Before we close out 2017, TLT’ers, here’s one last kid/food news round-up for the year:
Victory: No More Junk Food Ads On Channel One
Do you guys know about Channel One? It loans video equipment to schools in exchange for the right to show students a daily 12-minute newscast, including two minutes of commercials if the school hasn’t paid for a premium subscription. It’s troubling enough that millions of captive kids are forced to watch ads in their classrooms, but some of those ads have also been promoting unhealthy foods and drinks. That practice violates local school wellness policies, which as of this year must ban on-campus ads for products that don’t meet the Smart Snacks nutrition standards. So back in October, the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) sent a letter, co-signed by 24 other concerned organizations and individuals, urging Channel One to clean up its act. I’m please to report that after weeks of foot-dragging, Channel One’s owner, the publishing house Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, has agreed to update its nutrition criteria for advertisers. Kudos to CCFC and its coalition for sticking up for kids’ health!
Localities Addressing Soda in Kids’ Meals
When soda is the default beverage in restaurant kids’ meals, parents tend to go with the flow and order it, while kids’ soda consumption drops if parents have to affirmatively ask for it. Thanks to pressure from advocacy groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest, several major restaurant chains have switched their default kids’ meal beverages to healthier options like milk and water, but I only recently learned that a few localities around the country have also taken up this issue, passing local ordinances to accomplish the same goal. Among latest to do so: the Lafayette, Colorado, Cathedral City, California and Long Beach, California.
Looking Back on Dorothy McCauliffe’s Anti-Hunger Legacy
One of the best things about Twitter is being able to “meet” advocates from all over the country, and it was through Twitter that I first connected with Virginia’s First Lady, Dorothy McCauliffe. McCauliffe will stepping down from her First Lady role in just a few days, so I thought it was a good time to share this recent article offering a nice overview of her past dedication to childhood nutrition issues in her state, particularly childhood hunger. And McCauliffe’s chief of staff tells me that she’ll be continuing this same kind of work as a private citizen.
Kids and Holiday Junk Food
Should you micromanage all the junk food your kids will surely encounter at holiday parties? As usual, registered dietitian Sally Kuzemchak of Real Mom Nutrition has some sound advice. And while you’re over there, check out her recipes for colorful holiday cookie frosting with no artificial food dyes.
Wishing You a Happy New Year!
I’ll be taking time off for the next few weeks to focus on my book, but I wish all of you a joyful holiday season and a happy new year. See you in 2018!
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