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New Federal Rules Require Healthier School Snacks

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(CNN) -- Candy bars, doughnuts and regular potato chips will become scarce in schools under new federal rules released Thursday, replaced by healthier options such as granola bars, trail mix and baked chips.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new "Smart Snacks in School" nutrition standards represent the first nutritional overhaul of school snacks in more than 30 years.

The regulations set limits for fat, salt and sugar sold in places such as vending machines and snack bars. School foods must contain at least 50% whole grains or have a fruit, vegetable, dairy or protein as the first ingredient. Foods that contain at least Ľ cup of fruit and/or vegetables will also be allowed.

Beverages will be under the microscope as well. Sports drinks that contain relatively high amounts of sugar are prohibited, but the low-calorie versions will be for sale. Low-fat and fat-free milk, 100% fruit and vegetable juice, and no-calorie flavored waters are permitted. Potable water must be made available to kids for free where meals are served.

Schools and food and beverage companies must meet these standards by July 1, 2014, according to the USDA. That means the rules would be in effect for the 2014-2015 school year.

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