junk food

Last week this blog was devoted to discussing Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s first act in office –  a declaration of “cupcake amnesty” – as well as his plan to bring deep fat fryers and sodas back to our public schools. As I explained here and in a Houston Chronicle op-ed on Friday, since 2005 Texas state law […]


What She Said

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 15, 2014

One thing I love about being part of a blogging community is the way we can draw upon each other’s work and resources to advocate for our common goals. That’s how I felt when I read this recent post from Sally Kuzemchak of Real Mom Nutrition, addressing critics who think that instead of reining in […]

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The Challenges and Rewards of Feeding Teens

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 14, 2014

The other night I was trying to use up some vegetables in the crisper drawer, so I added some spinach to my Italian wedding soup and served it with roasted Brussels sprouts, sautéd mushrooms and grilled cheese sandwiches made with sliced pears and a pretty “stinky” cheese, taleggio.  We sat down at the dinner table and, while not everyone ate […]

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Needing a Doctor’s Note to Feed Your Child Healthy Food?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 16, 2014

Imagine that your child’s daycare center regularly offers snacks like Rice Krispies treats and cookies, and then demands proof of your child’s medical “disability” when you ask to send healthier food from home.  That disturbing scenario is a very real one for some parents, and today I have a reported piece in Civil Eats about this practice and the reasons […]


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 […]


In 2010 I told you about a new $25 million ad campaign, sponsored by carrot growers, to attract kids to baby carrots through the use of junk food-style packaging and marketing.  Back then I mocked the effort, saying: Somehow I don’t think today’s kids are going to willingly trade in their Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for carrots, no matter […]


A New Initiative to Get Junk Food Out of Classrooms

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 1, 2014

I’ve written a lot over the years (really, A LOT – see the Related Links below) about junk food in school classrooms, whether distributed by teachers as rewards for good behavior and academic performance or served as part of birthday or classroom celebrations. It’s important to note that these practices are not addressed by the new federal Smart Snacks in School […]


When the “Smart Snacks in School” rules went into effect on the first of this month, it was good news for the health of school children. These rules, which were mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, represent the first significant federal effort to regulate “competitive food,” i.e., the foods and drinks sold to kids during the school day through outlets […]


“Copycat” Junk Food in Schools – Why Is Anyone Surprised?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on July 21, 2014

I couldn’t make it to last week’s School Nutrition Association (SNA) annual national conference (ANC) in Boston, but I closely followed reports coming out of the convention via Twitter and other social media. And one common refrain from some food advocates and reporters in attendance was surprise and concern over the glut of junk food promoted by some food manufacturers at […]


Kids, Summer Camp and Junk Food

by Bettina Elias Siegel on July 16, 2014

If you’ve been a Lunch Tray reader for a while, you might remember this “Hall of Shame” post that called out a summer day camp for actually requiring campers to bring four liters of soda and two dozen cookies per week. That was a pretty extreme example of a camp doing a poor job of feeding kids, but it certainly […]