List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages


NOTE: The Connecticut Nutrition Standards (CNS) specifies that a la carte food choices should include a variety of naturally nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and legumes. The List of Acceptable Foods and Beverages assists schools with identifying commercially available products. However, some products may lack the naturally occurring variety of nutrients (e.g., vitamins, minerals, and fiber) found in minimally processed and whole foods. For example, baked chips contain less fat than regular chips, but still do not provide any significant nutritional value. The CSDE strongly encourages districts to ensure an optimal selection of healthy food choices for students by providing a variety of minimally processed and whole foods.

Timesaver Tip: To search the list for specific foods, beverages, or manufacturers, open the appropriate list. On the toolbar, click on “edit” then “find,” and enter the information you would like to find.


  • List 1: CHIPS, popcorn, rice cakes, puffed snacks
  • List 2: CRACKERS, pita chips, hard pretzels, snack mix
  • List 3: COOKIES AND BARS (e.g., granola/cereal bars, animal/graham crackers)
  • List 4: BAKERY PRODUCTS (e.g., waffles, pancakes, soft pretzels, muffins, rolls, bagels)
  • List 5: BREAKFAST CEREALS (cold ready-to-eat cereal and cooked hot cereal, e.g., oatmeal)
  • List 6: NUTS, SEEDS AND JERKY (including nut/seed butters, soy nuts, trail mix)
  • List 8: CHEESE (low-fat or reduced-fat natural cheese)
  • List 9: SMOOTHIES (made with low-fat yogurt and fruits/vegetables/100 percent juice)
  • List 10: FROZEN DESSERTS (e.g., ice cream, ice cream novelties, frozen fruit/juice bars)
  • List 11: FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (individually packaged fresh, frozen, canned, dried)
  • List 12: SOUPS (ready-to-serve, condensed, frozen)
  • List 13: NON-ENTREE COMBINATION FOODS (contain more than one food component)
  • List 14: ENTREES (sold only a la carte)
  • List 15: COOKED GRAINS (e.g., pasta, rice, quinoa, bulgur)
  • List 16: Beverages – MILK (low-fat unflavored and fat-free unflavored or flavored)
  • List 17: Beverages – DAIRY ALTERNATIVES, e.g., soy milk
  • List 18: Beverages – 100% JUICE (carbonated and noncarbonated)
  • List 19: Beverages – 100% JUICE FROZEN SLUSH
  • List 20: Beverages – WATER WITH JUICE (carbonated and noncarbonated)
  • List 21: Beverages – WATER (carbonated and noncarbonated)