Texas Ag Commissioner: Bring Back Sodas and Deep Fat Fryers to School

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 13, 2015

Yesterday I told you that Texas’s newly elected Agriculture Commissioner chose, as his first act in office, to grant “amnesty” to classroom birthday cupcakes in our state. As I explained in yesterday’s post, not only was this a head-scratcher given the many more pressing problems facing Texas’s farmers (starting with a serious water shortage and including a rampant feral […]


“Cupcake Amnesty:” Childhood Obesity and the Political Divide

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 12, 2015

This morning in Austin, our state’s newly elected Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is holding a press conference to announce his first official act in office.  But Miller won’t use the occasion to address Texas’s troubling water shortage, which he had promised to make his “top priority” if elected, nor will he discuss any other issue of pressing concern to the state’s farmers or […]


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 […]


Are Even College Kids “Over-Snacked?”

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 8, 2013

We talk a lot on The Lunch Tray about the ubiquity of (generally unhealthy) snacks served at any event at which two or more children gather, regardless of the time of day. So I was interested to read this opinion piece, written by my niece Rachel Siegel for her college newspaper, which indicates that the […]


School District Bans Food Treats from Classroom Celebrations

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 17, 2013

I read this morning that the Evesham (New Jersey) school district decided over the summer to ban all food — and non-food — treats from classroom birthday celebrations.  According to South Jersey Local News, the change in policy was motivated by various past incidents involving food-allergic children.  Non-food treats were included in the ban to […]


Does Childhood Hunger Justify Food in the Classroom?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 8, 2013

A reader named Sheri left a thought-provoking comment on yesterday’s post in which I asked TLT’ers to chime in on a parent’s question about eliminating food in the classroom.  Sheri pointed out that many kids come from food insecure households and therefore my desire to eliminate all food from the classroom (articulated most succinctly in […]


The Junk Food Deluge: Is It As Simple As “Just Say No?”

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 26, 2013

Here on TLT I’ve written often – some would say ad nauseum! — on the topic of kids being offered junk food by people other than their parents and what, if anything, we should do about it.   But today I want to ask TLT’ers a question:  How do you personally handle this issue?  Do […]


Food In the Classroom: Teachers Speak Out

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 26, 2012

Yesterday’s manifesto against food in the classroom, which I pounded out at my keyboard in a fit of complete frustration and anger, has clearly resonated with a lot of people.  With three exceptions (two of which I couldn’t print because they contained such foul language), comments posted here and on Twitter and Facebook have uniformly […]


My Daughter Asks for Water, Her Teacher Hands Her a Coke

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 24, 2012

Yes, really. As you know, I’m no fan of handing out of candy for academic performance or good behavior, but since my children’s elementary school changed principals a few years ago, the incidence of candy rewards in the classroom has dropped off considerably. Now my daughter is in middle school and she recently rotated through […]


A Soccer Mom After My Own Heart

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 10, 2011

I meant to post this a few days ago when it first came out:  a fantastic guest blog post on Fooducate by a self-described “soccer mom” taking on the junk food snacks regularly served at her kids’ practices and games. It was written by Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, of Real Mom Nutrition, and if you close your […]