Today I Debate the Ethics of Marketing Healthy Food to Kids

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 8, 2014

Today on Beyond Chron, I debate my friend and colleague Casey Hinds of US Healthy Kids on the ethics of marketing healthy foods like fruits and vegetables to children.  You can read my “pro” piece here, and Casey’s “con” here. Thanks to Beyond Chron for giving us this platform, and to Casey for having the idea […]


A Pill Too Bitter to Swallow

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 16, 2014

Many years ago, I mentioned to a doctor friend that a woman I knew — a Seventh Day Adventist who never touches alcohol — had been told she was at risk for cirrhosis of the liver due to her poor diet and excess weight.  My doctor friend looked at me skeptically and said I must have misunderstood the diagnosis — one […]


One Mom’s Great Idea Brings Fresh Produce to Families in Need

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 6, 2014

A mutual friend recently introduced me to a woman named Lisa Helfman and, given our very similar backgrounds (Houston moms/lawyers with an interest in kids and food), it wasn’t surprising that we hit it off right away.  At that first meeting, Lisa told me how years ago she’d  joined an organic produce co-op and was […]

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Mr. Zee Heads Down Under!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 17, 2013

So, this is cool! I just found out that my rhyming children’s video about processed food, “Mr. Zee’s Apple Factory,” is going to be incorporated into nutrition education materials that will be made available to Australian teachers seeking to meet the requirements of the Australia Curriculum for Health and Physical Education.  I’m told that the video […]


Fast Food Industry Spends $4.6 Billion to Target Your Kids

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 11, 2013

Last week, a few of you questioned my endorsement of a new arrangement between the Sesame Street Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association in which Sesame Street characters will be used to market fresh fruits and vegetables to children.  There’s an understandable concern that kids, because they are uniquely impressionable, should not be manipulated in […]

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Not long after I started The Lunch Tray in 2010, a new kids’ cooking magazine called ChopChop was launched by Sally Sampson, a James Beard Foundation nominated author of twenty cookbooks, as well as a frequent contributor to magazines like Food & Wine and Bon Appetit.  But when my friend Donna first told me about the magazine, I was worried: […]


Between my recent laptop crash and this mysterious “Lunch-Tray-third-anniversary-project” I keep alluding to on Facebook, I’m falling woefully behind on various promised posts.  One such post is the answer to a question left on TLT’s Facebook page by a reader named Allison who is concerned with junk food in her child’s classroom.  Since I’m pressed […]


I was a little scared to post yesterday’s piece about novelist Curtis Sittenfeld’s request that parents of non-allergic kids take certain precautions to protect kids with food allergies at the playground.  The degree to which society needs to collectively accommodate such kids can be a hot button issue, and I had no idea what to expect […]


Three Uplifting Kid-Food Items To Share

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 21, 2013

Hi everyone!  I’m finally back from a blogging hiatus taken to celebrate — and then recover from — my daughter’s recent bat mitzvah.  Many thanks to all the TLT’ers who shared their good wishes and mazel tovs (mazels tov?) on the blog’s Facebook page.  It was a lovely, memorable event. Due to that break and […]


I’m catching up on news items from last week and wanted to share an important new study from The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity regarding how parents view food industry marketing practices targeted toward their children, a study which, according to the Rudd Center, is the first of its kind. Surveying 2,454 parents with children aged […]