35-10-35 School Nutrition: What it Means and Why it Matters

Posted by Sarah Rancuret on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 @ 09:12 AM

usda png35-10-35 is a term you might have heard in conversations dealing with regulations for food served in schools.

Justin Miller, bakery sciences and manufacturing manager at Darlington, says he fields questions on the USDA's 35-10-35 frequently and has a great deal of experience with these regulations.

At its core, the USDA's 35-10-35 guidelines are designed to control where your child's calories come from. To meet the 35-10-35 guidelines, a product must have no more than:

  • 35% of total calories from fat
  • 10% of total calories from saturated fat
  • 35% of total calories from sugar

Products that meet these guidelines are going to be lower in fat and sugar and therefore healthier for all of us to eat!

Determining whether something meets these guidelines is a bit more complicated than dividing the numbers in the item's nutrition facts. "The first 35% and the 10% are calculated by multiplying the fat and saturated fat by nine and then dividing that number by the total calories. The final 35% is referencing the amount of sugars that make up the total calorie count. This is calculated by multiplying the sugars by four; and just as you did before with the fats, you divide it by the total calories," Miller explained.

35-10-35 is part of a much larger set of guidelines set forth in a 2007 report by the Institute of Medicine. The IOM advises Congress, and their report Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools offers these guidelines for competitive products in schools. To learn more about the report, click here

While federal regulations mandate products served in schools meet the 35-10-35 guidelines, it does not prevent states or school districts from implementing stricter rules. Many states or districts have chosen to implement a 30-10-30 policy.

"30-10-30 is the highest of the standards some schools follow today. I have also seen some schools follow 30,10,35 or 35,10,35," Miller said. Darlington's products adhere to the 30-10-30 standard.

With these standards, schools can trust the snack foods to fit into their balanced diet while following all the total calorie restrictions set forth by that school or even the government for reimbursable school lunches.

If you're looking for products that taste great and meet 30-10-30, check out these delicious Darlington, Appleways and Crave-N-Rave products:

  • Spikerz™
  • 1.5 oz Whole Grain Breakfast Squares
  • Strawberry Waffle Snaps1.2 | 2.4 oz Soft Oatmeal Bars
  • Whole Grain Waffle Snaps
  • 1.4 oz Appleays Cookies

Tags: Crave-N-Rave, Spikerz, Soft Oatmeal Bars, Seasonal Cookies, Darlington, Appleways, Waffle Snaps, Breakfast Squares