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Help Preserve Progress on Healthier School Foods. Join #FoodFri

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Can you believe schools are back in session across some parts of the country? Children are excited. Routines are changing. Parents juggling act has commenced. And, schools have prepared for children as well.  

Kids are going back to school this year to meals that keep getting healthier. Ninety-five percent of school districts are meeting the updated nutrition standards—serving meals with more whole grains, less sodium, and more fruits and vegetables.  Join us to talk about the progress schools are making, and debunk school food myths and old perceptions of school meals.

Join #FoodFri on August 28, 2015 at 1pm, Eastern to discuss the updated nutrition standards, what this means for your children and how you can help preserve progress on healthier school foods! We'll be joined by @CSPI, a fierce advocate for advocate for children's nutrition and health.

Spread the word by clicking the link below. We look forward to tweeting with you!

Two Virginians died today

Take Action!

This morning in Virginia, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, two young journalists with Roanoke news station WDBJ-TV, were shot to death during a live broadcast. In the wake of this tragedy, Governor Terry McAuliffe has renewed his call for tougher gun laws in the Commonwealth.

Tell Governor McAuliffe you agree. Sign on to MomsRising’s message of support to help the governor build momentum for better gun policy in Virginia’s next legislative session: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/McAuliffeGunSafety/

During a Wednesday morning appearance on WTOP's monthly "Ask the Governor" program, the governor committed to continue pushing for change, as he has in two legislative sessions so far. He blamed the state legislature for not enacting tougher gun safety measures. “They don’t want any changes,” he said. "We have had a horrible history on this issue."

Thoughts on Trump, breastfeeding, & #WomensEqualityDay

On August 26, 1920, women achieved the right to vote in the US, thus the Women's Equality Day. On this very special day, I want to do something that I rarely do--write a little bit about my thoughts on this heating presidential election. 

Living in America, I often have an illusion that we women are completely equal to men. Unfortunately, whenever I have such an illusion, things always happen to break it. Something like, just yesterday, the GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump once again called the FOX anchor Megyn Kelly a "bimbo."

Trump's twitter tirade against Kelly was soon challenged, Sen. Lindsey Graham, for example, said, "if you think Kelly is a bimbo, then you are an idiot."

#WomensEqualityDay! Patsy Mink Lives on in Today's Fight for Title IX

Thirty-four years ago, Aug. 26 was designated as Women's Equality Day to commemorate the 19th Amendment and the 1970 Women's Strike for Equality.

Most of us know that American women secured the federal right to vote on Aug 26, 1920. It is less known that more than 100,000 women across the country protested for gender equality on the 50-year anniversary of women's suffrage, demanding equal opportunities in employment and education and access to childcare.

Those demands are just as urgent today as they were in 1970.

Female voters have outnumbered males in every presidential race since 1964, but that has neither eliminated the gender pay gap, nor assured equal employment opportunities. Voting alone has yet to resolve vital issues that disproportionately affect women, and in particular mothers, such as paid sick leave, parental leave, flexible workplaces, affordable childcare and college, living wages for caregivers, and a fair minimum wage.

It is clear that in addition to deciding political races, women need to be in them.

Being Able to Get My Heath Data Helps Parents and All Caregivers

It’s back-to-school time, and busy parents are trying to cross everything off their seemingly endless checklists before the first day of school. One thing on many of those lists? Physicals and vaccinations.

Many schools and sports programs require proof of children’s vaccinations and physician visits before they step back into the classroom or onto the field, and it can be a hassle to keep track of which vaccines children got or when they had their last physical exams. Having to coordinate with doctors’ offices to get signed authorizations and pick up forms in person can add even more stress to the mix.

That’s where technology comes in. Increasingly today, online patient portals, secure emails with health care providers, and apps that help you store and organize health data can help parents and caregivers quickly access, download and share up-to-date health records for their kids.

Women Deserve a Voice on the Job and At the Ballot Box

*Co-authored by Page Gardner, Founder and President of the Voter Participation Center

Today we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, a day that commemorates the 19th amendment being ratified granting millions of women the right to vote. In the 95 years since, women have used their votes to better their lives, strengthen their families and protect their communities. But women have yet to maximize their power at the polls – about a third of all U.S. women and close to 40 percent of unmarried women are not registered to vote -- or in the workplace. The labor movement provides nearly seven million women with a voice on the job through union membership and is a driving force in the fight for economic equality and security for women.  

7 Back-to-School Tips to Help You Stress Less and Find Your Center

Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, the start of a new school year offers the opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to do things differently.

If you’re feeling some anxiety around all the transitions, scheduling, juggling and driving that usually accompany a new school year, take a deep breath, you’re not alone. Then, pause and consider the following ideas. Adopting even one of these strategies could make a huge difference in how you experience this potentially hectic time. Start with compassion and a “baby steps” mindset as you consider the following:

Are you at a threshold, too?

Yesterday we attended a moving "Ceremony of 13" at our church for my teenage son. Cultures around the world share a tradition of marking the transition from childhood to adulthood beginning at age 13 (in the Jewish tradition this is called a Bar or Bat Mitzvah). Our ministers shared why it's key to pause and honor this threshold or "crossing over" with ritual--just like we honor other thresholds such as baptisms, births, weddings, deaths, turning 18 and more.

After each youngadult received a blessing and anointing, parents took turns sharing what they loved and honored in their young teens. It was powerful and moving.

Tears streamed down my face for most of the short ceremony and it dawned on me that my 13 year-old and I are at a very similar place. I'll be 50 in January and I too, am at a threshold. My midlife transition has amped up in the last 18 months--physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually-- and just like my son, I too am at an axial time. A time that calls for more self-compassion, self-acceptance and time/space to digest and integrate all these internal--and external--changes so I can prepare for my second course.

Community Eligibility: Improving Child Nutrition to Create Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids #FoodFri

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Community eligibility is an incredibly important provision in the fight against child hunger. It gives schools, with a large number of low-income children and teens, the ability to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.

Join #FoodFri to discuss community eligibility on August 21, 2015, at 1pm, Eastern, with @MomsRising and @fractweets!

Learn why it's important for schools to have this ability, how it benefits children and teens, where you can go to determine if your school is participating and so much more. 

We hope to see you there. Your voice is important. Join us and introduce yourself! Also, feel free to chime in and ask questions during the chat. We want to hear from you!

Click below to announce your participation and invite others.

A Year in the Family Garden: Planting Fall Veggies

It's still sweltering in my neck of the woods, but the long days of summer will quickly turn into the brisk days of autumn. And the fall garden offers some real treasures, which can be both fun to grow and super healthy. Think lettuces, radishes, and many of the plants in the brassica family including collards, kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower! Yum.

Some of these crops have a short growing season, so you can reasonably plant and harvest them before the first frost. Others will tolerate the frost with a little protection, or even none at all.  

Here are some favorites to plant this month:

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