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Friday Food News Wrap: April 14

It seems like we’ve been all over the map with school lunches this week. First the USDA had its deadline for comments for the proposed new rules over the school lunch and school breakfast programs (Did you get your comments in?).  Then USA Today looked at a school that is consistently making healthy lunches for kids, and published an op-ed about why we should pay for healthy school lunches now rather than paying a bigger health cost later.

The Washington Post weighed in with another story on the chocolate milk debate, highlighting Fairfax County’s decision to re-introduce chocolate milk, this time without the high fructose corn syrup.

Then Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution continued to make a raise a ruckus about banning chocolate milk in schools, and about not being granted access into the LAUSD schools.

Confused? Do you just want some advice about how to get better lunches for your kids at school? Then check out this slideshow from Great Schools about how to improve your school’s lunch program.

Other news this week:

Bad Diets: Are your kids eating healthfully? A new study from the YMCA (via USA Today) shows that many kids aren’t. The study found that 62% of 1,630 parents with children ages 5 to 10 say their kids eat junk food one to four days a week. Only 14% of parents say their kids eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day.

Mom’s Diet: If the kids aren’t eating well, how well is the mom eating? Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that young mothers — ranging in age from about 20 to 30 — reported higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and saturated fat if they had children five or younger in comparison to women of a similar age without children. The moms tended to have higher calorie intakes too.

Is Sugar Toxic? This week’s New York Times Magazine takes a look at claims about sugar and asks whether it is a “toxin” that can be blamed for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many kinds of cancers.  A good rule of thumb: Eat sugar judiciously.

Community Gardening: NPR reports on a community that is facing down all of these childhood nutrition challenges in a positive way: A Petaluma, Ca. health clinic has created a community garden and the clinic encourages its young patients to plant, grow, and eat nutritious food straight from the ground (hat tip to Kids Health Tips for the story).

Spring Holidays: Last but not least, we’ve got two big holidays coming up, Passover and Easter. For Passover, we love this easy matzo ball soup recipe from The Scramble/PBS Parents that comes with a little extra history and more links to traditional Passover foods.  We also can’t wait to try this Drunken Passover Grilled Cheese (make it with apple juice instead of wine for the kids) from Doves and Figs.

For Easter, we LOVE this post from What’s Cooking on coloring eggs with natural ingredients. Extra bonus: Look for the links at the bottom for tips on making perfect boiled eggs.

Happy Friday to all!

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