Blog Posts by MomsRising

  • Happy Mother's Day! Do We Have Something Cool for You!

    It's time to celebrate! Here's a fun and free way to celebrate Mother's Day! Check out MomsRising's Mother's Day video you can customize and send your mom (or to yourself!). Check it out here: http://momdance.com

    Every year, MomsRising comes up with a creative way to tell Mom she's the best. This year, the inspiration came from all the cool dances we've seen (and, yes, maybe tried). Everything from a healthy food Harlem Shake (with a real Harlem Shake dancer) to a fair pay fandango is in there. It's a lot of fun!

    Check it out and let us know what you think! Tweet @MomsRising or leave a comment right here. Thank you!

  • Talking Turkey

    Whatever your cultural or ethnic background, conversations inevitably turn to food this time of year. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving or just "get together"? Do you eat meat and is it free-range? Are the vegetables organic? What is a healthy dessert? Gluten free? What about sugar? And then there is the ever-present concern, how will we all keep off those extra holiday pounds? Getting family members together with different practices, politics and palates for one big meal can be complicated and controversial.

    Lots of thought and effort go into the meals we serve at home and on holidays. And, there is an equally serious and intense conversation happening right now about the profound impact that school foods have on the health of our children. More than 23 million children and adolescents -- nearly one in three -- are obese or overweight and with one in five U.S. children living in households that experience food insecurity, having nutritious meals in school is critically important.

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  • Waiting for the Zinger..

    Know what tonight is?

    It's the only Vice Presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle! Yes, that always unpredictable debate that has spawned zingers like "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy," and the question still lingering on everyone's mind, "Can I call you Joe?" Undoubtedly, we're in for some more history making exchanges tonight! [1],[2]

    With Vice President Biden and Representative Ryan taking the stage tonight (Thursday, 11th at 9pm ET, 6pm PT), we can almost guarantee that there are going to be fireworks! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will be this debate's most memorable line.

    But this veep debate will have more than entertainment value. I also will be waiting with baited breath to see if the Vice Presidential candidates mention the issues that families face every day, issues like: Fair pay, affordable child care, and health care.

    ***Play along tonight! Download your BINGO card here:

    http://action.momsrising.org/signup/BINGO-2012_Vice/

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  • Dads Support Healthy Foods in Schools, Too

    By Dr. Dwayne C. Proctor

    Like many parents, I'm excited that the 2012-2013 school-year has begun-the kids may already be grumbling about homework, but we parents know that while summertime can be good fun for the family, it can also be exhausting. I'm even more excited that my kids will have access healthier and more nutritious foods at school this year, as I know the facts about childhood obesity.

    dad son lunch salad

    Since the time I attended elementary school in Washington, DC, rates of childhood obesity have more than quadrupled in children and more than tripled in adolescents. This fact puts our kids at risk for a host of diseases and our economy on the hook for higher health care costs. I know school is where many kids get up to half of their calories during the day. I also know that when schools provide unhealthy foods and snacks, kids eat less of their lunch, consume more fats and fewer nutrients, and gain weight. So to me it's a no-brainer that schools should provide healthier

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  • The Truth About Healthy Food (and Kids and Schools)

    By Lily Eskelsen

    First, let me just say, that I'm not advocating lying to children. I'm not proposing that moms and dads make up silly lies and tell tall tales just to get kids to eat healthier. I am absolutely not saying that. Lying to your children is wrong. And you get caught.

    I did.

    Because my (then) four year old, Jeremy, had a sweet tooth, and I got tired of fighting with him about why it just wasn't good for him to be eating so much sugar and that diabetes runs in my family, and his teeth would rot but, I mean, I was worried about his health, and what else was I supposed to do? So.

    I told him it was against the law for kids to buy a cereal with a cartoon on the box unless it was their birthday.

    Because "cartoon" cereals are packaged to appeal to kids and in the box of 99.9% of "cartoon" cereals are little exploding sugar bombs. And Jeremy nagged me for them on every trip to the grocery store. But like any good four year old who loves and trusts

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  • Face It: Chocolate Will Never Lead to Broccoli…

    By Alison Crockett

    "Chocolate begets more chocolate; it never leads to carrots. Or spinach. Or tofu." - Dina Rose, PhD and parent educator

    BroccoliComparisonI really like this quote a lot. It's an essential piece of human nature. Sitting begets more sitting. Moving begets more moving. Reading begets more reading…and so on. Why am I bringing this up? As a friend of mine says: "It's not kids who have a problem with vegetables. It's the parents!" How many of you adults actually eat vegetables in your house regularly? If you don't, why do you all of a sudden expect your kids to become a human farmer's market?

    Cookie-Monster-eating-vegetables-ed

    We as parents and educators, doctors, nutritionists and dentists are very keen on making sure that our children get the proper nutrition; especially when they are in school. So because JaQuan or Jordan won't drink milk or water unless it has some flavor in it, we rush to put some sort of sugar-like substance in it so they'll drink it now get the appropriate nutrients and then have

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  • Back to School and Childhood Obesity-- the Struggle Continues

    By Marc Lamont Hill

    In April, I wrote a piece about the balance between personal choices and public policy in the battle to stem the deadly obesity crisis. Since that time, a lot has happened to educate and raise public awareness about junk food, regulate public consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages, and tackle the specific crisis of childhood obesity.

    Just last week an important documentary on African-American cuisine, Soul Food Junkies premiered in New York City and recently PBS ran the ground-breaking series The Weight of the Nation. These education and awareness tools are growing conversation in communities across America and people are getting the information they need to make better choices. At the same time, advocates and activists are pushing for stronger regulations for the foods sold in supermarkets and served at restaurants and schools.

    Nearly 23 million children in the United States are overweight or obese putting them at greater risk for heart

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  • Eat to Live!

    By Talib Kweli Greene

    In order to receive, then we need to give
    We gotta feed the kids, they gotta eat to live…
    My rhymes got nutritional value
    I get it how I live, it's critical when the conditions allow you."

    (Editor's note: For complete music video, CLICK HERE)

    I grew up in Crown Heights Brooklyn in the '80s. At that time, school meals left a lot to be desired. Crazy things happened like the Reagan Administration trying to categorize ketchup as a vegetable. My mom, like most mothers, knew better and protested that move, always fighting to make school meals as healthy as they could be. That struggle continues today.

    While most people think of places like Mississippi and Louisiana when they hear the words "childhood obesity", nearly half of all New York City elementary schoolchildren are overweight. In fact, in New York City, 1 in 5 kindergarten children is obese. Parents and activists have been collaborating and working hard to make things better.

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  • By Chef Lorena Garcia

    We need to start paying attention to what we are feeding our children. One out of every three children in the United States is already overweight or obese and this generation may be the first who live sicker and die younger than their parents. This is not acceptable.

    But there is good news. We can make a difference.

    I'm teaming up with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, who for six years, has been making great strides to work with schools, kids, companies and doctors to reverse this alarming trend.
    Together, we're creating healthy recipes schools can use to serve meals full of vegetables and good proteins, and more importantly - meals that kids like to eat. I'm pleased to contribute my love of cooking and training to fight childhood obesity. All it takes is each one of us doing our part.

    Let me tell you about Gayla Moghannam. She spent many enjoyable days volunteering in her daughter's class at Walt Disney Elementary School in San Ramon,

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  • 5 Nontoxic Craft Tips for Kids

    Keep the little artists in your life healthy and safe with a few simple art supply swaps and DIY fixes!kid artist

    Smocks: Smocks can help preserve clothes, and reduce skin contact with chemicals from art supplies. Make sure the smock you choose is the safest: CHEJ recommends using fabric smocks to avoid PVC. Instead of buying a smock, you can use old shirts and clothing. Or if you're feeling crafty, try this DIY smock tutorial or this no-sew towel smock.

    Markers: Skip the scented markers! According to the Environmental Working Group, the chemicals in marker fragrances aren't listed, so you don't know what you're inhaling when you get a whiff of scented markers. And fun packaging and smells encourage kids to sniff. Choose unscented markers instead. Also avoid permanent and dry-erase markers, which contain solvents.

    Polymer clays: Polymer clays, the kind that stays soft at room temperature but you can harden it in the oven, often contain toxic PVC and phthalates. Luckily, there's a

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