Why beef jerky is a smart snack
To be able to do food fundraisers on school campuses, certain nutritional standards must be met. An increasing emphasis is being placed on healthier alternatives as students are being offered school lunches with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The goal of the ‘Smart Snacks in School’ standards is to help ensure that students are offered tasty and nutritional foods at school. Many have wondered if beef jerky meets those requirements. It’s quite possible that some brands might. People’s Choice beef jerky has been around since 1929 and is well known for producing healthier beef jerky options. For example, their ‘Carne Seca’ line contains no soy, gluten, carbs, nitrates, sugars, preservatives or MSG. One example of this is their Hatch Green Chile Beef Jerky. Your group may be able to sell beef jerky like this during school hours as a fundraiser. But we recommend first checking with your school district to make sure.
Specific Nutritional Guidelines
The nutritional standards for foods sold on campus during school hours are very specific. One of the requirements is that the first ingredient can be a protein food. However, the number of calories must also be limited to 200 calories or less. Additional nutrient requirements include:
- Sodium intake must be limited to 230 mg* or less.
- Total fat can only be 35% or less of the caloric intake.
- Saturated fat has to be less than 10% of the total calories.
- There can be no trans-fat.
- Sugar is also limited to 35% or less of the weight from total sugars in foods.
*On July 1, 2016, snack items must contain 200 mg of sodium or less per item.
'Original Beef Jerky' meets all current nutritional standards.
The Impact on In-School Fundraisers
The sale of food items that meet the nutritional requirements are not restricted in any way. The standards don’t apply during non-school hours, on weekends or at any off-campus events. Thus any food can be sold under these circumstances. However, being able to offer food products that can also be sold on campus during school hours can greatly enhance buying opportunities because students can sell to teachers, staff as well as to each other.