MONTPELIER, Vt. — New healthy food standards being imposed on the cafeteria at the Vermont Statehouse discourage lawmakers from enjoying their Ben & Jerry’s.

Some are balking at rules that say at least 50 percent of snacks should have no more than 200 calories per item and sodas should be limited to 12 ounces.

Theoretically, some Ben & Jerry’s treats could remain because of the 50 percent rule. But on Friday, the 280-calorie Ben & Jerry’s Peace Pops were not to be found in the cafeteria.

Capitol Police Officer Dale Manning said Friday he learned of the rules when he went to the cafeteria for some whole milk and manager Ray Wood told him of the new rule: “If milk is offered, offer only 2 percent, 1 percent and non-fat milk dairy-type products.”

Manning, 52, said it angers him that the state would try to tell him what’s bad for him.

“I’m old enough to make the decision,” he said.

Several lawmakers said they weren’t much happier with the rules, which took effect this week.

“What a crock,” said Rep. Brian Savage, R-Swanton and the assistant House minority leader. “We’re all adults in this building. We know what’s good for us.”

The rules, produced by the state Health Department and Agencies of Administration and Agriculture, apply to state employee cafeterias. While the Statehouse cafeteria appears to be among them, Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, D-Bradford and the House majority leader, said lawmakers should be exempt.

“I don’t consider myself an employee,” Copeland-Hanzas said, but she added that as an employer of state workers, she might like to see improved diets as part of an effort to keep health costs down.

Others noted the cafeteria already offers an extensive salad bar and other healthy offerings, arguing that it’s fine as is.

Dr. Harry Chen, the state health commissioner, said the effort is about offering healthier choices. But after being reminded that the rules don’t appear to allow the choice of whole milk, he added, “If we weren’t facing the epidemic of obesity coming down the tracks, I’d say fine, whole milk’s good.”

The rules say snacks should “focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.” At least 50 percent of the snacks should meet a list of criteria including that they be no more than 200 calories per item, they say.

Although the Ben & Jerry’s Peace Pops weren’t available Friday, 500-calorie Biggy Iggys – two big chocolate-chip cookies around vanilla ice cream – were. There was no one around to explain on Friday.

Also likely affected by the 200-calorie cap: the 4-inch-across chocolate-chip cookies that have powered many a Statehouse denizen through an afternoon, including a certain wire service reporter.

“If they get rid of the chocolate chip cookies, that’s it, I’m retiring,” said Rep. Patsy French, D-Randolph.

House Speaker Shap Smith said he had had a Biggy Iggy earlier in the day. “But I exercise a lot,” he said. He and others said they didn’t mind dietary reminders, but restrictions would go too far.

Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Interest Research Group, noted that the Democrat-dominated Legislature was well known for passing consumer-protection and other laws imposing rules on the public.

Laughing, Burns said, “It sounds like these rules will force better health on lawmakers, ensuring they’ll be around long enough to pass similar regulations onto others.”