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Four Reasons to Garden with Kids!

Soon the cold, slushy days of winter will give way to spring. Meaning ... it's time to think about gardening! Whether you're gardening with a school, in a community plot, or at home, it's time to start planning. 

Gardening has oh-so-many benefits for mind and body. It connects us to our environment and our food, it provides exercise for young and old alike, and it can be a great source of healthy eats. 

To kick off gardening season, I'm sharing some reasons why I love gardening with the very youngest dirt-lovers .... kids! 

 

It's easy to succeed in a garden. Remember: kids operate on a smaller scale. Planting a pot of lettuce, or a couple of tomato plants, can be a big success!

There's no better way to understand where food comes from than by growing it. The garden is also a great spot to learn about the weather, soils, insects, worms and more. Added benefit: if a kid grows a healthy veggie, he/she is going to be proud to eat it, too!

Gardening also helps us understand the natural world, and resources available in our community. 

[Good Food Force] Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Healthy Salads & more

Greetings! This week we're talking about updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, school wellness policies and more. Please read, share and stay awesome! Thank you!
 
1. HOT LINE
Updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide recommendations on diet, nutrition and health, and serve as the foundation for federal food-assistance programs like SNAP, WIC and school meals. The USDA and HHS are expected to release updated guidelines by the end of this year, and an Advisory Committee has just released a report with findings and recommendations on essential nutrients, the importance of physical activity, sustainability, the food environment, and more.

Celebrate Women's History Month: Take care of yourself

A smile spread across Amy’s face as she strolled out of her doctor‘s office with a clean bill of health yesterday. The sun was shining, and tulips were blooming, as her thoughts turned to planting her first crops of the season.

“I love growing wholesome berries and vegetables, “ Amy beams.  She and her husband recently started their own organic farm. They have two young children and a few fertile acres here in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. “I’m a typical, multi-tasking mom. Sometimes I wear myself out taking care of farm chores and everyone else.  But now that I'm 40, I realize that taking care of myself is one and the same as taking care of my kids.  I will sleep better at night knowing I am doing all I can to be here for my family,” said Amy.

BLAST OFF for #PaidSickDays!

MOMentum for paid sick days is rocketing forward! Now 17 cities and 3 states across the United States have paid sick days laws on the books. And…drum roll please…on February 12th, U.S. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced the Healthy Families Act, a nationwide paid sick days bill. 
 
I'm still elated because with 80% of low-wage workers lacking a single paid sick day, our families, and our economy need a boost like this!
 
But this isn’t a done deal yet. We need your help.
 
Send a quick note to your members of Congress asking them to support this win-win policy.

MILLIONS could lose their health coverage because of one U.S. Supreme Court case

Take Action

Just as the rate of uninsured adults has reached an all-time low, this access to affordable healthcare is under threat again. 

What’s the lowdown? Well, this week, the U.S. Supreme Court will review King v. Burwell, a case that threatens to eliminate the financial assistance for health coverage in about 36 states as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the court rules against the healthcare law, millions will be at risk of losing their health plans and costs would go up for all health insurance consumers.

Yes, you read that right. MILLIONS of people could lose their health coverage. 

The U.S. Surgeon General Discusses Top Questions From Moms About the MMR Vaccine

We all want our children to be safe and healthy. Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease, but, fortunately, we can prevent it with immunizations. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and the best way to protect your child against measles and other diseases.

I understand that some parents are concerned about vaccines. The evidence about the vaccine’s safety and benefits is strong and consistent. There is a lot of inaccurate information circulating about the measles vaccine, so let’s make sure we separate the facts from the myths. If you have any concerns or questions, talk to your child’s health care provider.

In the meantime, here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions I get:

*How easy is it to get measles if you aren't vaccinated?

If you aren’t vaccinated and you are exposed to measles, you have a 90% chance of getting measles.

Make Me a Woman

One of my sheroes is Sojourner Truth. A brilliant but illiterate woman, she was a great orator and powerful presence who possessed great courage and determination. I often wear a pendant with her image and words: “If women want any rights more than they’s got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it.” An unwavering defender of women’s rights and an abolitionist, Sojourner continues to fuel my determination to fight for equality for women, people of color, and children left behind. She was born into and lived nearly three decades in slavery but dedicated her life to combating slavery and gender inequality and second-class citizenship. She never gave up talking about or fighting for justice and equality.

#FoodFri Tweetchat: School Meals + Physical Activity? Yes, Schools Have Rules for That!

Did you know that every school is required to have a Wellness Policy, covering topics like school celebrations and rewards, physical activity, and nutrition education? It's true!  According to recent updates, schools also have to engage parents in the policies. This is a perfect opportunity for parents, like you and I, to get involved! 

To help you engage with your school, and learn more about the policies, MomsRising is holding a #FoodFri tweetchat this Friday, February 27, 2015, to discuss the updated School Wellness Policy rules.  Joining us on the chat will be @CSPI.

Feel free to ask questions, and share your tips, during the chat! We want to hear from YOU. 

Background:

Taking to the Hill to Defend Medicaid

On February 24th MomsRising volunteers and their kids went to Capitol Hill to deliver YOUR stories on Medicaid and meet with Senators and their staff to discuss the importance of Medicaid for families around the country. Along with the storybooks we delivered adorable rubber duckies….because Medicaid keeps families afloat!

Immigration Makes Guest Appearance at Oscars 2015: a MomsRising Blog Carnival

Actor Sean Penn’s ribbing of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu -- "Who gave this son of a b**ch his green card?" -- may have been intended as a joke between two old friends, it had no place on this year’s Oscar stage. 

Oscar fact: Iñarritu is the 5th consecutive foreign-born person to win the best director award, although no other winner has been the butt of such a joke. Also, at a time when 11 million lives – three-quarters women and children – are in limbo due to Congress’s inaction on immigration, we need action, not jokes. That is why we have dedicated this space to talking about the real issues, real insights, and real complexities relating to  immigration, contemporary culture, and yes- to the Oscars, too.  

Please take a moment to leave comments and share the stories with your social media networks.

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