A School Nutrition Director Gives Me a Wake-Up Call

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 23, 2014

Yesterday I attended a Houston ISD Nutrition Services Parent Advisory Committee meeting, something I’ve done almost every month during the school year for the last four and a half years.  And while I sat through the various presentations, I reflected on how much my feelings about school food professionals have changed since I walked into my first PAC […]


Atomic Cheez-Its: The Whole Grain Loophole in the Smart Snacks Rules

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 16, 2014

The new Smart Snacks rules require that snacks sold during the school day must be a fruit, vegetable, dairy or protein food, or be whole-grain rich.  That sounds great on paper, right? But we’ve discussed before on TLT how that “whole-grain rich” opening allows food manufacturers to keep highly processed snack foods and cereals front and center […]


It’s National School Lunch Week and it’s no surprise that the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and its allies are taking this opportunity to press their case for gutting federal nutritional requirements that would make school food healthier. The National School Board Association (NSBA), long aligned with the SNA on these nutritional roll-backs, yesterday released the results of a survey of […]

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The School Nutrition Association (SNA), the nation’s largest organization of school food professionals, is currently lobbying Congress to weaken federal school meal standards regarding whole grains, sodium and fruits and vegetables.  The SNA also opposes aspects of the new “Smart Snacks” rules which have improved the snacks and other “competitive foods” sold on school campuses. But not all members of the SNA agree […]


Getting Kids to Try New Foods: My Advice

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 10, 2014

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine is the Food Issue and, if you’re a print subscriber, I need to apologize in advance for sucking much of the joy out of your Sunday morning.  First I shared on TLT the lead magazine story by Nicholas Confessore on school food politics (my companion NYT Motherlode piece here) and this morning on TLT’s […]


Yesterday I shared a forthcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine story detailing the evolution of the School Nutrition Association from one-time supporter of Michelle Obama’s school food reform to its current role as an outspoken critic of that reform.  Times political reporter Nicholas Confessore does an excellent job of exploring the factors leading to this stunning reversal, which […]


My Piece in the New York Times Motherlode Re: The School Food Wars

October 8, 2014

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine will feature a major story on school food, “How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground,” and I was honored to be asked to interview the Times reporter, Nicholas Confessore, for a piece on today’s New York Times Motherlode. For those of you who regularly follow this blog and other sources of school food news, […]

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TLTs Table: Moist and Spicy Pumpkin Muffins

October 6, 2014

Last week on TLT’s Facebook page I shared a photo of some homemade pumpkin muffins and a few of you asked for the recipe. These muffins are moist and rich with warm spices and they’re a huge hit with everyone who tries them. The original recipe was shared by my friend Sue —  a really great cook — but it […]

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Standing Up for Citizen Journalism

September 29, 2014

Back in July, many of you saw an Associated Press story which reported that “[s]everal food writers, including a New York Times reporter, have been subpoenaed by a meat producer as part of its $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC in regards to the network’s coverage of a beef product dubbed ‘pink slime’ by critics.” Because of my successful […]

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Girl Scouts Under Fire for Lending Name to Sugary Drinks

September 26, 2014

In recent years, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) has come under fire for a variety of issues related to the organization’s annual cookie sales.  Among other things, parents, bloggers and food advocates have questioned the cookies’ inclusion of trans fats and eco-unfriendly palm oil, as well as the organization’s lame attempt last year to pass […]

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