"a la carte" is a term describing foods and beverages that are sold to students outside of the reimbursable school meal programs.
Competitive foods and beverages are foods and beverages that are available to students outside of the reimbursable school meal programs. These food and beverage options are often available in "a la carte" lines, vending machines, student stores, or fundraisers and are therefore "competing" with the foods and beverages available to students through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs.
Electrolyte replacement beverages (ERB) are drinks that contain electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, that can be lost during vigorous physical exercise. These drinks are almost always sweetened, either with caloric sweeteners, such as sugar of high-fructose corn syrup, or with non-caloric sweeteners.
Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV) are a federally-defined category of foods and beverages that include, soda water, water ices, chewing gum, and certain candies, including hard candy, jellies and gums, marshmallows, and others. FMNV are not allowed to be served or sold in meal service areas during school meals.
Sports drinks are designed to help athletes rehydrate, as well as to restore electrolytes, carbohydrates, and other nutrients, which can be depleted after training or competition. See "electrolyte replacement beverages".
Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are beverages that have an added caloric sweetener, such as sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. SSBs do not include drinks such as 100% fruit juice or plain, unflavored milk, because the sugar in these drinks are naturally occurring. SSBs include soda, sweet teas, and sports drinks.