A Kid-and-Food Link Round-Up!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 19, 2011

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 […]


Is Aramark Leaving Houston ISD?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 7, 2011

It’s a possibility, as news breaks of an unexpected million dollar shortfall that may result in the non-renewal of Aramark’s contract. But what then?  Today’s Spork Report discusses the options and the future of school food in the nation’s seventh largest district. Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Bettina Elias Siegel


A Scathing Critique of Privatized School Food

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 5, 2011

Yesterday’s New York Times Sunday Review section had a scathing critique of the growing privatization of school food through the hiring of food service management companies (FSMCs) such as Aramark, Sodexo and Chartwells. Written by Lucy Komisar and entitled “How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch,” the piece points out FSMCs “cozy relationship” with major […]


Social Stigma and Social Media on the Lunch Line

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 2, 2011

Two days ago, New York Times national education correspondent Sam Dillon had a front page story on the sharp increase in the number of formerly middle class households now taking advantage of free or reduced price school lunches for their children, a stark indicator of the nation’s current economic woes. I subscribe to the print edition […]


Some Good School Food News Out of Houston ISD (Part One)

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 17, 2011

At the last Houston ISD Food Services Parent Advisory Committee meeting of the school year, we were given a lot of information about some promising changes ahead in school food for the 2011-12 school year.  So much information, in fact, that I kept putting off writing it all up for TLT because I knew it […]


Why I Just Rained on Someone’s School Food Reform Parade

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 18, 2010

I feel a bit like a heel this morning. I just discovered a great new blog (well, new to me), called Kelly the Kitchen Kop, devoted to “healthy cooking, traditional food, vibrant health” and “busting ‘politically correct’ health and nutrition information.”   What caught my eye was this morning’s lead post, entitled, “Jane Hersey: Improving […]


[Ed. Note: Remember last week when I posted about the steamed bok choy served in Houston ISD lunch rooms –and the educational flier posted that day?  I told you I felt a serious rant coming on . . . and here, finally, is said rant.] At our last Houston ISD/Aramark Food Services Parent Advisory Committee […]


On today’s menu, the kids had a choice of chili mac with a dinner roll or a chicken corn dog; steamed spinach; apple sauce; and the new banana chocolate chip cake the PAC tasted last month.  Here’s a picture: I was most interested in seeing the steamed spinach, a new item on our menu this year. […]


Many a Slip Twixt Kitchen and School

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 23, 2010

Like many large, urban school districts, Houston ISD does almost all of its cooking at a huge central kitchen, with the food then trucked to our 300 individual schools for reheating and other final preparation.  There are a great many advantages to central kitchens, including improved food safety and tighter quality control.  Moreover, despite most […]


Two Addenda re: Houston School Food Improvements

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 17, 2010

Good news and bad news  . . . Since I published my post this morning on improvements to HISD school menus, Food Services has informed me that the newly-introduced acorn squash won’t be steamed.  Instead, it’s roasted with cinnamon and brown sugar.  That sounds much more appealing, doesn’t it? The bad news is that, contrary to […]