The School Nutrition Association, the nation’s largest organization of school food professionals, has just released its 2015 position paper.  The release comes in advance of the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization, which presents a prime opportunity for the organization to push through its legislative agenda in Congress to weaken the nutritional standards for school meals. For those […]


Pizza and Sweetos, Oh My!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 27, 2015

Two disturbing bits of kid-food news to share: New Pizza Study: File Under “Duh” A new study in the journal Pediatrics finds that pizza is a significant contributor to the daily calorie count of American children. Specifically, according to a Los Angeles Times report* on the study: On any given day, 22% of kids between the ages […]

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After days of railing against my state’s Agriculture Commissioner and his plan to return sodas and deep fat fryers to our schools, I have to admit I’m feeling pretty dispirited.  But today’s guest post is the perfect antidote.  It’s an inspiring story of one person coming up with an innovative idea that removes junk food from schools, improves kids’ health and helps […]


Last week this blog was devoted to discussing Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s first act in office –  a declaration of “cupcake amnesty” – as well as his plan to bring deep fat fryers and sodas back to our public schools. As I explained here and in a Houston Chronicle op-ed on Friday, since 2005 Texas state law […]


My Houston Chronicle Op-Ed Re: Texas “Cupcake Amnesty”

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 16, 2015

After cross-posting my piece earlier this week about the new Texas Agriculture Commissioner declaring “cupcake amnesty,” the Houston Chronicle asked if I’d be willing to write an editorial about it for today’s paper.  I agreed, and in today’s piece I look at whether Texas taxpayers might have to pay a stiff price for Commissioner Miller’s political grandstanding.  Thanks to the Chronicle […]


For the last year or so, the School Nutrition Association has been intent on creating the impression that school children are running away in droves from the new, healthier school food mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  This characterization, if true, would provide the food-industry-backed SNA with a strong justification for rolling back several key nutritional standards in Congress […]


Texas Ag Commissioner: Bring Back Sodas and Deep Fat Fryers to School

January 13, 2015

Yesterday I told you that Texas’s newly elected Agriculture Commissioner chose, as his first act in office, to grant “amnesty” to classroom birthday cupcakes in our state. As I explained in yesterday’s post, not only was this a head-scratcher given the many more pressing problems facing Texas’s farmers (starting with a serious water shortage and including a rampant feral […]

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“Cupcake Amnesty:” Childhood Obesity and the Political Divide

January 12, 2015

This morning in Austin, our state’s newly elected Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is holding a press conference to announce his first official act in office.  But Miller won’t use the occasion to address Texas’s troubling water shortage, which he had promised to make his “top priority” if elected, nor will he discuss any other issue of pressing concern to the state’s farmers or […]

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Join Me for Today’s #FoodFri Tweet Chat!

January 9, 2015

Just wanted to remind everyone that I’m going to be the panelist for today’s Moms Rising #FoodFri tweet chat.  Join us between 1-2pm EST today as we share tips and best practices for strengthening healthy families in the new year.   Just follow the hashtag #FoodFri, @MomsRising and me (@thelunchtray) to participate. Hope to see you there!   Do […]

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My Interview With USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon

January 7, 2015

Back in November, I was contacted by a Public Affairs Specialist at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services asking me if I’d like to conduct a 15-minute phone interview with USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon.  Given that Mr. Concannon’s job includes overseeing federal child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, I was very excited to take advantage […]

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