processed food

This Halloween is a bittersweet one for me and Mr. TLT:  for the first time, neither of our kids are going trick-or-treating!  Our 14-year-old daughter will be out of town but doesn’t seem especially bothered that she’ll miss the ritual, and our son, aged twelve, declared he was “over it” and that he’d rather pass out candy at our front door. […]


“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 […]


Salt Sugar Fat, Michael Moss’s compelling expose of how the food industry has “hooked” us on highly processed foods, concludes that “only we can save us” from the hazards of the modern American diet.  In other words, while we wait around for Big Food to voluntarily reform itself, or for our government to compel it to do so (developments I’m not sure […]


Good Reads: A Friday Link Round-Up

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 31, 2014

There’s so much news out there that I’m closing out the week with a link round-up – enjoy! School District Dumps Non-Paying Kids’ Meals A school district in Utah received a lot of negative attention this week for forcing students with negative lunch card balances to toss their meals in the trash.  While this district’s […]


Mr. Zee Heads Down Under!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 17, 2013

So, this is cool! I just found out that my rhyming children’s video about processed food, “Mr. Zee’s Apple Factory,” is going to be incorporated into nutrition education materials that will be made available to Australian teachers seeking to meet the requirements of the Australia Curriculum for Health and Physical Education.  I’m told that the video […]


I’m so excited to share with you today’s post on Marion Nestle’s influential Food Politics blog:  a write-up of my rhyming kids’ video about processed food, “Mr. Zee’s Apple Factory“!  Wow! I also want to thank the many TLT friends – readers and fellow bloggers – who’ve continued to give the video a little push now […]


In March, 2011 I was honored to be chosen as one of the winners of a Slate magazine anti-childhood-obesity crowd-sourcing contest.  My submission, entitled “Legislate, Educate and Inoculate to Create Food-Savvy Kids,” argued that we need to fight the problem on three fronts:  legislation to curb the food industry’s rampant advertising to children; widespread nutrition […]


Yesterday a Lunch Tray reader wrote to me seeking advice about improving the snacks in her child’s public pre-school, snacks which sometimes include items like highly processed Uncrustables and chocolate milk.   This reader was also disturbed that some classroom projects, like cookie-making, involved a lot of sugar.  She ended her email to me with […]


A Food In the Classroom Horror Story

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 25, 2012

Just in time for Halloween, I wanted to share a food-in-the-classroom horror story sent to me a few weeks ago by a reader from Ohio.  Here’s what she told me: At kindergarten orientation the teacher went over classroom stuff and passed around clipboards for parents to volunteer, etc. One of the clipboards was for parents […]


I hope I’m not exhausting you with posts about the new school meal regulations, but these rules impact the diets of millions of American children every day and seem worthy of in-depth discussion on any blog devoted to “kids and food.” Today I want to share an excerpt from an email I received from “Wilma.” […]