A Kid-and-Food Link Round-Up!

It’s been great taking a little break from daily posting these past two weeks.  I’ve been relaxing, hanging with my kids and I finally finished that family cookbook I optimistically started way back in January!  (I’m going to write a post next month showing a little of the final product and sharing my tips for anyone else considering this project.)

But my blogging laziness means there are a lot of kid-and-food news items to catch you up on. Here’s a round-up of links:

My Op-Ed in Sunday’s Houston Chronicle:

For those of you who don’t follow The Lunch Tray on Facebook or Twitter (and really, people, you’re missing out on a lot of good stuff!), yesterday the Houston Chronicle ran my op-ed regarding school food here in Houston, the nation’s seventh largest district.   I ask our school officials to reconsider our fourteen-year-long privatization of school food via outsourcing to Aramark, and I ask them to assess the feasibility of a return to scratch cooking.   I’ll let you know if the piece leads to any action.

9-Year-Old Child Chokes to Death in School Lunch Room

Various media outlets reported over the weekend about the tragic death of Jonathan Jewth, a Brooklyn nine-year-old who choked to death on a meatball in his school cafeteria on December 5th.  According to the New York Post, which first broke the story, helpless lunchroom workers stood by and did nothing for the child except suggest that he use his own fingers to dislodge the food.   I’m going to write a little more about this terrible incident in the coming days.

Food Industry Push-Back on Voluntary Federal Guidelines for Marketing to Kids

Back in July I told you that Congress, at the behest of the food industry, was seeking a cost-benefit analysis of the purely voluntary federal guidelines on marketing food for kids — an obvious attempt to bury the guidelines for good.  Over the weekend, Appetite for Profift posted an interesting and detailed analysis of this legislative tactic, going so far as to question its very legality in this context.   Meanwhile, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is sending around an appeal, asking people to contact their legislators to protest the move.  You can find that here.

Using Exercise as a Scare Tactic Might Fight Obesity

Fooducate reported on a recent study showing that providing teens with information about the exercise needed to burn off calories in sugary drinks reduced the purchase rate of those drinks by 50%.  This approach is similar to one used by Jamie Oliver in last season’s “Food Revolution,” in which high schoolers were required to walk around a track wearing weighted backpacks, with the number of laps correlated to the particular snack they’d just eaten.  I’d applauded that exercise back then (with some minor reservations) and this recent study supports the strategy as one that might really alter teen eating behavior.

Still More Links to Check Out . . . .

Will the FDA finally get BPA out of our canned food?

An interesting piece from the New York Times on rethinking infant feeding strategies in the age of obesity.

Obesity rates drop a bit among NYC kids, but causation is unclear.

sandwich to rival the Candwich in shelf life – it stays fresh for two years! (hat tip:  Charles Kuffner).

A kiwi is transformed into the Grinch.

Humble kale is transformed into elegant jewelry.

And finally, some really mouthwatering ideas for Hannukah, which starts at sundown tomorrow.



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    • Bettina Elias Siegel says

      I was holding that one back, Dana, because I’m writing about it now! A depressing but instructive development, I think.

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