Helpful New “White Paper” on Food Rewards in the Classroom

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 22, 2014

M & M’s doled out for every correct math answer in second grade. . .   Jumbo boxes of Milk Duds in the third grade good behavior “treasure box” . . . .  A “Junk Food Party” to honor the winning team in an academic contest . . . . 12 oz. cans of Coke and full-sized bags of gummi […]


Researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab have released a new study regarding school chocolate milk that’s getting some press. The study looked at milk consumption in 11 Oregon elementary school cafeterias in which chocolate milk had been banned.  After the ban, total daily milk sales declined by almost 10%, white milk sales increased by around 160 […]


Join Me Tomorrow for a Tweet Chat on School Wellness Policies!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 15, 2014

Houston ISD’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), of which I’m a member, has been working hard all year to craft a new wellness policy for our district.  Given that I’m in the thick of the process, I’m especially looking forward to serving as one of the panelists for a tweet chat tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16th, at […]


Our Trip to D.C. to Advocate Against Chinese-Processed Chicken

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 9, 2014

Yesterday we held our briefing in Washington, D.C. to inform members of Congress and the media of our serious food safety concerns regarding the processing of American chicken in China. The event was coordinated by the office of Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and was moderated by Tony Corbo of Food & Water Watch.  (Both Corbo […]


Giving Kids Junk Food “Treat Bags” for Standardized Testing?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 7, 2014

This morning I belatedly opened an email from my son’s middle school, which last week asked parents to donate items for “treat bags” for the 6th graders taking our district’s standardized tests. Here’s what volunteers were asked to bring:  Goldfish, Blow Pops, peppermint candies, Hershey’s kisses, bite-size Snickers, 100-calorie packs of cookies, Starburst candies, clementines […]


This past January, I and two other food advocates, Barbara Kowalcyk and Nancy Huehnergarth, launched a petition seeking to keep Chinese-processed chicken out of school lunch programs and to prevent the eventual importation of Chinese-raised and slaughtered chicken into this country, due to our concerns over China’s very poor food safety record. Astoundingly, that petition has already […]


A Mom Says, Just Leave the Snacks at Home!

March 31, 2014

A few months ago, I shared on Facebook and Twitter a terrific piece in Parents magazine about how today’s kids are being offered food more often than ever before.  Written by Real Mom Nutrition‘s Sally Kuzemchak, “The Snack Epidemic” reported that: In the late 1970s, the average kid between the ages of 2 and 6 ate one snack […]

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Junk Food Marketing at Your Child’s School? Take a Picture!

March 27, 2014

A few weeks ago I told you about the newly released, proposed USDA rules which would use district wellness policies as a vehicle to curb junk food and beverage marketing on school campuses.   (At first I told you I wasn’t so happy with using wellness policies as a means to that laudable end, but […]

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Grants Available to Schools for Physical Activity and School Breakfast

March 21, 2014

I was recently contacted by Action for Healthy Kids regarding its School Grants for Healthy Kids opportunities* for the 2014-2015 school year and am sharing the information in case you want to pass it on to your child’s school. The organization will be awarding funds ranging from $500 to $5,000 to around one thousand schools, with the […]

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USDA Won’t Delay Healthier School Snacks or More Fruit in School Breakfasts

March 19, 2014

Starting in 2014-15, two significant changes will be coming to school cafeterias.  First, under the new “Smart Snacks in School” rules, we should see a big improvement in the nutritional content of snack foods and beverages sold to students from outlets like vending machines, fundraising tables and “a la carte” snack bar lines.  Another, less-talked-about change […]

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