Blog Posts by MomsRising

  • 5 Tips for Healthier Fruits and Veggies

    By Claire Moshenberg

    We all know the merits of choosing organic produce, and we all know that the big health benefits can also come with a big price tag. With a few simple steps, you can minimize chemicals on your non-organic produce, purchase cheaper organic items, and make sure that you're making the most of your fruits and veggies. Here are our top 5 tips on how to give your produce shopping and preparation a nontoxic makeover:

    Wash everything thoroughly: The surface of fruits and veggies can be home to chemicals and pathogens, which is why it's important to thoroughly wash your produce, particularly if it's not organic. Rub your fruits and veggies for 30 to 60 seconds under warm running water. Wash inedible peels; even though you discard the peel, cutting into the fruit or peeling the fruit can transfer chemicals into the fruits flesh through your knife. For edible peels, peeling non-organic fruits and vegetables is an easy way to avoid the chemicals that are absorbed

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  • ECOnomical: Top 5 Thrifty, Nontoxic Tips

    By Claire Moshenberg

    When people find out that I write about environmental health, they immediately have questions: What kind of baby bottles are the safest? Is it true what my friend told me about chemicals in sunscreen? And, how can I possibly afford to replace everything in my house with organic and non-toxic items?

    I think about that last question a lot. I grew up, like a lot of kids, in a situation where throwing away canned foods or going totally organic was a fantasy on par with tooth collecting fairies and jolly white-bearded men lugging sacks full of gifts. My mom would have been heartbroken if someone had told her to ransack our cupboards, then replace all of our furniture and cosmetics, or her children's health would be at risk. Throwing everything away and starting from scratch just wasn't possible for us, and it's not possible for most families.

    Luckily, there are a lot of easy and affordable (even free!) changes we can all make to protect our families from

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  • Navigating a Sunscreen Wonderland

    By Claire Moshenberg

    Summer is here, and whether you tan or don't tan, whether you lounge on tropical beaches or prefer to spend your summer afternoons doing less sun dappled activities, sunscreen is a must. I'm sure you've all been dutifully applying sunscreen throughout the year. But just in case your SPF habits have been less than perfect, the upcoming sunnier months are a time to recommit yourself to a sunscreen routine.

    The first step is the most important: Sunscreen shopping. We're living in a sunscreen wonderland. Rising SPF numbers, UVB paired with UVA protection, self tanners, handy misting bottles; The convenience is magical. Unfortunately, the very product that's supposed to protect us can put us at risk for toxic chemical exposures. While protecting your skin, don't put your health in harm's way. Here are our top five tips for picking the best non-toxic sunscreen:

    Not all vitamins are created equal: Vitamin A is the current darling of the skincare world due to

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  • What a Glue Stick Can Do For You on Valentine's Day!!!

    Roses, champagne flutes, glittery gems and jewelry--all great. But these days, I'm all about a different kind of Valentine's Day: Red construction paper hearts, lopsided, and shaped by small hands wielding safety scissors, glue sticks, and glitter.

    Let's face it. Lopsided glitter glue has the power to melt hearts far and wide.

    What if we could use the power of Valentine's Day to stand up for kids and get Congress to focus on preschool and quality, affordable childcare?

    It turns out, we (you) can!

    *Click this link to see our super cool online valentine-creation-station and make your card to tell your Congressperson why programs for kids and families like preschool and childcare make your heart glow: http://action.momsrising.org/ go/690


    That's right, this year we're getting crafty (with a nifty high tech edge) for Congress.

    We created an online valentine-creation-station where in less than 1 minute you can create a valentine for your Congressperson. After the

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  • A Parent’s Decision to Empower thru Sports

    by Nancy Hogshead-Makar

    Getting a child into sports and keeping them there is one of the best decisions a parent will make. While your kids do it for the fun, research on the life-long benefits of a sports experience gives parents even more motivation to schlep kids to those practices. Contrary to the "dumb jock" myth, interscholastic sports participation has a measurable, positive educational impact on both boys and girls from diverse socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Betsey Stevenson, an economist from Wharton, found that it's not just that kids already destined to do well play sports, but that playing sports actually results in more education and higher incomes - for boys and girls. In addition, a sports experience changes a girl's health trajectory; preventing heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, tobacco and drug use, unwanted teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, depression and suicide. To date, the very best known protection from obesity into

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  • Justice? On Kelley Williams-Bolar

    As you've likely seen in the news, Ohio mom, Kelley Williams-Bolar, recently went to jail for sending her kids to a highly ranked school near where her father lives, which was out of her home school district.[1] She was trying to give her children a better life. Now, as a convicted felon, helping her children will be even harder - she was studying to become a teacher, but that dream may have ended with the felony conviction as well.

    Real justice requires that the punishment fit the crime. By any measure, this is cruelly unjust.

    *Please join us and the national non-profit organization, ColorOfChange.org, in calling on Ohio Governor Kasich to take a public stand and do everything he can to right this injustice(including making sure that Williams-Bolar has the opportunity to become a teacher in Ohio). And please ask your friends and family to sign the letter as well - it takes just a moment:

    SIGN THE LETTER TO THE OHIO GOVERNOR HERE:

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  • Getting Settled In...

    Have a second? We want to deliver a short "to-do" note to Congress from YOU next week. "What!?" and "Why?" might be going through your mind right now. Well, we have a good reason: Right now Congress is starting the 112 th session, members of Congress are still getting settled in, and many are strategizing what they'd like "to do" this session. We want to set an example of bipartisan spirit by presenting a positive welcoming message to all members of Congress next week.

    And, there's no better time to introduce ourselves and give Congress a warm welcome by sharing messages from parents across the nation (That's you!) reminding leaders to keep kids and families at the top of their "to-do" list for this session-along with giving each of them a handy-dandy "to-do" notepad so our issues stay top of mind (or top of desk at least!), which says: 112th Congress - MomsRising wishes you a MOMumental Year!

    Yes, you read that right: We're delivering all of this next week!

    Can you

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  • Living Up To Our Kids’ Expectations

    Last night was the memorial for nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green and the other victims of the January 8th tragedy, which killed six and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life. I'm still stunned with sadness by the horrible events of last Saturday.

    As the mother of two children, one around the age of Christina who's attended similar Congressional events with me, I ache for the families.

    What President Obama said in the memorial service last night resonated deeply:

    "I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here - they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.

    That's what I believe, in part because that's what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl

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  • Let's answer this call!

    Bravo, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin! Yesterday, the nation's top doctor had the courage to say simply and starkly that mothers who breastfeed their babies need more support. In the "Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding," the Surgeon General challenged all sectors of our society to support mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies.

    "Many barriers exist for mothers who want to breastfeed. They shouldn't have to go it alone. Whether you're a clinician, a family member, a friend, or an employer, you can play an important part in helping mothers who want to breastfeed." -- Surgeon General Dr. Benjamin

    As evidence for the need for more support, the Surgeon General noted that while 75% percent of babies are breastfed after birth, only 13% are exclusively breastfed up until 6 months as recommended. She also notes that the rates are particularly low among African-American infants.

    Increasing the breastfeeding rates could help keep down our growing

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