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Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka's picture

What do children eat in school? Probably not what you think. Research shows that 40 percent of students buy and eat snack foods at school in a typical day.  When schools sell unhealthy snacks and drinks outside of meals, it can cause kids to eat less of their lunch, consume more fat, take in fewer nutrients, and gain weight.  It doesn’t have to be this way!  New proposed USDA nutritional standards for “competitive foods,” foods that are sold in schools through vending machines, a la carte lines, and school stores,  would help get junk foods out of schools and keep kids eating healthy even when their parents aren’t around.

We want to hear your thoughts about these “competitive foods” for a March blog carnival.

Blog post topic ideas:

  • Nutritional standards for food and beverages sold in vending machines
  • Junk food in schools
  • Healthy school fundraisers
  • Recognizing junk food snacks
  • Implementing a switch to healthy snacks
  • Personal experiences with school snacks
  • Healthy eating and academic performance

Given the high obesity rates among children and the important role foods and beverages available for sale in school play in children’s diet, it is imperative that competitive foods are held to strong nutritional standards. You can read the proposal here and let the USDA know that you support strong nutritional standards for competitive foods  by commenting here before April 9th.  You can also help by educating your community about these proposed nutritional standards and healthy school foods and urging your blog readers to send a comment to the USDA here.  Find out more about these proposed nutritional standards from the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project.

MomsRising will promote your blog post, as part of the blog carnival, widely via Facebook and Twitter. We estimate that our blog and social media reach extends to over 3.5 million readers. Below this email, you'll find more information on blog carnivals and how you can participate. However, even if you can't participate at this time, feel free to forward this email to friends you think might be interested.


MomsRising will collect and publish the individual blog posts and then we'll put the links to these posts together in one overarching post that will serve to host and introduce the blog carnival. Here are examples of past blog carnivals:

Healthy Holiday Food: It's Not a Contradiction

Clean Air & Environmental Justice For All

In addition, we'll amplify all posts on our Facebook site and with tweets from the MomsRising Twitter account @MomsRising using hashtags like #junkfreeschools, #obesity and more – we want to hear your suggestions!

CONTENT GUIDELINES: MomsRising invites you to write about how the foods available to children in school outside of lunch time affect them, their health, academic performance, eating habits, etc. Blog posts can be just a few paragraphs or much longer, but we recommend your post be about 500 - 800 words.

MomsRising appreciates original content and we are also happy to re-post previously written content as long as you add a few sentences or a paragraph on why this post is relevant to this particular blog carnival.

HOW TO SUBMIT A POST:  Please email the following to and by Wednesday April 3, 2013:
•   Your name and email address
•   Your headshot
•   Your Twitter handle if you have one
•   The title of your post
•   The text of your post
•   If possible, consider adding a photo or image to accompany your text with the photo’s credit. We find that photos and images help blog posts get shared around the Internet.
•   If your blog post has been published previously, please include the URL to receive credit. Also please include a few sentences about why you want to share this post for this particular blog carnival.

The more blog posts, the merrier (and the bigger the impact we’ll have overall.)  So in addition to submitting your own blog post, if you know anyone else who may like to participate, feel free to share this invitation with them.  

TIMELINE: The blog carnival will be published in early April. We are accepting blog posts starting now -- the earlier the better. The deadline for submitting your blog post is Wednesday, April 3 by 5 PM PT. Blog posts submitted after 4/3/13 will be added to the blog carnival and/or can be published on the blog at a later date. We are happy to tweet a link to your post anytime! 

DETAILS ON THE TWEETING: After the blog carnival is published, each post will be tweeted and retweeted with hashtags related to school snack foods. We encourage you to participate in the #FoodFri twitter chat on 4/5/13, 1-2 PM EST and to comment using the appropriate hashtags and tagging @MomsRising in your tweet so we can respond easily to thank you! We also encourage you to send these tweets to those in your online community and to other bloggers to invite their tweets and comments. Feel free to ask your followers to do the same! If you tweet and blog on the topic at anytime during the blog carnival, please send those links to us and we can incorporate them into the twitter chat to amplify your messages.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!