what we pack. Having the same thing day after day can become boring! Thanks to Pinterest, there is a multitude of menus for nearly every diet and picky eater out there! Check out my Pinterest board to sample some of these menus.
While we are on the topic of school lunches, I thought this might be a good time to explore the new federal school nutrition standards that became effective as of July 1, 2014. These new standards impact what foods are SOLD to students from the start of school until 30 minutes after dismissal. Parents can still offer their child and/or class anything they desire so long as it was not sold to a student/class. One of my friends, Jody Leonard, conducted an interview this summer to find out the scoop. Please see Mrs. Leonard’s notes below to help guide you in understanding how this will play out in the Fayette County Schools.
How does this new guideline interact with food allergy management example- what sort of
snacks could a peanut free classroom have?
It will not have any effect food allergy management, it only effect food sold to students. Parents are free to select any food items they wish meeting their specific needs.
Will this affect the snacks provided by parents during CRCT?
It will not affect snacks donated by parents for CRCT testing, only affects food SOLD to students.
Can parents still bring food to their kids from “outside” when they visit school and eat with them?
YES-These federal guidelines only impact food sold to students. That said, your individual school may have its own policies concerning food brought into the school. Please check with your individual school administration regarding this.
How can they tell us what we are allowed to send in for our kids to eat for snack and lunch?
Parents WILL be allowed to send in ANYTHING they choose in a sack lunch, as always. The only thing this new law effects is what is SOLD at school during school hours plus 30 minutes past the dismissal bell.
How will this affect Bake sales and Ice cream sales?
*Bake Sales- Bake Sales will not be allowed unless conducted 30 minutes after the school dismissal bell rings or on a weekend.
*Ice Cream Sales- Each school principal has been provided with a list of approved treats from both Blue Bell and Mayfield. Please check with your school on how they plan to proceed with ice cream sales.
How does this affect things such as Spring Fling, movie nights, other major fundraisers?
As long as these fundraisers are not occurring during school hours until 30 minutes after dismissal these guidelines do not apply. Schools/PTO will still be permitted to work with any food vendor, have cake walks, etc., as long as non-authorized foods are not SOLD to students during the normal class day.
How will this affect popcorn sales, (many school PTO’s currently use popcorn sales as a Fundraiser)?
Currently there is no “Smart Snack” approved recipe for popcorn sales, therefore they will not be permitted unless done 30 minutes past the school dismissal bell or at a weekend event.
There have been many emails exchanged and government officials are hoping to develop a standardized recipe that will be “Smart Snack” approved.
How will this affect class parties?
It will not affect class parties so long as food is given to students (not SOLD).
I realize that some of you may have additional questions. The best place to ask these questions is your local school. Principals should be able to answer your questions.
I am thankful to Mrs. Leonard for shedding some light on this. Personally, when I first learned that the new standards were going to be effective July 1, I was angry. I was under the impression that the government was telling me what I could and could not send to school with my child. Thankfully, I now have a better understanding of this thanks to this interview. It is clear that much of this relates to what is SOLD to our children in school and NOT what we pack our kids or bring in.
One thing to note is there is some discussion taking place on amending the fundraising standards. Many schools through the county and state sell items to students as a way to earn money for various causes. At this time the final decision has not been made and once it has I will come back to this blog post and amend.
For more information regarding the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, please visit
The interview by Jody Leonard was also shared on the Fayette County PTO Info Share Facebook page. You can visit that here.