Welcome to the August 2015 collection of Perfectly Interesting Health News! Each month we gather interesting health and wellness news, condense it, and share it with you! To celebrate the new school year, this month’s edition includes dozens of school lunch ideas, as well as tips on how to boost immunity and avoid toxic school supplies. We also have the latest GMO news, and some book and documentary recommendations. Enjoy!
Tips for a Perfectly Healthy School Year
- Be sure to keep up to date on products that may be recalled due to toxins like lead or asbestos. A recent report was released that asbestos was found in popular crayon brands. Read about it here: http://time.com/3948342/asbestos-crayons/
- Mommypotamus has this recipe for perfectly safe crayons. She also blogs about how to make other safe/non-toxic school items like playdough, finger paint and moon sand!
- Some backpacks are still made with lead, phthalates, or other harmful chemicals or toxins, some with levels testing above the legal amount for toys. You can often tell by the strong chemical smell they give off. These can be avoided by finding a backpack that is made from cloth. There are many cloth options including brands like Lands End, LL Bean or Eco Bags.
- Purchased recycled notebooks, paper, pencils, etc to support recycling. Use recyclable or reusable non-toxic lunch containers and water bottles like these .
Washing hands correctly, and often, is the key to avoiding germs. However, children may often forget or not bother when no one is around to remind them. This article includes some great information on boosting your, and your child’s, immune system. Key recommendations from the article include:
- Eat a healthy diet of whole foods and avoid a lot of sugar. Sugar is known to suppress the immune system.
- Probiotics (found in fermented foods or supplements) help maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which keeps your immune system functioning optimally.
- Getting enough quality sleep supports a healthy immune system.
- Supplements such as elderberry syrup, coconut oil, and cod liver oil can give the immune system a boost.
Lunch Time – Recipes!
- These links should provide you with enough healthy school lunch suggestions for the entire school year:
Other Healthy School Lunch News
- This charter school in California has partnered with non-profit organizations to be the first to serve 100% organic and GMO free school lunches. If they are successful then more schools may follow.
- Studies have shown that pesticides and heavily processed foods can cause behavior issues in children. Eating organic, avoiding GMOs, limiting sugar and processed food show improvements in concentration and behavior. Read more here:
Healthy School Lunch – Podcast
- Listen to this podcast from the Paleo Parents for helpful tips on setting expectations at school, packing lunches, empowering your kids to make healthy food choices, and more.
(Not so Healthy) School Lunch Documentary
This fourth grader had me laughing out loud, and angry at the same time, with his documentary of his school lunch experience. It’s a little long, but his humor and good points make it worth the time. Unhealthy school lunches is a serious issue in our country, and hopefully documentaries like will this motivate change.
The Latest GMO News
- On July 23, 2015 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the D.A.R.K act. This act would prohibit any current or future state law requiring GMO labeling. The vote will now go on to the Senate for final voting. Many are taking action.
- Major celebrities agree on the importance of labeling and have started this campaign against the D.A.R.K act: http://www.justlabelit.org/
Why Labels Matter
- Testing by GMO Free USA found boxes of a popular cereal brand (previous to being GMO verified) full of carcinogens and GMO’s. The site is warning consumers that stores are stocking the shelves with both versions. This is a great example of how important a label can be for making the healthiest choice!
GMO Documentary by Neil Young
GMO Free USA and Neil Young have teamed up to raise awareness and help support the fight against GMO’s. Neil has written a song dedicated to the issue and has even produced a mini-documentary on the experience of one farmer’s law suit against Monsanto. Check out the plan, the song, and the documentary at this site:
- We recently wrote this blog on the topic of microbiomes and how many health issues can be impacted by the health of your gut. It is a fascinating topic with new studies and results coming out every day.
- These two popular books explain how to restore a healthy gut for weight loss and disease prevention.
Hope you enjoyed this edition of Perfectly Interesting News. Are there any topics you would like to know more about? Let us know!