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 […]


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 […]


More Republican Support for Bill To Gut Healthier School Food

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 25, 2014

I hope some of you have had a chance to read my “State of the Tray” piece published in Civil Eats last week, which asked whether the school food gains achieved by the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) are now at risk. One of the developments I discussed in that piece was the ”Reducing Federal Mandates […]


Yesterday I shared with you a Beyond Chron piece by school food advocate Dana Woldow (“School Nutrition Association Pushes Fruitless Position“), in which Woldow criticized a recent position paper released by the School Nutrition Association (“SNA”) calling for various changes to the new school meal regulations.  Among the modifications advocated by the SNA are: removing […]


My colleague Dana Woldow has a new piece in Beyond Chron that’s well worth reading.  In it, she takes issue with a position paper just released by the School Nutrition Association (“SNA”), the leading organization of over 55,000 school food professionals around the country. Woldow tells us that the SNA is seeking to roll back some of the […]


USDA Permanently Lifts Meat and Grain Caps in School Lunches

by Bettina Elias Siegel on January 6, 2014

Happy 2014, TLT’ers!  I’m kicking off the year with news of a positive school food development that occurred over this blog’s winter break. Several times last year I told you how school food professionals had been complaining about one particular aspect of the new school food regulations, namely the weekly caps imposed on grain and […]


Chinese Chicken, Big Ag’s Influence and What We Can Do

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 1, 2013

Last week, The Lunch Tray was dominated by discussion of the possible use in school meals of chicken processed in China.  Initially, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service website indicated that such chicken could not appear on school lunch trays but after my post last week, the agency changed its website to make clear […]


For those following this week’s discussion of Chinese-processed chicken in the National School Lunch Program, I wanted to share the latest news. After “thanking” me on Twitter for bringing the matter to its attention, yesterday morning USDA corrected the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s website to make clear (at least to a reader who parses the […]