With the USDA Smart Snacks Standards we know how difficult it is to find options that successfully meet the requirements. One strategy we came across was the idea of bundling items together to create viable entrées.
Under the guidelines, an entrée is defined as either:
*A combination food is defined as a product that contains two or more components representing two or more of the recommended food groups: fruit, vegetable, dairy, protein or grains.
Additionally, an entrée must meet the following nutrient requirements:
Entrée items: ≤ 350 calories
Entrée items: ≤ 480 mg
Total fat: ≤35% of calories
Saturated fat: <10% of calories
Trans fat: zero grams
≤ 35% of weight from total sugars in foods
That’s a lot to consider. But here’s a simple example of how bundling can work for you:
Take a combination food like Gold Kist’s Homestyle Breaded Chicken Nuggets. On their own, they fall under definition (i) of the entrée guidelines (so no need to count the bun toward the nutritionals) and meet all of the requirements except for that pesky % of calories from fat (40%).
By bundling 3 packets of Red Gold’s All Natural Low Sodium Ketchup with the nuggets, you are able to drop that percentage to 34%.
72 cal from fat/180 total cal = .40
72 cal from fat/210 total cal = .34
Each packet adds 10 calories to the equation without adding any calories from fat and, voila, you’ve effectively dropped the total percentage below the 35% threshold.