Editor's note: The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.
In a battle over healthier school lunches that pitted the Obama administration against school children, chalk up a point for the kids.
Students have been complaining that some of their favorite foods were taken off the plate because of the Obama administration's efforts to make school lunches healthier.
Fed up with school lunch regulations minimizing their midday meal, three North Dakota students filmed a parody of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" addressed to First Lady Michelle Obama.
Less than half of the children in America who are eligible for a free or reduced breakfast take advantage of the USDA-provided meal. A program called "Breakfast in the Classroom" is trying to get more lower-income students to eat breakfast. The program, managed by a group of organizations known collectively as the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom, brings food to the students in class after the morning bell. That way, students don't come to school early just to eat, and they aren't rushing to get to class, skipping breakfast on the way. The program was launched in five school districts around the country and expanding to include ten more this school year.
It started as a fun writing project - 9-year-old Martha Payne decided to blog each day about lunch at her school in Scotland, rating and photographing each meal.
Six weeks and more than 3 million page views later, her "NeverSeconds" blog has become an Internet sensation and provoked a minor political controversy.
The local government body - the Argyll and Bute Council - banned her from taking pictures in the dining hall, citing "the unwarranted attacks on its schools catering service which culminated in national press headlines which have led catering staff to fear for their jobs."
Its leader backtracked Friday in an interview with BBC radio.
Read the full story: Storm in a teacup over girl's school dinner blog
While some New Yorkers are fighting for their right to drink sugary beverages, unionized cafeteria workers in a small Western Pennsylvania school district have fought for - and won - their right to eat expired foods.
On Monday, Sharon, Pennsylvania newspaper The Herald reported that members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees filed a grievance against the Sharpsville Area School District over a disagreement as to what cafeteria workers were allowed to eat.
In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.
A new phrase has oozed into the news cycle: "pink slime."
While one might expect such terminology to deal with a "Double Dare" or "Ghostbusters" reboot, instead, it refers to something that many Americans are consuming without even knowing it.
The pink goo first gained mainstream attention when British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver focused an episode of his show, "Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution," on the product that is used as a ground beef filler.
During the episode, Oliver reported 70 percent of ground beef in the United States contains the ammonium hydroxide-treated ground meat that bears a striking resemblance to strawberry fro-yo.
School meals will have to offer fruits and vegetables to students every day under standards issued by the United States Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.
The meal programs, which feed about 32 million students in public and private schools, will have to reduce sodium, saturated fat and trans fats. Schools must also offer more whole grains as well as fat-free or low-fat milk varieties.
These standards go into effect July 1 and will be phased in over a three-year period, according to the USDA.
The new nutrition standards are largely based on recommendations by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, as part of efforts to curb childhood obesity. Recent numbers show that about 17% of children in the United States are obese.
Read the full story: "USDA issues new rules for school meals"
Arugula, radishes, kale, pomegranates, persimmons, figs and quince – these are just some of the varieties of produce tended by students at Burgess-Peterson Elementary school, an urban school on the east side of Atlanta.
When the garden started three years ago, students hadn't even heard of – much less grown and eaten – a lot of the food now grown on school grounds.
And yet on the day CNN visited the school, fifth-graders ate quiche made with fresh spinach from the school garden, and fourth-graders chomped happily on slices of persimmon, an unusual orange-colored fruit, harvested from the school's fruit orchard.
You'd be surprised, said fifth-grade teacher Megan Kiser, what foods students are willing to try if they grow it themselves.
The idea of a well-rounded school lunch may skip the "wellness" factor and skip straight to the "rounded" - in the form of pizza.
Congress unveiled its latest short-term $182 billion spending bill late Monday, which among the legislation, would deny funding to the new - and healthier - school meal nutrition standards the Department of Agriculture proposed earlier this year amid growing concerns of childhood obesity.