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

by Bettina Elias Siegel on 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 […]


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 […]


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

by Bettina Elias Siegel on 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 […]


Politico Spotlights the Power of Consumer Food Petitions

by Bettina Elias Siegel on 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 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 […]


Politico’s Recap of the School Nutrition Association’s Annual Conference

July 18, 2014

Next week I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on the many reports that have come out about this week’s School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference in Boston.  But in the meantime, I thought this short video from Politico‘s Helena Bottemiller Evich was a great recap of the event - and the continuing school food fight in Congress:   More Lunch Tray […]

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Kids, Summer Camp and Junk Food

July 16, 2014

If you’ve been a Lunch Tray reader for a while, you might remember this “Hall of Shame” post that called out a summer day camp for actually requiring campers to bring four liters of soda and two dozen cookies per week. That was a pretty extreme example of a camp doing a poor job of feeding kids, but it certainly […]

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My Houston Chronicle Op-Ed re: Saving School Lunch

July 13, 2014

For those interested, I have an editorial in today’s (Sunday) Houston Chronicle regarding the current school food controversy. In it, I discuss how Texas (yes, Texas!) has been a leader in school nutrition, and how our congressional delegation should carry on that  proud tradition by rejecting language in the pending appropriations bill that would allow districts to opt out of improved […]

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Reports of Initial Progress in School Meal Talks

July 11, 2014

Today’s Politico Morning Agriculture Report says “[p]olitics stayed out of the room [Thursday] when USDA brought together school nutrition and health groups to hash out school lunch regulatory concerns, say sources who participated in the meeting.”  The full story is on paywall-protected Politico Pro but you can read the Morning Ag summary of the story here. My own […]

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