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Vernon the Vegetable Man Encourages Children to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Whether it is television, movies, vending machines or other activities children are seduced with a plethora of junk food. With video games in the mix, the lack of movement becomes a bigger problem. Working in education for 10 years I noticed a disheartening trend regarding childhood obesity.  As a writer I knew something had to be done, I wanted to create awareness to encourage children to choose healthier habits. With a background in writing about lifestyle topics including health, I felt a children’s book would be a good fit.

Tell Congress: Don’t waste time putting lipstick on a pig!

One of my preschooler’s favorite jokes: What do you get when you put lipstick on a pig? Answer: A pig.

Why do I bring this up? Because right now, some members of Congress are trying to put lipstick on a pig: They’re introducing a bill called the “Working Families Flexibility Act,” a “comp time” bill which certainly sounds good, but in reality is anything but.  If passed this bill would mean a pay cut for workers and less – not more – workplace flexibility.

What the what?

What is the Chained CPI and Why Does It Matter to Your Mom?

Despite the fact that Social Security isn’t contributing a penny to the federal budget deficit, fiscal hawks have convinced President Barack Obama that we must slash its benefits to save the country. He’s joined the sky-is-falling crew in a crazed search for targeted cuts that will shrink Social Security outlays.

One idea he’s now putting on the table is a magic trick known as “chained CPI.”

Most people don’t understand the economic-speak well enough to grasp what this sleight of hand would do to Social Security. Here’s how it works:

Social Security benefits are periodically raised as inflation goes up. This is logical because, like everyone else, retirees need more money to buy goods and services when prices rise. The increase is called the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This variable has always been calculated using something called the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Have Moms Forgotten About Newtown?

Just three short months after the tragic shooting deaths of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School… Just weeks after a Chicago infant was killed in cross fire… And just days after President Obama made an impassioned plea to the American people to “remember how we felt 100 days ago, and make sure that what we said at that time wasn’t just a bunch of platitudes, that we meant it”… I woke up to this front-page Washington Post headline:

“Gun measures may be in jeopardy in Congress – Post-Newtown push falters.” (Online headline)

Comidas escolares saludables: un paso adelante para niños latinos

For English, click here

La Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (League of United Latin American Citizens, o LULAC por sus siglas en inglés) aplaude las nuevas directrices nutricionales del Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos (USDA) para las comidas escolares. Muchos niños latinos a través de la nación podrán disfrutar una variedad de opciones nutritivas en cuanto comiencen el nuevo año escolar este otoño. A medida que el número de latinos en EEUU crece, así también crece el número de niños que viven en hogares con inseguridad alimentaria y en riesgo de desarrollar problemas de salud como la obesidad.

Empacando almuerzos para la escuela que sus hijos amarán

For English, click here.

(Veronica Gonzalez-Smith está retratada en el extremo derecho con su hermana y su madre, quienes son también sus coautoras del libro Muy Bueno)

Mis hijos nunca han estado entusiasmados por comer el almuerzo de la cafetería escolar, y después de leer el menú de la cafetería yo tampoco estaba animada. Así que hace un par de años mi esposito y yo comenzamos a empacar los almuerzos para la escuela. Sin embargo, las loncheras regresaban a la casa con almuerzos comidos a medias y a veces los emparedados estaban intactos. Así que mi esposo y yo decidimos que era el momento de tener una larga conversación con nuestros hijos sobre la importancia de comer todo su almuerzo; usted conoce esa conversación, usted ha podido tenerla también. Ahora sé por qué los niños regresaban hambrientos después de la escuela, no estaban comiendo todo su almuerzo.

La verdad sobre comida saludable (y niños y escuelas)

For English, click here.

Primero, sólo déjenme indicar que no estoy abogando por mentirles a los niños. No estoy proponiendo que las mamás y los papás inventen mentiras tontas y digan cuentos sólo para hacer que los niños coman más saludablemente. De ninguna manera estoy diciendo eso. Mentirle a sus hijos es incorrecto. Y ellos nos descubren. A mí me descubrieron.

Porque mi entonces hijo de cuatro años, Jeremy, tenía una inclinación por los dulces, y me cansé de pelear con él sobre por qué no era bueno que él comiera tanta azúcar, y que tengo antecedentes familiares con diabetes, y que sus dientes se pudrirían, pero, quiero decir, estaba preocupada por su salud, ¿y qué más debía hacer? Entonces.

Le dije que era ilegal que los niños compraran un cereal con una caricatura impresa en la caja a menos que fuera su cumpleaños.

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Zina’s Story: How Weak Gun Laws Turn Domestic Abuse Into Murder

Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than they are in any other developed nation. This violence is directly related to our weak gun laws.

The anxiety of food allergies at school

By Jen Seiderer for

“I find it kind of ironic that on the news they are discussing if teachers should be armed with guns at school to potentially save lives, yet we can’t get them armed with EpiPens to save lives.”

This comment appeared in one of my food allergy (FA) support groups last night.  It took me back to the days immediately after the Sandy Hook School shooting, when, along with everyone else, my FA mamas and I were horrified and devastated.  Beyond that initial shock and horror, though, was something I’d never thought of before:  What additional precautions would I need to take for my son with a life-threatening peanut allergy?  What if there was an emergency at my son’s school and he was evacuated without his EpiPen?  What if they were sheltered in a fire station where a well-meaning volunteer comforted the terrified children with milk and peanut butter cookies?  What if he experienced anaphylaxis and no medical personnel were available to help him?  What if . . .

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