The Massachusetts Public Health Council this week approved school nutrition standards banning foods with artificial sweeteners, trans fats and caffeine, according to an article in The Boston Globe.
The regulations also ban fried foods and limit the amount of fat, sodium and sugar permitted in school foods. In addition, breads must be made with whole grain and unsweetened fruits and vegetables must be offered wherever food is sold besides in vending machines. Water must be available for free, juices must be 100 percent fruit juice and flavored milk cannot have more sugar than plain low-fat milk.
Most of the changes go into effect in the 2012-2013 school year. The Education Department will monitor school compliance. The ban on sugary drinks and the requirement that nutrition information be available for all non-prepackaged food take effect in the 2013-2014 school year.
The guidelines do not apply to lunch meals, leaving the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in charge of crafting guidelines to improve the nutritional standards of school lunches.