food at school

The New York Times “Vital Signs” column reports today on a study of more than a thousand Michigan sixth graders which found that those students who regularly ate school lunch were 29% more likely to be obese than those who brought lunch from home. This finding bolsters my own conclusions on this subject. You might recall that […]


Lunch Tray Friday Buffet: October 15, 2010

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 15, 2010

On tap for this week’s Lunch Buffet:  all Jamie, all the time; a dose of reality from a school food reformer; and a word of warning to Lunch Tray readers carrying a few extra pounds — and with plans to emigrate to New Zealand (all one of you.) Three Jamie Oliver-Related Items First, the Guardian […]


Sitting in our Food Services Parent Advisory Committee meeting yesterday, a question popped into my mind.  With all the laudable improvements Houston ISD has recently made to its menu, could a child still become overweight just from eating school lunch?  In other words, would a child making seemingly bad choices on the lunch line be […]


Make a School Lunch Resolution and Win Free Organic Milk for a Year

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 21, 2010

Just discovered a neat website devoted to healthful food, Simple, Good and Tasty. They’re holding a contest right now where you submit a resolution regarding school lunch and can win a year’s supply of Organic Valley milk.  Here’s their example of a resolution you might make: I promise to pack at least one new food […]


Notes From the Field: Frito Pie and Mashed Potatoes

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 20, 2010

Last week I chose a random day to visit my children’s cafeteria and here’s what was being served: To the right is pepperoni pizza, to the left is Frito Pie, and both were served with mashed potatoes, green beans and an apple. (The child on the right had declined the potatoes and had purchased an […]


Why Current USDA Nutrition Standards Result in Sugary School Meals

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 14, 2010

I’ve written quite a bit here about the reliance of my school district on items like graham crackers to meet the high caloric requirements set by the USDA for school breakfasts.  I’ve also been surprised as I do my “Notes from the Field” features to see how often dessert is served as part of the […]


Notes From the Field: Carbo-Loading (But Without the Marathon)

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 13, 2010

I visited my children’s cafeteria again on Friday.  Here’s what was served: In case you can’t tell, the entree is a breaded chicken parmigiana cutlet served atop whole grain spaghetti, along with roasted potatoes, orange slices and a brownie. The kids I spoke with loved the roasted potatoes and urged me to try one.  They were […]


USDA and Let’s Move Hold School Food Recipe Contest

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 10, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, along with the USDA, are offering cash prizes for coming up with tasty, healthy recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus. Teams — consisting of school nutrition professionals, chefs, students, parents and interested community members — have to develop and prepare at least one recipe in one of three […]

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Notes From the Field: An Instructive Visit to My Kids’ Cafeteria

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 7, 2010

I blog about kids and food daily, especially school food, but I’m embarrassed to admit that last Friday was the first time in a long while that I’ve actually been in my own children’s school cafeteria during lunch. I came that day especially to see the debut of the acorn squash that’s been much touted […]


Lunch Box Idea Exchange Going Strong – Come Share!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 31, 2010

In a late Friday afternoon post last week, I officially opened The Lunch Tray’s Lunch Box Idea Exchange to answer that never-ending question: what on earth do I put in the lunch box today? We already have lots of great suggestions posted and I personally am getting busy expanding my rather narrow lunch box repertoire, but […]