California - Competitive foods—MS: Federal requirement

Area: 
Federal Requirement
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation
Summary: 

State law requires nutrition standards for food and beverages sold outside of school meals programs that do not meet Smart Snacks.

California Education Code 49431.2.

(a) From the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official schoolday, at each middle school or high school, the only competitive snack foods that may be sold to a pupil are fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, or whole grain rich food items; foods with a fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, or whole grain item as its first ingredient; or combination foods containing at least one-quarter cup of fruit or vegetable that meet all of the following standards:

  • (1) Not more than 35 percent of its total calories shall be from fat. This paragraph does not apply to the sale of nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, reduced-fat cheese or part skim mozzarella cheese packaged for individual sale, fruits, vegetables that have not been deep fried, seafood, or a dried fruit and nut and seed combination.
  • (2) Less than 10 percent of its total calories shall be from saturated fat. This paragraph shall not apply to reduced-fat cheese or part skim mozzarella cheese packaged for individual sale, nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, or a dried fruit and nut and seed combination.
  • (3) Not more than 35 percent of its total weight shall be composed of sugar, including naturally occurring and added sugars. This paragraph shall not apply to the sale of fruits, vegetables that have not been deep fried, or a dried fruit and nut and seed combination.
  • (4) Contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
  • (5) Contains not more than 200 milligrams of sodium per item, package, or container sold to a pupil.
  • (6) Contains not more than 200 calories per individual food item.

California Education Code 49431.7.

(a) From the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official schoolday, a school or school district shall not sell to pupils enrolled in kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, food containing artificial trans fat, as defined in subdivision (b).


5 CA ADC § 15578

(a) Any food items appearing together on a menu and sold together as if they were a single food item, and typically combined for simultaneous consumption (e.g., pita with hummus, salad with dressing, chicken patty on a bun), shall be considered as one item for compliance (1) with the fat restriction, saturated fat restriction, sugar restriction and caloric restriction for a snack item or (2) with the fat restriction and caloric restriction for an entree item.

(b) All non-exempt food items for sale must meet the fat restriction, saturated fat restriction, sugar restriction and caloric restriction for a snack item or the fat restriction and caloric restriction for an entree item.

(c) A food item for sale containing non-exempted foods or ingredients combined with fruits, vegetables, nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, or legumes shall comply with the restrictions for non-exempted foods as described in section 15578(b).

(d) A food item for sale containing solely a mix of exempted foods is exempt from the fat restriction, saturated fat restriction, sugar restriction and caloric restriction.
Source: California Office of Administrative Law


California Education Code 49430.

As used in this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Added sweetener” means an additive other than 100 percent fruit juice that enhances the sweetness of a beverage.
(b) “Combination foods” means products that contain two or more components representing two or more of the recommended food groups: fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, or grains.
(c) “Competitive foods” means all food and beverages other than meals reimbursed under programs authorized by the federal Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (Public Law 113-79) and the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1771 et seq.) available for sale to pupils on the school campus during the schoolday.
(d) “Deep fried” means a food item that is cooked by total submersion in oil or fat.
(e) “Elementary school” means a school operated and maintained by a school district or county office of education that maintains any grade from kindergarten to grade 6, inclusive, but no grade higher than grade 6.
(f) “Entrée” means a food that is generally regarded as being the primary food in a meal, and shall include, but not be limited to, sandwiches, burritos, pasta, and pizza.
(g) “Flash fried” means a food item that is quickly fried on both sides in oil with a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
(h) “High school” means a school operated and maintained by a school district or county office of education maintaining any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive.
(i) “Middle school” means a school operated and maintained by a school district or county office of education that maintains grade 7 or 8, grades 7 to 9, inclusive, or grades 7 to 10, inclusive.
(j) “Par fried” means a food item that is fried to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit then it is cooled to room temperature so that it may be refrigerated or frozen for future frying.
(k) “School campus” means all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to pupils during the schoolday.
(l) “Schoolday” means the period from the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official schoolday.
(m) “Snack” means a food that is generally regarded as supplementing a meal, including, but not limited to, chips, crackers, yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds, fruit, or vegetables.
(n) “Sold” means the exchange of food or beverages for money, coupons, vouchers, or order forms when any part of the exchange occurs on a school campus.


California Education Code 49431.2.

(a) From the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official schoolday, at each middle school or high school, the only competitive snack foods that may be sold to a pupil are fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, or whole grain rich food items; foods with a fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, or whole grain item as its first ingredient; or combination foods containing at least one-quarter cup of fruit or vegetable that meet all of the following standards:

  • (1) Not more than 35 percent of its total calories shall be from fat. This paragraph does not apply to the sale of nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, reduced-fat cheese or part skim mozzarella cheese packaged for individual sale, fruits, vegetables that have not been deep fried, seafood, or a dried fruit and nut and seed combination.
  • (2) Less than 10 percent of its total calories shall be from saturated fat. This paragraph shall not apply to reduced-fat cheese or part skim mozzarella cheese packaged for individual sale, nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, or a dried fruit and nut and seed combination.
  • (3) Not more than 35 percent of its total weight shall be composed of sugar, including naturally occurring and added sugars. This paragraph shall not apply to the sale of fruits, vegetables that have not been deep fried, or a dried fruit and nut and seed combination.
  • (4) Contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
  • (5) Contains not more than 200 milligrams of sodium per item, package, or container sold to a pupil.
  • (6) Contains not more than 200 calories per individual food item.

California Education Code 49431.5.

(a) (1) From the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official schoolday, at each elementary or middle school, the only competitive beverages that may be sold to a pupil are the following:

  • (A) Fruit-based drinks that are composed of no less than 50 percent fruit juice and have no added sweetener in a maximum serving size of 8 fluid ounces for elementary school or 12 fluid ounces for middle school.
  • (B) Vegetable-based drinks that are composed of no less than 50 percent vegetable juice and have no added sweetener in a maximum serving size of 8 fluid ounces for elementary school or 12 fluid ounces for middle school.
  • (C) Plain water or plain carbonated water.
  • (D) One-percent-fat unflavored milk, nonfat flavored or unflavored milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and other similar nondairy milk in a maximum serving size of 8 fluid ounces for elementary school or 12 fluid ounces for middle school.
  • (E) A beverage shall not contain caffeine with the exception of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances.

California Education Code 49431.5.

(a) (1) From the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official schoolday, at each elementary or middle school, the only competitive beverages that may be sold to a pupil are the following:

  • (A) Fruit-based drinks that are composed of no less than 50 percent fruit juice and have no added sweetener in a maximum serving size of 8 fluid ounces for elementary school or 12 fluid ounces for middle school.
  • (B) Vegetable-based drinks that are composed of no less than 50 percent vegetable juice and have no added sweetener in a maximum serving size of 8 fluid ounces for elementary school or 12 fluid ounces for middle school.
  • (C) Plain water or plain carbonated water.
  • (D) One-percent-fat unflavored milk, nonfat flavored or unflavored milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and other similar nondairy milk in a maximum serving size of 8 fluid ounces for elementary school or 12 fluid ounces for middle school.
  • (E) A beverage shall not contain caffeine with the exception of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances.

(2) An elementary school or middle school may permit the sale of beverages that do not comply with paragraph (1) as part of a school fundraising event in either of the following circumstances:

  • (A) The sale of those items takes place off and away from the premises of the school.
  • (B) The sale of those items takes place on school premises at least one-half hour after the end of the schoolday.

(3) From the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official schoolday, at each high school, the only competitive beverages that may be sold to a pupil are the following:

  • (A) Fruit-based drinks that are composed of no less than 50 percent fruit juice and have no added sweetener in a maximum serving size of 12 fluid ounces.
  • (B) Vegetable-based drinks that are composed of no less than 50 percent vegetable juice and have no added sweetener in a maximum serving size of 12 fluid ounces.
  • (C) Plain water or plain carbonated water.
  • (D) One-percent-fat unflavored milk, nonfat flavored or unflavored milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and other similar nondairy milk in a maximum serving size of 12 fluid ounces.
  • (E) Flavored water or flavored carbonated water with no added sweetener that is labeled to contain less than 5 calories per 8 fluid ounces in a maximum serving size of 20 fluid ounces.
  • (F) Flavored water or flavored carbonated water with no added sweetener that is labeled to contain no more than 40 calories per 8 fluid ounces in a maximum serving size of 12 fluid ounces.
  • (G) Electrolyte replacement beverages that are labeled to contain less than 5 calories per 8 fluid ounces in a maximum serving size of 20 fluid ounces.
  • (H) Electrolyte replacement beverages that are labeled to contain no more than 40 calories per 8 fluid ounces in a maximum serving size of 12 fluid ounces.
  • (I) Beverages labeled or commonly referred to as sodas, colas, or soft drinks are not allowed.
  • (J) A beverage shall not contain caffeine with the exception of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances.

(4) A high school may permit the sale of beverages that do not comply with paragraph (3) as part of a school event if the sale of those items meets either of the following criteria:

  • (A) The sale of those items takes place off and away from the premises of the school.
  • (B) The sale of those items takes place on school premises at least one-half hour after the end of the schoolday.
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