significant changes have been made on school menus in the
past couple of years at Henry County’s public schools, and
even more major changes are coming in the next two months
that will impact all food sold on school campuses.
policy governing what items can be sold in school vending
machines is under review and will be considered for adoption
by the school board next month, but the rules behind the
policy are federally mandated and must be followed,
according to Judy Hogg, direction of school nutrition for
the school system.
have already been working on compliance with the Healthy
Hungry Free Kids Act by phasing in new standards in school
cafeterias on such things as sodium content. Also, all
schools in the district are already 100 percent whole grain,
USDA’s new “Smart Snacks in Schools” initiative is the
impetus for the vending machine policy, and it takes effect
July 1. All schools nationwide that participate in the
national school lunch program are required to abide by these
“Everything that is sold on campus during the school day
must comply with that rule,” Hogg said, adding that for
these purposes the school day is from 12:01 a.m. until 30
minutes after school is dismissed in the afternoon.
sold at school must have nutritive value; the first
ingredient must be a real food (whole grain, fruit,
vegetable or dairy product) or have 10 percent of one of the
major nutrients. If a food product meets that criteria, then
it must be rated on its fat content, sodium content, number
of calories and sugar content.
these guidelines must be met for a food product to pass
muster and be allowed, which means a lot of study and
research for Hogg and her staff.
think we just sit back here and make menus,” she said with a
laugh. “There is a lot that goes into this.”
the most obvious item that will be missing this fall at
local schools is the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit, an
extremely popular breakfast item which is sold before
classes at most schools in the district as a fundraiser.
number-one moneymaker for our high schools has been the
chicken biscuit,” said Hogg. “Those have been sold just
about every day the past few years.”
actual biscuit Chick-fil-A makes is not whole grain, which
by itself is a disqualifier under the new guidelines, she
said. Even if that were addressed, the breading on the
chicken would have to be whole grain and the other
nutritional requirements on the chicken itself would have to
be met as well.
machines can remain open during school hours if the drinks
are 20 ounces or less and contain zero calories. Officials
at Coca-Cola and Pepsi have seen these regulations coming
for some time and taken a proactive approach to be prepared
for the changes, Hogg said. PepsiCo owns Frito-Lay, which
makes many of the snacks offered in vending machines.
Mayfield Dairies also made changes to some of their ice
cream products to make them fall within guidelines.
drink requirements apply to older students. Elementary
students can only have milk, juice and water during school
schools can still sell coffee, which has become increasingly
popular in recent years with that age group, but the fat and
sugar content must be monitored, Hogg said. There is no
regulation regarding caffeine.
is looking into giving schools a certain number of
exemptions for fundraisers. Under the new rules, students
cannot even sell lollipops because of their nutritional
A copy of the school
system’s proposed new vending machine policy can be found at
the web site,