No more bake sales? New federal snack rules could hurt school fundraisers

MUKILTEO, Wash.  -- Starting July 1, new federal guidelines go into effect limiting which types of snack foods can be sold during school hours.

The idea is to offer students more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limit the amount of fat, sugar and sodium kids consume. The law specifies that the nutrition standards apply to all foods sold on school campuses at any time during the school day.

Examples of some of the rules include grain products must contain 50% or more whole grains by weight or have whole grains be the first ingredient. “Combination foods” must have at least two or more of the recommended food groups like yogurt and fruit, cheese and crackers, and hummus and vegetables.

Under the new rules, foods cannot contain more than 35% of calories from fat, except for nuts and seeds, dried fruit or mozzarella cheese. There are also limits on sodium. Foods cannot have more than 230 mg. per item and entrees must be below 350 calories per item, snacks 200 or less calories.  The only acceptable beverages are juice, water and milk.  The USDA provided a food calculator that helps figure out which snacks are acceptable.

Parents in Mukilteo who sell cookies as part of a fundraiser at Harbour Pointe Middle School are concerned how the new rules will affect sales. They typically raise between $12-$18,000 per year and use the money for activities, a new electronic reader board outside the school and grants for teachers.

Hear from a PTO member who is concerned as well as a nutrition expert on this issue.