junk food

Helpful New “White Paper” on Food Rewards in the Classroom

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 22, 2014

M & M’s doled out for every correct math answer in second grade. . .   Jumbo boxes of Milk Duds in the third grade good behavior “treasure box” . . . .  A “Junk Food Party” to honor the winning team in an academic contest . . . . 12 oz. cans of Coke and full-sized bags of gummi […]


Giving Kids Junk Food “Treat Bags” for Standardized Testing?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 7, 2014

This morning I belatedly opened an email from my son’s middle school, which last week asked parents to donate items for “treat bags” for the 6th graders taking our district’s standardized tests. Here’s what volunteers were asked to bring:  Goldfish, Blow Pops, peppermint candies, Hershey’s kisses, bite-size Snickers, 100-calorie packs of cookies, Starburst candies, clementines […]


Junk Food Marketing at Your Child’s School? Take a Picture!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 27, 2014

A few weeks ago I told you about the newly released, proposed USDA rules which would use district wellness policies as a vehicle to curb junk food and beverage marketing on school campuses.   (At first I told you I wasn’t so happy with using wellness policies as a means to that laudable end, but […]


Starting in 2014-15, two significant changes will be coming to school cafeterias.  First, under the new “Smart Snacks in School” rules, we should see a big improvement in the nutritional content of snack foods and beverages sold to students from outlets like vending machines, fundraising tables and “a la carte” snack bar lines.  Another, less-talked-about change […]


Health Through Stealth? “The School Wellness Ninja”

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 13, 2014

I’ve written a lot on this blog (and, really, I mean, a LOT — see the “Related Posts” below) about classroom birthday treats, soccer snacks and the many other ways in which kids are offered junk food by people other than their parents on a regular basis.  Each individual episode would be no big deal […]


Two days ago, I told you about proposed USDA rules, promoted by the First Lady and released on the fourth anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative, which would curb the marketing of foods and beverages on school campuses.  Specifically, if adopted, the new rules would restrict on-campus advertising during the school day to foods and beverages meeting the […]


Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama and the USDA made headlines by announcing a proposal to ban the marketing of junk food and sugary beverages on school campuses.  Timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of Ms. Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, the proposal would restrict on-campus advertising to only those products meeting the relatively stringent nutritional requirements […]


While this blog was dominated by the discussion of Chinese-processed chicken in school meals, a lot has been going on in the kid-and-food-news world.  Here’s a quick roundup to keep you up to speed. First Lady Addresses Problem of Junk Food Marketing to Kids On September 19th, Michelle Obama convened a landmark summit at the […]


Sugar for Salad Bars? A Bit of Irony at Whole Foods

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 9, 2013

Last week I had to dash into a Whole Foods at 6:00pm to grab items for that night’s dinner — with two famished kids in tow. (If you’re a parent, you know how fun that scenario can be.) As soon as we entered the store we were greeted by a friendly Whole Foods employee offering […]


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 […]