Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act

A New Guide to Getting Water Into School Cafeterias

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 11, 2014

One of the less talked about mandates of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the federal legislation overhauling school food, is a provision requiring schools to provide children with free, potable drinking water wherever school meals are served. It’s a great idea, of course, but as I explained in two posts here (one in 2011, […]


Last month I wrote a piece for Civil Eats describing current and forthcoming efforts by various factions to modify or roll  back some of the recent changes to school meals mandated by the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA).  In particular, one facet of the new school meal regulations has generated quite a bit of […]


State of the Tray: Are Healthier School Meals at Risk?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 18, 2014

I’m so pleased to have a reported piece up on Civil Eats today in which I examine the question of whether the gains of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act may be at risk due to industry pressure and students’ resistance to healthier foods. I hope you’ll take a look! Do You Love The Lunch Tray? ♥♥♥ […]


School Food Gets Its Close-Up, But Is It a Fair One?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 5, 2013

A lot of readers have recently asked for my thoughts on the Fed Up campaign, sponsored by Do Something, which asked kids around the country to send in photos of their school meals.  (While the project has been going on for a while, it’s gotten a lot of press in the last few weeks.) Over 25,000 people […]


Your Monday Kids and Food News Round-Up

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 16, 2013

As is often the case, sometimes there’s so much news out there that I have to share it all in one post!  Here goes: Michelle Obama Muddies the Waters The latest campaign from Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which encourages Americans to drink more water, is being met with howls by food policy critics.  With […]


It’s one of those weeks when the school food news is coming in so fast, I can’t keep up!   Here’s a quick round-up of articles of interest: A Fourth-Grader Goes Undercover in the Cafeteria – Are His Findings Accurate? Many of you have already seen on TLT’s Facebook page today’s New York Times blog account of a […]


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 […]


Putting My Money On the Class of 2024

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 19, 2012

Iowa Congressman Steve King, a critic of the new school food regulations, made news earlier this week by introducing a bill to roll back the regulations’ new calorie limits.  Called the ”No Hungry Kids Act,” King’s proposed legislation (co-sponsored by fellow Republican Tim Huelskamp) would allow schools to serve unlimited calories to children rather than capping meals at 650 […]


On today’s Spork Report, I discuss intensive school food audit going on in my district this week.  While a USDA and state “Coordinated Review Effort” is routine, it’s also a big deal and the district has been working hard for months to prepare for it. Also, as I mention in the post, tomorrow First Lady Michelle […]

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School Food Reform: Enter the Lobbyists

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 2, 2011

The New York Times has an excellent article today describing the stiff opposition of the food industry (along with some Congressional representatives of potato-producing states) against current attempts to improve school food nutrition standards.  According to the report, over $5.6 million has been spent to date by lobbyists opposing the proposed school food rules to be […]