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Repeal of Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Beneficial Information

To: National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Sponsors

Attention: Food Service Directors

Number: SNP-15-2015

Date: March 2015

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memorandum SP 53-2014: Transition of Foods and Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value to Smart Snacks in Schools Standards; Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 210.11 and 210.11a

Subject: Repeal of Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value: Effects on Competitive Food and Meal Program Requirements


On July 1, 2014, the Smart Snacks in School (SSIS) rule found in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 210.11 (7 CFR 210.11) became effective and the Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV) rule (7 CFR 210.11a) became obsolete. This Management Bulletin provides School Nutrition Program sponsors with information regarding the effects of this change.

Effects on the Sale of Competitive Foods

Prior to July 1, 2014, the FMNV rule prohibited certain items to be sold to students during the meal period within the food service area. Items included carbonated or aerated beverages, water ices, chewing gum, hard candy, jellies and gums, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy, and candy-coated popcorn.

As of July, 1, 2014, the FMNV list of foods and beverages no longer exists. Any food or beverage previously included on the FMNV list is now subject to the new SSIS rule (as well as California’s competitive food and beverage rules) to determine compliance.

Effects on the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program

Previously, the FMNV rule did not allow foods or beverages on the FMNV list to be served as a component or an extra item in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the School Breakfast Program (SBP).

As of July 1, 2014, school food authorities (SFA) can serve certain foods and beverages previously included on the FMNV list as a component (provided it meets the meal pattern requirements) or an extra item in the NSLP and the SBP. For example, a carbonated 100 percent juice beverage can now count for the fruit component; prior to July 1, 2014, it was considered an FMNV and did not count. Please remember to count calories, saturated fat, and sodium for any food or beverage served, regardless if it is counted as a component or an extra item, in the NSLP or the SBP.

The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) strongly discourages serving foods or beverages containing high levels of calories, sugar, fat, saturated fat, or sodium as extra items in the NSLP and the SBP. The NSD recommends using the competitive food and beverage rules as guidance when analyzing whether to serve extra items as part of the NSLP and the SBP. The NSD also recommends that language surrounding this issue be integrated into the district local school wellness policy.

Guidelines and Information

SFAs can access Policy Memo SP 53-2014 on the Transition of Foods and Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value to Smart Snacks in School Standards web page at https://www.fns.usda.gov/transition-foods-and-foods-minimal-nutritional-value-smart-snacks-school-standards. The USDA Policy Memo reminds SFAs that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation developed an online calculator to help school districts assess foods and beverages for compliance with the new national rules. However, due to the integration of state and federal rules, this online calculator is not applicable in California in situations where the California requirement is stricter.

For specific information regarding the new SSIS rule, please visit the USDA Smart Snacks web page at https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks. For California’s competitive foods and beverage rules, please visit the California Department of Education’s Competitive Foods and Beverages web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/he/compfoods.asp.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the Competitive Foods and Beverages team by email at COMPETITIVEFOODS@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
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