Site Index | CDE Offices | Staff Directory

Competitive Foods (Smart Snacks in School)

Competitive foods are food items sold in competition to the reimbursable school meal.  The term competitive foods refers to any food or beverage served outside of the federal meal programs, regardless of nutritional value.  The goal is to limit access to these foods.

  • What does it mean to limit student access to competitive foods?
    • Limiting access means making it more difficult for students to obtain competitive foods and beverages.
  • Why should schools or districts limit access to specific foods and beverages?
    • The presence of food can be a prompt to eat. The constant availability of foods and beverages may increase the likelihood of impulse buying and contribute to overeating by some students.

Current Policy and Resources

Upcoming Policy and Resources

The Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards support better health for our kids and echo the good work already taking place in schools across the country.  The new standards preserve flexibility for time-honored traditions like fundraisers and bake sales, and provide ample transition time for schools.  USDA and the Office of School Nutrition are committed to working closely with students, parents, school stakeholders and the food and beverage industries to implement the new guidelines, and make the healthy choice the easy choice for America's young people.


    • Is your snack a Smart Snack? Find out with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Smart Snacks Product Calculator! This calculator has been determined by the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service to be accurate in assessing product compliance with the federal requirements for Smart Snacks in Schools.

For additional information, E-Mail:

Quick Links


Contact Us

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Educator Licensing
Location & Hours