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Friday Food News Feed: Dec. 17

The Jolly Tomato is temporarily re-located to the frigid East Coast for the holidays, but we’ll do our best to keep blogging while staying warm and enjoying time with the family.

Let’ start with the big news from Monday, which is that President Obama signed the $4.5 billion Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law. The bill will reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act through 2015.  To get some perspective on the changes that are afoot, check out this cool graphic from Obama Foodorama that gives a sample school lunch menu before and after the passage of the bill. But, as Bettina over at The Lunch Tray points out, it remains to be seen how rigorous the standards regulating junk foods will really be. And as Michelle Obama said, parents don’t want schools undermining the healthy eating habits that they have established at home.

For a completely different take on what the bill could mean for kids, take a moment to read this moving account by Food Woolf of her memories of having to go hungry as a kid. Reading this piece will surely move you to want to do something, so consider a donation to Share our Strength ($25 can help feed a child three meals a day for a month, $100 will give 25 full grocery bags of healthy food to a hungry family).

Kids’ Holiday Eating: Did you know that Jolly Tomato made another appearance on the Huffington Post this week? This time we give you five tips to help your kids stay healthy throughout the holiday season. Check it out here.

Sweet Cereals: Put away those Cocoa Pebbles and Frosted Flakes: A new study from our friends over at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity finds that kids will happily eat nutritious, low-sugar cereals if given the choice. In fact, many compensated for the sugar by eating more fruit.

Eat Your Fruits: Also in the news, a new study of Hong Kong schoolchildren has found that kids who do not like to eat fruits or vegetables are 13 more likely to develop functional constipation than those who do.

Happy Meals?: And the war on Happy Meals continues: A Sacramento mother and the Center for Science in the Public Interest has sued McDonalds, alleging that its practice of giving toys with children’s meals is deceptive to children (via the L.A. Times).

Old Food: Could those apples you’re eating have been picked six months ago? Is the orange juice you’re drinking more than a year old? Don’t be too sure your “fresh” food is very fresh, says Fooducate, because chances are it’s been treated so that it can stay on the grocery shelves as long as possible.

Old Soup: Last but not least, something that doesn’t have to do with kids’ nutrition per se, but will probably be interesting to the kids: Scientists in China have discovered a 2,400-year-old bowl of soup, containing some liquid and bones. And you thought that fruitcake was old…

Happy Friday to all!

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