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California Nutrition Standards for ASP

This web page provides information on the California Nutrition Standards meal pattern for After School Programs (ASP).
Important Notice: CACFP Program Moved to CDSS

The Early Childhood Development Act of 2020 (Senate Bill (SB) 98, Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020) authorized the transfer of child care and development programs administered by the California Department of Education to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) effective July 1, 2021. The content on this page may not be current and involves the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that has moved to CDSS. Visit the CDSS CACFP web page External link opens in new window or tab. or call 1-833-559-2420 for more information.

Summary

ASP that provide snacks through:

  • The federal Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) (National School Lunch Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program) must follow the federal meal patterns on the ASP web page.

  • After School Education and Safety (ASES) or the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs must follow the California Nutrition Standards. These ASPs should also seek to qualify for the CNPs.

  • Both the CNPs and the ASES or 21st CCLC programs must meet both the federal meal pattern and the California Nutrition Standards.

California Nutrition Standards

California Education Code Requirements

California Education Code sections 49430-49431.7, 8423(c)3, and 8482-8484.6 provide the California Nutrition Standards requirements for ASP funded by ASES and 21st CCLC.

Food

Snacks provided in ASES and 21st CCLC funded ASPs must be fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein or whole grain-rich food items; foods with a fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein, or whole grain-rich item as the first ingredient; or combination foods containing at least one-quarter cup of fruit or vegetable that meet all of the following standards. Each individual food item must:

  • Not be deep fried, par fried, or flash fried by the entity preparing the food item

  • Not be deep fried, par fried, flash fried as part of the manufacturing process unless an acceptable oil is used such as canola, safflower, sunflower, corn, olive, soybean, peanut, or a blend of these oils, typically liquid at room temperature and are known for their positive cardiovascular benefit

  • Contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving

  • Contain less than or equal to 35 percent of its total calories from fat (This does not apply to individually packaged portions of nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, reduced-fat cheese or part skim mozzarella cheese.)

  • Contain less than 10 percent of its total calories from saturated fat (This does not apply to individually packaged portions of reduced-fat cheese or part skim mozzarella cheese, nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, or a dried fruit and nut and seed combination.)

  • Contain less than or equal to 35 percent of its total weight from sugar, including naturally occurring and added sugar (This does not apply to fruits, vegetables that have not been deep fried, or a dried fruit and nut and seed combination.)

  • Contain no more than 200 milligrams of sodium per item

  • Contain no more than 200 calories per individual food item

Beverages

Only the following beverages may be served to students:

  • 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 and high school

  • 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 and high school

  • Plain water or plain carbonated water

  • One-percent-fat unflavored milk, nonfat flavored or unflavored milk, soy milk, rice 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 and high school

  • A beverage shall not contain caffeine with the exception of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances

  • Beverages labeled or commonly referred to as sodas, colas, or soft drinks are not allowed

  • High School Only: 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

  • High School Only: 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

  • High School Only: An electrolyte replacement beverage that contains less than 5 calories per 8 fluid ounce in a maximum serving size of 20 fluid ounces

  • High School Only: An electrolyte replacement beverage that contains no more than 40 calories per 8 fluid ounces in a maximum serving size of 12 fluid ounces

Definitions

Added Sweetener—Any additive other than 100 percent fruit juice that enhances the sweetness of a beverage

Deep fried—A food item is cooked by total submersion in oil or fat

Par fried—A food item is fried to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit then is cooled to room temperature so that it may be refrigerated or frozen for future frying

Flash fried—A food item is quickly fried on both sides in oil with a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

Whole Grain-rich—A food item that contains 50 percent or more whole grains by weight or has a whole grain as the first ingredient

Federal Meal Patterns for the CNPs

For the federal meal patterns for ASP, visit the California Department of Education (CDE) ASP web page.

Summary Tables

The summary tables assist program operators of the ASP in following the correct meal pattern for the funding they are receiving.

CDE Administered ASPs
CDE Administered ASPs California State Snack Standards CNP Federal Standards
SNACKS provided by ASES or 21st CCLC funds Yes No
SNACKS provided through CNP funds Yes Yes
MEALS provided through CNP, ASES or 21st CCLC funds No Yes
Non-CDE Administered ASPs
Non-CDE Administered ASPs California State Snack Standards CNP Federal Standards
Snacks or meals not funded through ASES or 21st CCLC Recommended Yes
Snacks or meals provided through CNP funds No Yes

Contacts

For more information about at-risk after school meals or the California Education Code requirements for snacks, contact Nutrition Services Division, at 916-322-9943 or by email at aspmealpatterns@cde.ca.gov.

For more information about federal reimbursable snack or meal requirements, contact your local Child Nutrition Consultant or call the Nutrition Services Division at 800-952-5609.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 10, 2021
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