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Learn more about what foods can be sold in schools with the School Food and Beverage Policy



As of September 2011, all food and beverages sold in publicly-funded elementary and secondary schools will have to follow the Ontario government’s School Food and Beverage Policy. This policy includes a set of nutrition standards for providing healthier food and beverages SOLD at school. 





Food and beverages fall into one of three categories based on their nutrient content. The categories describe whether a food or beverage can be sold in school. The categories are: Sell Most, Sell Less and Not Permitted for Sale.

The chart below shows just some of the foods from the Sell Most category that may be sold in school if they meet the nutrition standards. You may be surprised about some of the foods on this list such as French fries, potato chips and pizza. These foods can still be sold in schools if they meet the nutrition standards.

If you are wondering about your child’s favourite foods or if you are preparing food that will be sold at a school fundraiser, like a bake sale, refer to the Quick Reference Guide for more information about the nutrition criteria. You can also contact EatRight Ontario at 1-877-510-5102 for help with understanding the new policy. 

 

School Food and Beverage Policy Food or Beverage Group and/or Subgroup

Examples of some food and beverages that fit

Nutrition criteria for Sell Most foods from the School Food and Beverage Policy

Vegetables and Fruit

Fresh, Frozen, Canned and Dried Vegetables and Fruit

apples, peaches, raisins, potatoes, spinach, dates, mango, pears, corn, peas, applesauce, French fries, fruit leather

  • Vegetables or fruit (or water) is the first item on the ingredient list AND
  • 0.15 g of trans fat or less AND
  • 3 g of fat or less AND
  • 2 g of saturated fat or less AND
  • 360 mg of sodium or less

Vegetable and Fruit Chips

Potato chips, banana chips

  • 0.15 g of trans fat or less AND
  • 3 g of fat or less AND
  • 2 g of saturated fat or less AND
  • 240 mg of sodium or less

 

Grain Products

Bread

Whole grain breads, bagels, English muffins, pita, naan, bannock, roti, tortillas, chapattis, pizza dough

  • Trans fat is no more than 5% of total fat AND
  • Whole grain is the first item on the ingredient list AND
  • 2 g of saturated fat or less AND
  • 240 mg of sodium or less AND
  • 2 g or more of fibre

Baked goods

Muffins, cookies, granola bars, waffles, pancakes

  • 5 g of fat or less AND
  • 0.25 g of trans fat or less AND
  • 2 g of saturated fat or less AND
  • 2 g or more of fibre

Milk and Alternatives

Yogurt/Kefir

Plain yogurt, fruit yogurt, yogurt tubes

  • 3.25 % MF (milk fat) or less OR 3 g of fat or less AND
  • 0.15 g of trans fat or less

 

Cheese

Part-skim mozzarella, light cheddar, ricotta, Swiss cheese

  • 20% M.F or less AND
  • Trans fat is no more than 5% of total fat AND
  • 360 mg sodium or less AND
  • 15% Daily Value of calcium or more

 

Meat and Alternatives

Deli (Sandwich) meat

Ham, turkey, bologna, chicken, pastrami

  • 5 g of fat or less AND
  • 0.25 g of trans fat or less AND
  • 480 mg of sodium or less

 

Fresh and Frozen Meat

Meatballs, hamburgers, chicken fingers, hot dogs

  • 10 g of fat or less AND
  • 0.5 g of trans fat or less AND
  • 480 mg of sodium or less  

 

Beverages – Elementary Schools

Milk and Milk-Based Beverages (Plain or Flavoured)

Plain milk, chocolate milk, soy beverage

  • Size of container must be 250 mL or less AND
  • 2% M.F or less OR less than 5 g of fat AND
  • 0.25 g of trans fat or less AND
  • 28 g of sugar or less AND
  • 25% DV or more of calcium

 

Juices or Blends: Vegetable or Fruit

 

 

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, fruit drink/blend

  • Must be 100% juice, pulp or puree
  • Size of container must be 250 mL or less
  • Must be unsweetened or no sugar added

 

Beverages – Secondary Schools

Milk and Milk-Based Beverages (Plain or Flavoured)

Plain milk, chocolate milk, soy beverage

  • 2% M.F or less OR less than 5 g of fat AND
  • 0.25 g of trans fat or less AND
  • 28 g of sugar or less AND
  • 25% DV or more of calcium

 

Juices or Blends: Vegetable or Fruit

 

 

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, fruit drink/blend

  • Must be 100% juice, pulp or puree
  • Must be unsweetened or no sugar added


Reading the Nutrition Facts table

To choose healthier food and beverages you will need to understand how to read the Nutrition Facts table. Here are some resources to help you get started:

Video: Introduction to nutrition labelling

Video: Important nutrients on the Nutrition Facts table

Video: Five features of the Nutrition Facts table

Video: % Daily Value

 

More resources for packing healthy school lunches and snacks:

Packing Healthy School Lunches and Snacks FAQs

Food for a Balanced School Day

7 Steps for Quick and Easy Menu Planning

 

More resources to help understand the School Food and Beverage policy:

The school food and beverage: A new way to look at food and beverages sold in schools

What parents need to know about the school food and beverage policy

Healthy lunches for the new school year

 

If you need help with reading nutrition labels or figuring out how a food or beverage fits into the policy, call EatRight Ontario at 1-877-510-510-2 or send an email.

Last Update – June 10, 2015

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