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School Kids Bid Farewell to Unhealthy Snacks

Kids heading back to public schools for the new academic year are going to get healthier snacks with new USDA standards that are now in effect.

Known as the "Smart Snacks in School" standards, they're aimed at limiting the amount of fat, sugar, salt and calories consumed by students in between meals. So it's goodbye to snacks like chips, doughnuts and soda, and hello to healthier treats like raisins, carrots and granola bars.

School kids in Maine, however, may not notice such a big change, says Jessica Donze Black, the director of the Kids Safe and Healthful Foods Project, run by the Pew Charitable Trust and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"Many schools in Maine have already updated standards and are already serving healthier foods in their vending machines and in their snack bars and in their a la carte lines," Black says.

In addition to the new snack guidelines, Black says almost 90 percent of Maine schools also meet the USDA's meal nutrition standards, which were introduced two years ago.

Learn more about the USDA's Healthier School Day program

View the Pew Charitable Trust's survey of parents on healthier eating policies for school kids.