The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging schools use a "smart snacks product calculator" to determine if the food they serve in schools qualifies under the Obama administration's school lunch standards.
Earlier this year, USDA told all state agencies that its Food and Nutrition Service had determined the calculator is an accurate tool for measuring compliance with federal rules for school food.
Does all that food qualify as nutritious under the government's school lunch nutrition guidelines? Run it through the Smart Snacks Product Calculator to find out. (AP Photo/The Flint Journal, Jake May)
Those rules set certain guidelines for nutrients, whole grain content, and calorie restrictions. A calculator designed by the Alliance and a Healthier Generation has already been used by thousands of schools across the country, but it can be used at home to see if your favorite food would qualify to be sold at school.
Let's play! Click here to start the fun, and see if your favorite snack qualifies to be served at school.
Take, for example, two Chewy Chips Ahoy Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate cookies. The first question asked by the calculator is what kind of food that is, so we'll call it a "snack."
Next it asks if one of the first ingredients in the snack is a fruit, vegetable, whole grain or other healthy choice, or "none of the above." The cookies say it's unbleached enriched flour... let's cheat and say that qualifies as "whole grain."
Then the calculator asks for detailed information about the snack. It wants details on calories, fat, sodium and other details. Plugging that in for the cookies, you get the following result: