14 Food Mistakes Moms Make

(Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post.) Yesterday we cited a report that predicted federal food aid funneled through the states would dry up quickly if Congress fails to pass a bill authorizing some funding beyond Oct. 1. Well, the Department of Agriculture now says that thats true for some programs, but not for all. In a document outlining its contingency plan for a potential shutdown next week, USDA said funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits formerly known as food stamps will continue in Octoberunder authority granted by the 2009 stimulus bill. In addition, the agency said, states might still also be able to receive partial reimbursements for related administrative costs from a $2 billion contingency fund. Child nutrition programs including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will also continue into October, the USDA said. But not all federal food aid will continue, though advocates say many states may pick up the tab. Federal funding for administration and benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children which provides grants to states for food aid, health care referrals and nutrition education for some low-income women and children will cease if the government shuts down. While the USDA report says states may only have enough leftover funds for a week or so, advocates believe that many states may choose to fund the program beyond that. Those concerned about whether benefits will be available should call program administrators to get the most up-to-date information, they say. Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post’s state and local policy blog. Before that he covered budget, tax and transportation policy for National Journal, blogged at The Atlantic and covered the business of the nation’s largest law firms in California for The Recorder.

FDA: Criminal case shows food safety is paramount

Eric Jensen

“I think the FDA is sending a strong message that the produce industry is going to have to raise the bar to ensure the safety of the, basically, ready-to-consume foods,” he said. It’s the second such warning from the agency, Doyle said. In February, four former employees of a peanut company were charged in Georgia federal court with scheming to manufacture and ship tainted peanuts. A 2009 salmonella outbreak blamed on the peanuts killed nine people and sickened hundreds. The four pleaded not guilty. STORY: Colo. farmers arrested in listeria outbreak that killed 33 The listeria epidemic traced to Jensen Farms was the nation’s deadliest outbreak of food-borne illness in 25 years. The FDA concluded the melons likely were contaminated in Jensen Farms’ packing house. It said dirty water on a floor, and old, hard-to-clean equipment probably were to blame. Ryan Jensen and his brother Eric Jensen pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a 2011 listeria outbreak. (Photo: Ed Andrieski, AP) The Jensens’ trial is scheduled to start Dec. 1. The brothers could face up to six years in prison and $1.5 million in fines each if convicted. Produce farmers don’t have a “true-kill” step to eliminate bacteria, the way dairies and other food producers do, Doyle said.

Good choices include 100 percent whole grain pasta, rice, bread and cereal, and potatoes too. 8. Being a short order cook Your kid is a picky eater, but if you let him or her decide what to eat, youre essentially a short order cook. A better approach? Give kids freedom within healthy limits, Lemond said. Let your child choose between broccoli and carrots for dinner, and either way, youll be happy. 9. Disregarding meals Kids are skipping meals and snacking more frequently, according to an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics survey. Instead of allowing all-day grazing, make sure your child eats meals and snacks at regular times every day. The parents are in charge of the what, when, and how of eating, and the kids are in charge of eating or not eating, Lemond said. 10. Offering unhealthy snacks An after-school snack is fine, but offering something that provides protein and fiber can satisfy your childs hunger and keep his or her weight in check.