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Sara Gilbert: Moms have power, make it count

Maureen used to be obsessed with baseball -- and then she had children. After she welcomed her son, Charlie, and his extra chromosome, she discovered her passion for writing about Down syndrome and disability-related issues.

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The Talk co-host offers tips for taking control of your family's food

Sara Gilbert looks into the camera, tips her head forward and urges: "Reveal." Her frame is the last shot in a video chock-full of celebrity moms urging food manufacturers to label foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), released this week.

"All we're asking is to know what we're eating and what our kids are eating," Gilbert told SheKnows.

As mom of two school-age children and a newborn, Gilbert is all about low-guilt, healthful mothering and took a few minutes to talk with us about what's on her own plate.

Gilbert has three children and is married to singer, songwriter and producer Linda Perry, who has collaborated with Pink, Christina Aguilera and others.

More: Sara Gilbert shares memories from her wedding

Parenting has only reignited Gilbert's passion for healthy eating and educating parents, and in 2013 she authored The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind).

"The issue is always getting people the information and then giving them a simple solution," she shared. "[My goal is to explain,] 'here's why this is bad,' and 'here's what you can do that's really easy to help fix the problem.'"

While Gilbert is "doing whatever I can" to support the Conceal or Reveal campaign, she gets why some moms may just have too much going on to execute at the same level of advocacy.

"I totally understand that," she said. "If you can put another thing on your plate — no pun intended," she chuckled, "it's something worth considering. Just look at corn and soy. Look at the crops genetically modified most frequently. It's whatever small change you can make."

More: Sara Gilbert, Linda Perry welcome baby boy, and the Internet shuts down haters

Speaking to moms about GMO labeling makes sense, Gilbert explained, because they're most often buying groceries and preparing meals.

"I wish more moms knew that GMO foods incorporate herbicide and pesticide into the seed sometimes, so it's impossible to wash it off," she said. "So, you're eating chemicals."

More: House passes bill to ban GMO labeling on food products

Gilbert's a strong believer that women can counter a trillion-dollar industry led predominantly by male executives who, as she pointed out, "all have wives. If we can reach the women in the household or the women that are electing them, then that's a great place to start."

Too busy to get involved? "At least make your vote count."

"I would love [for moms] to start putting pressure on politicians and companies to ask for GMOs to be labeled," she said. "Make your vote count."

Just Label It unveiled the public service announcement featuring Gilbert, Jillian Michaels, Jordana Brewster, Constance Zimmer, Ginnifer Goodwin and Sarah Michelle Gellar. The organization's website also suggests nine ways moms can advocate for non-GMO food. The Center for Food Safety offers a Shopper's Guide to avoiding food containing GMOs; and The Center for Food Safety’s Shopper's Guide app is available for iPhone and Android operating systems.

Gilbert also shared these tips for healthier family eating overall exclusively with SheKnows:

  • Because the family "doesn't keep unhealthy food in the house," she said, her children learned to like healthy food. "The key is starting early. They've always sort of been into healthy food."
  • When Gilbert shops the grocery aisles, "I'm only looking for whole foods," she explained. "Not processed. What can I feed them that's closest to what comes from the earth?"
  • The family has a garden, and the kids are "more open to eating it if they're going out and picking it," she shared.
  • Find a healthier version of the foods your child loves, then gradually shift the ratio of food from processed to unprocessed over time.
  • Conceding "I know that's easier said than done," she shared, "sometimes I think you can just let [kids] throw a fit."

"Listen, we're not going to be perfect," Gilbert said. "If we try to do that, we're going to be defeated. You do what you can … [make] small changes, and that becomes part of your routine."

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