Nutrition Services Q&A
Are the snacks sold at the school healthy?
Over the past several years, our nutrition department took significant steps to ensure that healthier options are available for a la carte purchase. Like many other Colorado schools, Estes Park School District R-3 has transitioned from district established guidelines to the federal nutrition standards that are set by the "Smart Snacks in School" legislation by the USDA.
All snacks are a whole grain product or have the first ingredient of fruit, vegetable, protein or dairy food. In addition, all snacks meet the following:
Portion Control: All snacks are portion controlled and limited to 200 calories per serving.
Additional Nutrition Guidelines:
- Less than or equal to 35% calories from total fat
- Less than or equal to 10% calories from saturated fat
- Less than or equal to 35% sugar by weight
- Less than or equal to 230 mg/serving
Beverage Guidelines: only the following beverages may be sold at elementary schools
- Milk, including 1% and skim unflavored, skim flavored
- 100% juice
Why are snacks sold in Estes Park Schools?
We continue to sell snacks and provide an a la carte program for several reasons:
- We believe that the healthier snack options that are provided in age-appropriate portion sizes can be part of an overall healthy eating program.
- A la carte choices increase the options available for our students to help meet the needs of our diverse population
- In a district such as ours, the Food and Nutrition Services department depends on an a la carte program to maint a self-sustaining status.
Can I control the snacks my students purchase?
Yes. Speak with your kitchen team leader if you'd like to limit the a la carte purchases your student makes. As a general rule, we encourage to eat snacks only after finishing their lunch meal and do not believe students need multiple snacks with their meals. However, some families would like their student to have the flexibility to purchase more.