Arkansas School Nutrition Guidelines Change for 2014-15 Year

- LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas's child nutrition guidelines have changed for the 2014-15 school year.

Starting with elementary schools, no food or drinks may be sold or given away outside of the federal child nutrition guidelines. Schools that want to sell or give away food or drinks to middle, junior or high school students must do so at least 30 minutes after last lunch.

The food or drink has to be listed on the Arkansas maximum portion size list, and it must meet the nutritional standards as required by the USDA regulations, including what's in vending machines.

"In Arkansas, we've had nutrition standards since 2003 and it's good for kids because we want to teach kids to eat more healthful foods, foods that are lower in calories, fat and sodium," said Sheila Chastain, associate director of the Child Nutrition Unit.

Schools can still have parties, but the Arkansas Department of Health does restrict home prepared foods at school functions. The food has to be prepared in a commercial inspected kitchen, and the parties are limited to nine per year by Arkansas Nutrition Standards.

You can read all the new regulations here.

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