There continues to be considerable national emphasis about obesity in the general population and particularly in students.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has classified obesity as a national epidemic and the Surgeon General issued a Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity.  The increasing consumption of “junk food” and carbonated beverages by students is being blamed for an alarming increase in obesity and Type II diabetes.  Schools are identified as one of the key settings for public health strategies to address this concern.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched efforts to foster healthy school nutrition environments that support proper nutrition and the development of healthy eating habits to counteract these national health concerns and to improve the quality of students’ dietary intake.

    To further these efforts a Child Nutrition Program policy memorandum was issued in 2002 which emphasized the requirements prohibiting serving Food of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV).  That policy pertained to the availability of FMNV in school food service and eating areas.  The problem of obesity and Type II diabetes among Texas school students is increasing and has become a public health crisis in the state.  The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is concerned about the health of all Texans and school students in particular.  The TDA has issued the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy to promote a healthier environment in schools. This policy was the result of a collaborative effort utilizing the expertise from nationally recognized professionals who graciously lent their time and knowledge to this important effort. The response to TDA’s initiatives to improve nutrition environments in schools has been overwhelmingly positive. We have received numerous comments and requests for explanations from school administrators, food service personnel, professional associations, parents, and teachers. In response to these comments and suggestions, we have revised the policy to be clearer and to provide schools with more flexibility in the implementation and phase-in dates. TDA will continue to work closely with schools, communities, health organizations and other groups to provide assistance in this important effort. The support of school boards, administrators and parents across the state is very important to achieve the goal of improving the health of our children. Unless otherwise noted in this document, all Texas public schools participating in the federal child nutrition programs (National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and the After School Snack Program) must comply with the nutrition policies outlined below beginning

    on August 1, 2007. These policies are intended to supplement federal policies defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services. As a result of local nutrition and wellness policies, school districts may have stricter nutrition guidelines.


    FMNV (Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value) POLICY

    An elementary school campus may not serve or provide access for students to FMNV at any time anywhere on school premises until after the end of the last scheduled class.  For purposes of this policy, an elementary school campus is defined as any campus containing a combination of grades EE - 6.  Examples:  EE, PK - 3, 5 - 6, and 6th grade centers. 

    Schools must prevent students’ from accessing FMNVs on school premises. Such food and beverages may not be sold or given away on school premises by the school, school or non-school organizations, teachers, parents, or any other person or group during until after the end of the last scheduled class.


    The TDA will aggressively enforce and diligently monitor this policy to ensure continued compliance.  When violations of this policy are noted the TDA will disallow all meal reimbursement for up to four weeks and require the school to reimburse the food service account for the lost reimbursement.  A documented corrective action plan will be required and will be diligently monitored to ensure continued compliance. 



    Federal regulations prohibit the sale of certain foods, determined to be of minimal nutritional value, in the foodservice area during meal periods. The foods that are restricted from sale to students are classified in      these four categories:

    ·         Soda Waterany carbonated beverage, including those with added nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and protein.

    ·         Water Icesany frozen, sweetened water such as popsicles and other “...sicles” and flavored ice with the exception of products that contain fruit or fruit juice.

    ·         Chewing Gumany flavored products made from natural or synthetic gums and other ingredients that form an insoluble mass for chewing.

    ·         Candiesany processed foods made predominantly from sweeteners or artificial sweeteners including hard candy, jellies and gums, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy and candy-coated popcorn.



    ·         Beverages- Fruit Juices,  Fruit Smoothies,  Mild,  non-fat or low fat,  plain or flavored,  Plain Water

    ·         Low-Fat Grain Foods-- Mini-bagel bread sticks, Animal Crackers, Graham Crackers, Soft pretzel,   English Muffin, Pretzels, Mini rice cakes, Fig Newtons, Vanilla wafers, Baked tortilla chips with salsa, Low-fat fruit or grain muffin (3 oz), Dry cereal, individual servings (1 oz).

    ·         Fresh Fruits and Vegetables-- In Season fresh fruit,  Carrots,  broccoli,  with low-fat dip or salad dressing

    ·         Additional Treats-Frozen low-fat yogurt, Frozen fruit bars, Low-fat pudding, plain or as a parfait, Fat free popcorn, Peanut butter and crackers, Low-fat string cheese, Fruit, nut and/or grain trail mixes

    ·         Entrée Suggestions-Salads made  with  pasta,  meat,   and /or  vegetables,  Baked  potato  with    vegetable or chili topping, Pasta with marinara sauce, Pizza bagels (or English muffins), Grill or baked vegetable  or cheese quesadilla,  Tortilla wraps filled with meat  and/or vegetables, Bean  burrito

    ·         Additional Items Not Restricted by Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value Policy- Chips (1 oz), cookies  (2 oz), Bakery items (3 oz).

    ·         Non-Food Reward Ideas- Pencils, Stars, Stickers, Certificates, Movie Coupons, Rulers, Coupons    for extra computer time, free time, reading time, etc.