competitive food

My colleague Dana Woldow has a new piece in Beyond Chron that’s well worth reading.  In it, she takes issue with a position paper just released by the School Nutrition Association (“SNA”), the leading organization of over 55,000 school food professionals around the country. Woldow tells us that the SNA is seeking to roll back some of the […]


The USDA earned praise this past June when it released its ground-breaking new rules for “competitive” school food – the snacks and beverages offered to students through school stores, snack bars, vending machines and other outlets. But it might surprise readers to know that my adopted home state of Texas, a place hardly known for its progressive policies, is […]


As I told you last week on this blog’s Facebook page, the USDA has released its interim final rules for “competitive” foods and beverages offered on school campuses.  But I didn’t want to share this news here on the blog until I’d taken some time to parse through the new rules so I could share […]


My Own Letter to USDA re: The Competitive School Food Rules

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 9, 2013

Well, nothing like waiting until the last minute. As I’ve been telling you all repeatedly, USDA’s deadline for submitting comments on the proposed competitive school food rules is 11:59 tonight, but I only just finished writing my own letter this morning!   I thought you all might be interested in reading my letter, the text of […]


The Time Is NOW to Tell USDA We Want Junk Food Out of Schools

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 8, 2013

I wanted to remind TLT readers that midnight tomorrow, April 9th, marks the end of USDA’s public comment period on its proposed  ”competitive” school food rules. For those needing a refresher, “competitive food” is food that competes with the federally subsidized breakfast and lunch programs.  We’re talking about the snack foods and beverages offered on school […]


After months of delay, the USDA today released its proposed rules governing the nutritional quality of so-called “competitive” foods and beverages offered on school campuses. To refresh everyone’s memory, competitive food and beverages are those offered in competition with the federally subsidized school meal, and are sold via vending machines, school stores, fundraisers, snack bars […]


Schools Ban Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, But Why Stop There?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 19, 2012

On my Houston ISD school food blog, The Spork Report, I once shared a candid photo of a Houston middle schooler’s “lunch:”  a bag of  Baked Flamin’ Hot Cheetos doused in cheesy nacho sauce:   Both of those items were purchased by the student from one of my district’s cafeteria a la carte lines (to be […]


As many of you know, the new USDA “competitive food” rules are due to be released before the end of this year (though likely after the presidential election.)  These rules will regulate all food offered on school campuses apart from the federal school meal, i.e., food from vending machines, school stores, fundraisers, and the school’s […]


Lunch at 9:45am? The Problem of “School Brunch”

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 4, 2012

Today’s New York Post has a story (in which I’m quoted) about eighth grade students in Queens who, due to school cafeteria overcrowding, will be required to eat their “lunch” this year at 9:45am.  Not surprisingly, their parents are howling. It’s easy to criticize ridiculously early lunch hours (who wants to eat roast chicken before 10am, a mere […]


Most of us now have our kids back in school or we soon will.  And for some parents, that means returning kids to classrooms rife with unwanted candy rewards, food-based classroom birthday celebrations, junk food sold “a la carte” in the cafeteria, vending machines with sugary juice and sports drinks, and highly processed, chemical-laden school […]