I don’t always share the latest food recalls on TLT; to my dismay, I’ve learned that such recalls are so frequent, I’d write about little else if I covered them all.  But since many of us already have kids back in school (or soon will), and given the popularity of the PBJ and other nut butter sandwiches […]


Houston ISD to Provide Universal (Free) Meals at 166 Schools

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 18, 2014

I’m back from summer vacation in time to share some nice news:  Houston ISD, the seventh largest district in the country, has announced that it’s taking advantage of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to provide universal (free) school breakfast and lunch to every student at 166 of its schools, regardless of economic status, and without the need for meal applications or other paperwork.  These […]


A New Initiative to Get Junk Food Out of Classrooms

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 1, 2014

I’ve written a lot over the years (really, A LOT – see the Related Links below) about junk food in school classrooms, whether distributed by teachers as rewards for good behavior and academic performance or served as part of birthday or classroom celebrations. It’s important to note that these practices are not addressed by the new federal Smart Snacks in School […]


This past May, I was one of six concerned moms who attended the annual McDonald’s shareholder meeting in connection with Corporate Accountability International’s #MomsNotLovinIt campaign.  (You can read all about our day in Oak Brook, IL here: “Speaking Truth to Ronald“) One of the moms in our group, Sally Kuzemchak of Real Mom Nutrition, was selected during the meeting’s Q&A period to […]


Study: Home-Packed Lunches Are Nutritionally Subpar

by Bettina Elias Siegel on July 29, 2014

A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (subscription only) finds that home-packed lunches are nutritionally lacking, as compared to school food. As summarized by Reuters, the study’s researchers peered into the lunch boxes of 626 third and fourth graders from 12 public elementary schools in Eastern Massachusetts, and found that only 34% […]


When the “Smart Snacks in School” rules went into effect on the first of this month, it was good news for the health of school children. These rules, which were mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, represent the first significant federal effort to regulate “competitive food,” i.e., the foods and drinks sold to kids during the school day through outlets […]


TLT’s Table: Three Savory Fruit Ideas for Kids

July 23, 2014

When the school food policy stuff starts getting really heavy around here, as it certainly has this week, I sometimes like to take a head-clearing break by sharing a recipe or a fun kid/food idea with you. A while back, I told you how my veggie-averse son (he’s getting better, really!) used to spurn what I thought was […]

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Stunning and Perverse: SNA Challenges a Study Finding That Kids Like Healthier School Food

July 22, 2014

Imagine a restaurant getting a great review, only to have the chef call the newspaper to complain that the critic was sorely mistaken and the restaurant’s food isn’t as good as the review made it out to be. That bizarre scenario was all I could think of when I received an email yesterday from the School […]

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“Copycat” Junk Food in Schools – Why Is Anyone Surprised?

July 21, 2014

I couldn’t make it to last week’s School Nutrition Association (SNA) annual national conference (ANC) in Boston, but I closely followed reports coming out of the convention via Twitter and other social media. And one common refrain from some food advocates and reporters in attendance was surprise and concern over the glut of junk food promoted by some food manufacturers at […]

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Politico Spotlights the Power of Consumer Food Petitions

July 19, 2014

Just FYI, this weekend’s lead story on Politico, “Food Fight: Consumers Revolt Online,” discusses the ever-growing impact of online petitions in changing our food supply. The story features my successful Change.org petition in 2012 regarding the use of lean, finely textured beef (aka “pink slime”) in school food, and goes on to discuss subsequent petition campaigns on […]

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