Across America, children will soon be returning to school after summer break. With this significant transition comes many other, perhaps smaller, transitions. Gathering the right supplies and finishing up summer reading lists are all part of the stressful weeks just before school starts. With all the worries that parents have in preparing their children for back-to-school, we want to remind them that the beverage choices in school vending machines are not one of them. Through our national School Beverage Guidelines, we removed full-calorie soft drinks from schools and replaced them with more lower-calorie and smaller-portion options – cutting beverage calories in schools by 90 percent. This was a voluntary step by the beverage industry which later helped form the basis of the beverage component of USDA’s regulations for foods and beverages sold in schools.

We listened to parents and worked with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to develop these guidelines because we recognize that schools are special places where parents want more control over what they children and teens are eating and drinking.

For more information on the School Beverage Guidelines and other voluntary industry initiatives, check out