Invoking the Cherished Bake Sale to Undermine the Smart Snacks Rules

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 11, 2014

Back in November, 2010, only a few months after starting The Lunch Tray, I wrote about running my children’s elementary school Election Day bake sale.  In that post I expressed a little bit of ambivalence about selling sweets to raise money  — ambivalence that would evolve over the next four years into outright activism against junk food in schools  —  but at the […]


Speaking Truth to Ronald

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 23, 2014

I’ve just come back from Oak Brook, Illinois where yesterday I attended the annual McDonald’s shareholders’ meeting.  I was hoping for a chance to speak face-to-face with CEO Don Thompson about the company’s aggressive marketing to children but, as you’ll read below, the corporation made that rather hard to do. I went to Oak Brook as part of a […]


“Fed Up” Film: Why You Should See It — and Tell a Friend

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 14, 2014

By now many of you have seen this eye-catching poster for a new documentary film released last week, “Fed Up:” You can click on the photo to enlarge it, but the caption above the “FU” reads “Congress says pizza is a vegetable,” which harkens back to some dark days in 2011 for those of us who care […]


“The Family Cooks:” Book Review and Giveaway!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 25, 2014

Back in 2011, I had the honor of interviewing Laurie David, author of The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time.  At that time, Laurie was better known for her environmental activism and as the executive producer of the Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” but she and her co-author, chef Kirstin Uhrenholdt (whom I […]


A Mom Says, Just Leave the Snacks at Home!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 31, 2014

A few months ago, I shared on Facebook and Twitter a terrific piece in Parents magazine about how today’s kids are being offered food more often than ever before.  Written by Real Mom Nutrition‘s Sally Kuzemchak, “The Snack Epidemic” reported that: In the late 1970s, the average kid between the ages of 2 and 6 ate one snack […]


Happy Friday, TLT’ers!  I’m closing out the week with a quick round-up of links of interest: Gail Collins on School Food, Paul Ryan on “Empty Souls” Gail Collins had a great column yesterday in the New York Times on the never-ending politicization of school food, prompted in part by Paul Ryan’s recent (and, dare I say, […]


Your Monday Kid-and-Food News Round-Up

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 18, 2013

Happy Monday, TLT’ers! I was out of town and had to let the blog languish a bit, so here’s a link round-up to kick off the week and get you up to speed: President Signs Epi-Pen Bill Into Law Back in September I told you about pending legislation which would provide financial incentives to schools […]


Help Get Food Education Into Every American School!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on July 10, 2013

The longer I blog on The Lunch Tray, the more I become convinced that the keys to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic and improving kids’ health rest with kids themselves. That is to say, we absolutely must do what we can to improve our children’s food environment — school food reform, improved competitive food, reining […]


Over the weekend a friend shared on TLT’s Facebook page this post from The Daily, which compares school lunches from the fattest and fittest counties in the nation, Greene County, AL and Routt County, CO, respectively. According to The Daily, the school food in Routt County, where only 14% of adults are obese, includes “seasonal […]


Bloomberg vs. Soda: My Piece in The Guardian

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 1, 2012

[The following piece originally appeared on the website of The Guardian.] New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made headlines by announcing his administration’s plan to ban the sale of sugary drinks offered in containers larger than 16 ounces. The proposed “large soda” ban would affect food service establishments like restaurants, movie theaters and street vendors, […]