Minimal nutritional value
Minimal nutritional value, in United States law, refers to foods that may not be sold in competition with the school lunch and breakfast programs. These are foods that USDA has determined contain little to no nutritional value. For example, sugar candy, soda pop without fruit juices, and chewing gum are considered to be foods of minimal nutritional value. Candy containing nuts or chocolate is considered to have some nutritional value.
The USDA defines these categories of food as having minimal nutritional value:
- Soda water, including diet soda
- Water ices, unless made with fruit or fruit juices
- Chewing gum
- Some kinds of candy, including hard candy, jelly beans, gummy candies, marshmallows, fondant candies such as butter mints, licorice, cotton candy, and candy-coated popcorn.