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Friday Food News Feed: October 1

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September is over, but that doesn’t mean we are going to stop hearing about childhood obesity any time soon. First up is the news that the winning apps from the USDA/Let’s Move “Apps for Healthy Kids” competition have been named. Let’s hope these new apps will gain popularity while educating kids about good nutrition.

Nutrition Bill Stalls: Next, we’re sad to report that the federal child nutrition bill (to reauthorize federal child nutrition programs) has stalled in the House over Democratic protests about using funding from the food stamp program to pay for the bill. A stop-gap measure will continue to fund the programs; legislators may try again during the lame-duck session or just wait until the new session begins to start anew.

Parenting Debates: The New York Times Motherlode blog gives us two stories that fuel interesting debates on food and parenting: first, on whether it’s a good idea to cook three different dinners for the family; and second, about banning disruptive kids from restaurants.  Feel free to weigh in – plenty of folks seem to have strong opinions about these.

“All Natural”?: Ben and Jerry’s is dropping the “all natural” phrase from its labels after a request from the Center for Science and the Public Interest. The CSPI told the company it should not use “all natural” if products contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or other ingredients that are not natural — but nothing about the ice cream will change. Just another heads-up for consumers to stay aware of what’s in the food they’re eating.

Food Allergies: CNN’s Eatocracy blog stirred up a tempest in a teapot by setting up a poll to ask what a school should do about a child with peanut allergies (pitting the tough-luck crowd versus the ban-peanuts crowd). More than 72,000 people have voted on it as of this writing, with the most voters leaning toward, “The parents should come up with a solution, not the school.”

Bigger Than Average Kid?: The Raise Healthy Eaters blog has a helpful Q-and-A about what to do to make sure that your bigger-than-average kid doesn’t gain too much weight or focus too much on food. (Partial answer: Don’t panic and put them on a strict diet.)

What the World Eats: A Q-and-A with the authors of  “What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets” provides a fascinating look at what people all around the world eat on a given day, complete with photos of each person with his or her daily food intake, from the least calories (600 – a Kenyan herder) to the most (12,300 – a bingeing English mom). This looks to be a great read for parents and their school-aged kids.

Healthy Halloween Candy: Last, since it’s now October and time to start thinking about Halloween, Snack Girl has a great post on healthy Halloween candy. Her original ideas (prunes) didn’t fly, so now she’s come up with some good alternatives, like dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses, or mini Tootsie roll pops.

Happy Friday!

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