Friday, December 9, 2011

OBESITY, HUNGER, AND CHILDREN

Choosing to eat healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, is something you probably take for granted.  To solve the childhood obesity crisis, kids' access to healthy foods, such as locally grown fruits and vegetables must improve and increase.  Fruits and vegetables are what I call REAL FOOD, as opposed to artificial foods, loaded with salt, sugar, and the bad fat, like you find at many fast food restaurants. 

I may be "going rad" on you, but what people buy from the dollar menus at fast food restaurants is not real food because it has no nutritional value.  Something stripped of all the fiber (white flour), fried in fat, and sprinkled with salt and seasonings designed to get you addicted, is not real food.  Yet, people struggling to feed their children, opt for the dollar menus because it is quick, easy, and cheap. It's also a major contributor to the childhood obesity epidemic. 

Something else you should know.  According to an article in the December 3, 2011 issue of the Vero Beach Press Journal, 18% of residents and 30% of children in the Treasure Coast of Florida DON'T REGULARLY KNOW WHERE THEIR NEXT MEAL WILL COME FROM.  

Hunger in America and obesity in America are directly related.  It has to do with access to healthy foods, access to locally grown foods, economic security, and jobs.  If you don't have a job, you have less choices about what to eat.   

Enter Judith Cruz.  Her job just got bigger.  Judith has just been appointed to Feeding America's strategic planning committee "to help formulate the national hunger relief agency's next 5-year plan to close the country's meal gap."  Judith is the CEO of our Treasure Coast Food Bank which provides a stop-gap solution for several counties here on the southeast coast of Florida.  Her Food Bank is part of Feeding America, which is an organization where I will soon be doing healthy cooking classes (they don't know it, however).  Judith deserves our support and ideas.  She is looking at long-term solutions to hunger in America.  Hunger and obesity go hand in hand.

To repeat the key point:  on the Treasure Coast of Florida 30% of kids don't regularly know where their next meal will come from.  Access to healthy food is something most people take for granted.  Yet for almost 1 in every 3 kids here, they are worried about access to ANY food, let alone healthy, fresh food. 

Hunger in America.  Obesity in America.   Be part of the solution.  Go to http://www.feedingamerica.org/ and http://www.stophunger.org/

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's children, one child and one garden at a time.  Because failure is not an option.

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Obesity in Kids and Vitamin D

"Obese children with lower vitamin D levels may be at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, a new study shows....Obese children were more than three times more likely than non-obese children to be vitamin D deficient, and both obesity and low vitamin D levels were associated with higher degrees of insulin resistance." 

This quote is from an article I read this morning: "Low Vitamin D May Raise Diabetes Risk in Kids," by Salynn Boyles.

Another finding from the newly published study disturbed me, "Obese children were also more likely than non-obese children to skip breakfast and drink more soda and juice, suggesting that these lifestyle factors may contribute to lower vitamin D levels, the researchers noted." 

I write frequently about the importance of not skipping meals, ESPECIALLY breakfast.  This study, published in the latest issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, makes me stop and think about whether every child whose lives we each touch starts their day with a good breakfast.  Given the current economy and high unemployment rates, it is to the point now where almost anything kids eat for breakfast is better than NOTHING for breakfast. 

In a recent program I did for middle school kids in Indian River County, Florida, only one child had breakfast that day.  ONLY ONE CHILD OUT OF 12!!!  Why?  Is it because of the food insecurity crisis affecting families where parents of young children are unemployed or underemployed?  Is it because of the embarassment and shame that prevents families from applying for the free and reduced meal programs at their child's school?  With the rising prices of food due and fuel, many families are forced to make choices which are affecting their children's (and their own) health. 

One of my jobs is to raise awareness about the root causes for the childhood obesity epidemic in America. The journal article referenced above shines a spotlight on a topic I have long been following. 

I will be writing more on the relationship between low vitamin D levels, obesity, and diabetes in future blogs.  Stay tuned. 

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to educate adults, school administrators, and policy makers about the root causes of obesity so we can prevent obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, in America's kids.  Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. creates solutions which improve the health - and lives - of America's kids, one child and one garden at a time.  It is my belief that our society will be judged in the future by how well we protect our children. 

Gracefully yours,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids


Monday, November 28, 2011

New Numbers for Diabetes in American Adults

The Growing Healthy Kids project started as my response and reaction to the increasing number of overweight and obese children I see attending our public schools.  What I really see is kids who will soon be diagnosed with diabetes.  These are kids who already cannot complete a physical education class due to their weight.  These are kids whose parents say they cannot afford to eat healthy, so they let the kids buy energy drinks at the 7-11 loaded with 17 teaspoons of sugar on the way to middle school and they eat the "dollar menu" from McDonald's 2 or 3 nights a week because they think that is all they can afford.  These are the kids on the free and reduced meal program in public school who choose the fried foods and chocolate milk instead of salads and baked fish because of ignorant school district employees who are obese themselves. 

So when I saw yesterday's PARADE magazine with the column entitled "Say What?" I was not surprised.  There are nearly 2 million Americans each year being diagnosed with diabetes.  The column addressed 3 questions these newly diagnosed people are being hit with by their doctors:
1) You need a glucometer.
2) I want you to reduce your hemoglobin A1C.
3) Choose foods that have a lower glycemic index.

Remember Lucy's husband Desi, in "I LOVE LUCY", saying, to her, "You got some 'splaining to do!"  The thing is that doctors are not teachers and they don't do the "'splaining" when they diagnose someone with diabetes.  They say, "You need a glucometer to test your blood sugar and I'll see you in 3 months."  So many times I've encountered patients newly diagnosed with diabetes who've been told they they to start checking their blood sugar and the patient is just wandering around the lobby in circles, clueless about what their next step is, let alone what a glucometer is or how to use the darn thing. 

Because of my passion for teaching and for preventing diseases such as diabetes, I created an education program that answers questions 1-3 above and SO MUCH MORE for anyone diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes.  If you know anyone who the PARADE article is addressing, you should know that getting educated quickly about all the basics is key to preventing complications.  The education program I created is simple to use, effective, and explains all the basics in language you and I can understand without having to go to medical school.  The place to go is http://www.healthydiabetescoach.com/.  There are a bunch of educational videos I've created that you can look at in addition to the numerous blog entries which each teach important lessons. 

I'm serious about preventing diabetes.  I'm serious about doing something serious about the obesity epidemic.  Especially when it comes to the kids all around us who are overweight and obese through no fault of their own.  If adults with diabetes and prediabetes don't start taking responsibility for learning the basics on their own instead of staying with the mindset of "If my doctor didn't prescribe it, I'm not going to do it", then the kids have NO CHANCE of escaping a diabetes diagnosis. 

The fact is that diabetes is preventable and reversible WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO.  For more information about what to do, go to http://www.healthydiabetescoach.com/.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's kids, one child and one garden at a time.

Are YOU willing to do to be part of the solution?

To your health,

Nancy L. Heinrich, M.P.H.
Founder of Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.
A non-profit organization which designs and delivers solutions to America's childhood obesity epidemic

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Year-End Goals

December 31, 2011 will soon be here.  Have you accomplished all that you wanted to do this year?  I'll share a few thoughts with you as I enjoy the perfect weather today in Florida, writing while the fresh air blows through the house.

A gentle reminder about achieving your goals is in order.  Having written goals for your health, your family, your personal development and for your work is a great place to begin.  Pull out the goals you have already written and see if you are moving forward in each area.  If you don't have any written goals, then get out a piece of paper and write some.  Go to a quiet place today, before we get back to the crazy-busy work and school routines tomorrow. Reflect on where you are now and where you want to be.  Think about what you want.  Write it down.  Visualize it.  Picture it your mind how it will look.  Act as though it is already done. 

I am reflecting on one of my 2011 goals which is to get the Growing Healthy Kids work into book form and have it ready for distribution on the http://www.growinghealthykids.me/ store in December.  I'm almost there.  Now we're looking for a couple of people with a national presence to write notes for the back of the book.  Who do you know?? 

Every day I think about this goal and what I am doing to move the project forward.  So many people have been asking me to do a book that brings the lessons we teach in each Growing Healthy Kids program together into a format they can share with others, beginning with the kids' favorite recipes.   Each healthy cooking program we do for kids includes a recipe, a healthy eating tip, and a physical activity component.  It is a lot of work to summarize the work and energy.  I hope you will be pleased with the results.  Preventing obesity-related diseases seen primarily in adults is the focus of the Growing Healthy Kids movement I started.  It is an ambitious project because this country values treatment of disease more than prevention of disease.  Yet, our mantra is still, "Think globally and act locally."  With every local Growing Healthy Kids project we do in Indian River County, we are thinking globally about ways to reverse childhood obesity. 

As I continue to bring this project (and goal) to completion, I want you to think about what you need to move your own goals forward to completion.  Let's get some wins in before the end of the year.  I want to hear about your goals that involve improving your health or your kids' health.  Please send me a comment so we can support each other to achieve our goals! 

Growing Healthy Kids is dedicated to improving the health - and lives - of America's kids, one child and one garden at a time.

To your health!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Thursday, October 13, 2011

National School Lunch Week and Your Call to Action

Did you know that this is National School Lunch Week? Did you know that many of America’s children eat 2 of their 3 daily weekday meals from their school cafeteria? I am always amazed when I ask parents how often they eat lunch with their child at school and how rarely they’ve even been once. The results of my informal surveys reveal that most parents of kids whose breakfast and/or lunch is prepared by “lunch ladies” have never eaten what their kids eat. This is your CALL TO ACTION. 

National School Lunch Week is an opportunity to find out what your local public schools are serving for lunch. Here’s my challenge to you: Pick up your phone right now. Call the principal of your child’s school and let him or her know you’d like to come for lunch in the next week. If your kids are already grown or you don’t have kids, then call your local elementary school and make a lunch date anyway. Tell them you are celebrating National School Lunch Week.

Why am I asking you to make this call? Because the Growing Healthy Kids movement is about reversing childhood obesity. Kids deserve access to real food. Healthy food. Locally grown food whenever possible. I’m not saying that schools don’t serve real food. However, there’s lots of room for improvement.  With so many kids eating 2 of their 3 meals at school, it only makes sense that what they eat should not be high in fats, calories, added sugars, and salt. 

There is a “Farm to School” momentum underway here in Florida, which is great because one of Michelle Obama’s four guiding principles in her national call to action on childhood obesity is to increase access to locally grown foods. Who better to take the lead on making this happen than our schools? It’s a great way to support  local farmers, increase the nutritional value of foods served in America’s schools, and increase America’s productivity by creating agriculture jobs.

To learn more about National School Lunch Week, then check out: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Level2_NSLW2011.aspx?id=15284

Growing Healthy Kids designs and delivers solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic because it is our belief that failure to reverse childhood obesity is not an option.

Have a fabulous and healthy day!

Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

PS-Get some exercise today!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Seed Lady Visits Doughboy's Donuts

I am always talking with people about healthy eating and healthy cooking.  As an epidemiologist, I study diseases and their root causes.  Obesity is a disease directly related to the excess consumption of sugar in its many forms.  Just yesterday, someone was telling me about a father they knew who bragged about his kid drinking 10 sodas every day.  I call that child abuse. Excess sugar consumption leads to inflammation in the body which leads to diseases such as diabetes and arthritis.  No child deserves those diseases. 

This morning, after a great morning walk and workout, I stopped by Doughboy's Donuts in Vero Beach, Florida to treat myself to one of their insanely delicious Red Velvet donuts.  (Yes, it is OK in my book to have an occasional donut.  It is not OK to eat them every day.) 

The woman at the counter looked at me and said, "Are you the Seed Lady?"  I answered, "Yes," although that was the first time someone had formally addressed me that way.  I then asked how she knew me. 

She then told me that last summer her son volunteered through Boys and Girls Clubs of Indian River County for one of our projects building a very large garden in north Indian River County.  She said he had really enjoyed the work and the project.  I thanked her for speaking to me and then invited her son to join us in an upcoming volunteer service leadership project.  I hope to hear from him, as that would just make this Seed Lady's day! 

In gratitude to ALL the kids who volunteer with Growing Healthy Kids,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
"Improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one child and one garden at a time"

PS - Shout-out to Doughboy's Donuts -- apparently I'm not the only one who loves your Red Velvet donuts becauses you were out of them this morning!  The blueberry donut, however, was almost as delicious! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Recent Study Reveals Kids Who "Struggle with Hunger"

In the August 26th Vero Beach Press Journal, journalist Lisa Bolivar reported on the findings of a study released the day before. According to the Treasure Coast Food Bank and Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization, about 30.5% of kids in the Treasure Coast region of Florida “struggle with hunger.”

The findings centered around a term I hear more and more frequently: food insecurity. It means a lack of a stable food supply.

We must find the courage to talk about food insecurity. Why? Because all kids deserve access to food. Healthy food. Fresh food. Good food.
So let’s talk about food and kids. Why is there food insecurity? How can we morally allow a child to go hungry?

I choose to teach kids and families how to prepare healthy meals and snacks economically using fresh foods. The dollar menu at McDonalds is not the answer to our food insecurity crisis. We have a problem and we have to talk about it. Call your neighborhood elementary or middle school principal and ask them how many kids they serve are in situations where they are “food insecure” and go home to empty kitchen shelves, if they are the lucky ones who have a place to call home.

If we are going to solve the childhood obesity crisis, where kids are eating too many calories and too much fat, white flour, white sugar, and salt, we must talk about food. Too much of it for some. Too little of it for others. Not the right balance for many.

Food and shelter are basic rights. If we don’t have access to good foods, then how can we expect kids to achieve the greatness that each child is capable of?

It’s time to do something to protect the health - and lives - of America's children. What will YOU choose to do?

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

"Because failure to reverse childhood obesity is not an option"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tribute to a Hero

On August 7th, a 64-year old champion for children made his transition. This man was one of the first people I worked with when I first conceptualized the national partnerships I wanted for Growing Healthy Kids, a young organization dedicated to reversing childhood obesity. Inspired by an article in Kiwanis magazine, I made it my goal to meet the local head of Boys and Girls Clubs of Indian River County. It took a couple of calls to pin him down to a date when we could meet. We finally met at the old Vero Beach Boys and Girls Club in a dilapidated building on 27th Avenue, where children played right next to a dangerous roadway. The rooms in the rented building had terrible acoustics, especially when filled with energetic kids spending their transition from school to home while their parents worked 2 and 3 minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. He wore a button-down white shirt and dress pants.

A quiet man and a great listener, I gave him the proposal from the Growing Healthy Kids organization: volunteer at the two Boys and Girls Clubhouses on opposite ends of Indian River County once a week for the next nine months, build teaching gardens and conduct weekly healthy eating classes with vegetables we would grow. Teach the kids how to be leaders in eating healthy and being active. Take the kids on field trips to meet with chefs and visit local farmers. It took him about 5 minutes of listening and asking me why I wanted to do all this for him to say "yes" to the proposal.

We did all those things and more because it was always “Fun with a Purpose”. Our purpose? To reverse childhood obesity in Indian River County and beyond.

His only request was that the Growing Healthy Kids program, in creating a partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Indian River County, employ his philosophy, “ Fun with a Purpose”. He agreed to let us build small raised bed gardens, where over the course of the next nine months, we created magic for kids, many of whom moved once every month or two because their parents were recently unemployed. Our weekly healthy cooking classes became a popular class with the kids screaming with excitement because it might have been the best-tasting food they'd had all week.

When I first learned of the Executive Director’s illness, I sensed it was serious. Several times I called so I could update him on our progress and plan for the next phase. Each time, I was told he was on an extended medical leave but I could meet with the program director. Then, earlier this year I was a speaker at the Quail Valley Rotary Club and learned that he was not only a Rotary member, but also slated to be the incoming president. The officer said this quiet man had called him to ask that someone else step into the incoming presidency role. I was saddened that this man’s life-threatening illness was robbing him not only his day-to-day work providing a solid, safe base for success for so many children in Indian River County but also his passion for being a community leader.

On August 7th we lost a hero who fought for the right of children to be treated with dignity, regardless of economic background. We lost a hero who knew the difference between right and wrong. We lost a hero who believed in leading by example.

Good-bye, Ronnie Hewett. You inspired me to create programs and lessons where “Fun with a Purpose” is the driving force. You are my hero. Thank you. On behalf of all the children whose lives the Growing Healthy Kids project has touched, thank you.

Rest in peace, Ronnie. You will be missed.

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Saturday, August 20, 2011

GHK Poster Contest Deadline Extended

Dear Parents and Kids,

We want ideas from the kids about what being healthy means to them. So we are extending the deadline to September 30, 2011 for the 1st Annual Growing Healthy Kids Poster Contest!

The theme is "Healthy Eating...Healthy Me". Any medium can be used on an 8-1/2" x 11" paper. The theme words must be included as part of your poster. Prizes include Publix gift certificates, personalized herb gardens, and T-shirts printed with your design.

Mail your entries, along with a $5.00 entry fee* (payable to "Growing Healthy Kids") to:
Growing Healthy Kids
3300 43rd Avenue, #4
Vero Beach, FL 32960

Include the following information with each poster:
Parent name
Parent phone or email
Address
Child's name
Child's school grade in 2011/2012
School name

*$1.00 entry fee for families enrolled in Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program

Help us reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. Kids' voices can help teach others.


(Photo is from a GHK field trip to visit a local hydroponic farmer in Grant, Florida)

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's - and the world's - kids, one child and one garden at a time.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Obese = Fat

It's soon back to school for the kids in the next few weeks. It's back to the basics for you parents.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to not just halt and prevent, but to reverse childhood obesity. The only way this will happen is if you are crystal clear on why the health and lives of children who are obese are threatened.

If someone is obese, they are fat. They weigh too much. They are eating too much. They are eating the wrong kinds of foods. They don't get enough exercise. They probably don't sleep very well. They may be having joint problems. They are at higher risk for developing diabetes, including its nonreversible consequences such as blindness and amputations of the lower legs and feet.

Stop pretending that there are no overweight and obese children in our communities and in our own families. According to our national health department, CDC, approximately 17% of all children in the U.S. between 2 and 19 years old are obese and one in 7 low-income preschool aged children is obese. ONE IN SEVEN. Not good.

The childhood obesity crisis will not be solved until we adults learn some things (hence, today's lesson). When 2 in 3 adults are overweight and obese, we are the problem.

Start by figuring out your own Body Mass Index. The BMI is not perfect and there are some limitations. However, it is an excellent reference to begin making choices.
If you don't know your BMI number, go to www.cdc.gov for a BMI calculator. All you need is your height and your current weight.

Are you at a healthy weight? Yes or no?

If not, then pay attention. Make your first goal to not gain any more weight. Use smaller plates. Use half as much butter. Switch from 2% milk to skim milk. Eat more vegetables and fruit. Pick at least one of these things and do it starting today.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's - and the world's children, one garden and one child at a time. Do your part. Be the solution.

Love to you all,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our Blog Goes Global

Childhood obesity is a global problem. It's not just a problem in the U.S. Think about this: Where do you find McDonald's? Where high fat, high salt, high sugar, and white flour foods go (what you find in the foods at McDonald's), obesity follows.

My Russian friend, Luda, and I have been busy today with a big native plant sale and Garden Playshop at the Growing Healthy Kids Variety Store and decided to take a little break. I looked up where readers of the Growing Healthy Kids blog are located. Pinch me!! People in Canada, Russia, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Ukraine, and many other countries are reading www.GrowingHealthyKids.blogspot.com. I am honored to know that my words and actions have meaning for you.

Solving the problem of childhood obesity requires that we ALL take responsibility for the solutions. Kids are smart. They know if we say one thing and do another. They are watching when their teachers say, "Eat plenty of fruits and veggies" but have a coke and a sandwich on white bread. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and hope that the problem of kids being overweight will just evaporate. We must act deliberately every day to teach adults, to lead by example, and to care enough about our children's health to do the right thing.

Are you a good role model for healthy eating? Do you choose breads that meet "The Nancy Rule"?? Are you getting at least 150 minutes of exercise (aka "physical fun") every week??

Be a positive role model for healthy eating. Work on getting to a healthier weight. Lead by example. Because failure to reverse childhood obesity is not an option.

Growing Healthy Kids - we create and deliver solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic. We are improving the health - and lives - of America's and the world's children, one child and one garden at a time.


Perfect health!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

PS--My gift to you for being part of the solution:
http://www.reallybigresults.com/shopping/health/5-great-health-tips-for-losing-weight-and-5-great-recipes-nancy-heinrich.html

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Got flavor? Make Chipotle Lentil Burgers tonight!

You've been asking, so I'm delivering. Below is the recipe for Chipotle Lentil Burgers.

Lentils are on my list of SUPERFOODS. They are a nutritional powerhouse. Full of fiber. Low in calories. When combined with rice, you get a complete protein. If you want/need to lose weight or have diabetes/prediabetes, eating more foods like lentils will put you on the right path towards your goals. Teach your kids how to cook lentils and let them create their own lentil burgers.

Yet I find that lots of people have never cooked lentils, let alone eaten them. I've been making a killer lentil soup for years, so when I found this recipe in a new cookbook a relative sent me (thanks, Pam!), I couldn't wait to try it. I made a couple of changes and taught dozens of people how to make Chipotle Lentil Burgers in this week's Healthy Cooking classes. (They are ALL clamoring for the recipe so they can make this at home now!)

I also love this recipe because it's also introducing people to one of my favorite spices: Smoked Paprika. NOT the same as paprika. When you open a bottle of smoked paprika the first time and get a whiff of it, the common response is, "WOW!!" So put dried lentils and smoked paprika on this week's shopping list and enjoy!

HEALTHY COOKING WITH NANCY HEINRICH: Chipotle Lentil Burgers

Ingredients:
• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small red onion, cut into small pieces
• ½ pound zucchini (1 medium). Cut in half lengthwise and slice ½ inch thick
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped, stems and leaves
• 1-1/2 cups cooked lentils
• 1 cup bread crumbs
• 1 Tablespoon chipotle peppers, seeds removed, with adobe sauce
• 2 Tablespoons “lite” soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2-3 teaspoons smoked paprika
Preheat a large pan. Sauté onion for about 3 minutes. Add zucchini, garlic, cilantro, and a pinch of salt, and sauté about 7 or 8 minutes, until zucchini is soft.
Transfer veggies to a food processor. Add all other ingredients EXCEPT for ½ cup bread crumbs. Pulse until mostly smooth, but leave a little texture. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup bread crumbs. Use a fork to thoroughly combine.
Preheat the pan (OK to use same pan zucchini was cooked in). Divide mixture into 6 equal pieces.
Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray. Form burgers into patties and cook for about 12 minutes, flipping often, until nicely browned on both sides. Use cooking spray as needed.
Serve on whole grain buns such as Arnold’s whole grain sandwich thins with your favorite burger toppings. I like to serve this with sliced tomatoes and dill potato salad.
Note: If you’ve never cooked lentils before, here’s all you need to know: You cook them just like white rice. Dried lentils take about 20 minutes to cook. Just follow the directions on the bag and it’s easy. The thing about lentils is they contain about 9 grams of dietary fiber per ¼ cup (dry) which is a little more than ½ cup when cooked.

This is adapted from a recipe in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, 2011.

Live well, eat well. Using recipes like Chipotle Lentil Burgers, you CAN eat healthy AND economically.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity, one child and one garden at a time.

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Friday, July 15, 2011

Listen to my interview on Public Radio WQCS

Friends,

What have YOU done today to be a role model to teach a child or youth good eating habits? Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to reverse childhood obesity.

Here are a few things anyone can do to be a great role model for kids:
Drink water, not soda.
Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.
Take a child to your local farmers market and buy locally grown stuff.

It's easy to get to a healthy weight -- when you know what to do. To learn more, listen to my interview with Drew Mello on WQCS (just click on the link, then click on "listen now"):

WQCS: Growing Healthy Kids (2011-07-15)

The next Growing Healthy Kids Victory Garden Playshop is Saturday, July 31 at the Growing Healthy Kids Variety Store, 3300 43rd Avenue, #4, Vero Beach, Fl. 32960 (a mile north of SR 60 (AKA 20th Street). This event is FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Here's to your health!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
dedicated to improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time.


If you know someone with diabetes OR prediabetes, go to www.ourlittlebooks.com for a copy of my book, Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids Newsletter Debuts This Month

The GROWING HEALTHY KIDS movement to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity is proud to introduce its monthly newsletter due to overwhelming requests from parents, educators, day care workers, and employers who see their costs skyrocketing due to the obesity-related costs of employees' children. It's time to get going so that all kids are surrounded by adults who know how to eat healthier and prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease if our kids are going to stand a chance.

To show you how serious I am about reaching out to you with the featured lessons, tips, recipes, video success stories that can help families get to healthier weights, I'm giving away my book to 10 special subscribers to the Growing Healthy Kids Newsletter...The first 2 subscribers from each of the states with the highest rates of childhood obesity (Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Louisiana) will receive a copy of my book, "Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time".

Click here to subscribe to our Growing Healthy Kids Monthly Newsletter:





We need your help to reach and teach Americans who don't know what to do or where to start. Let's get started, get moving, and get healthy, America!! Eat well, live well.

Improving the health - and lives - of America's children - TOGETHER!!!

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Enter the 1st Annual Growing Healthy Kids Poster Contest for Summer Fun!

Dear Parents--

Looking for a summer art project idea for your kids?? Here it is! Growing Healthy Kids invites young artists ages 5-18 to enter our 1st Annual Poster Contest. The theme we have selected is "Healthy Eating...Healthy Me". Entry deadline is August 31, 2011.

Kids can create an 8-1/2 x 11 poster using any medium (pencil, crayon, ink, etc). for a chance to win prizes such as Publix gift certificates, personalized herb gardens, and T-shirts printed with the child's design. Several kids and adults in Indian River County will be invited to help judge the contest. The theme, "Healthy Eating...Healthy Me", must be included as the poster's title.

This poster contest is a great way for kids' voices to be heard so they can teach others about the importance of eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and whole grains and limiting the sugars and the sodas. It's also an art project with heart which we'd like to display in public places throughout the Treasure Coast. Let us know if you know someone who would be interested in hosting a display this fall of some of the kids' posters.

Mailing address for entries:
Growing Healthy Kids
3300 43rd Avenue, #4
Vero Beach, FL 32960

Posters can be mailed (or dropped off during store hours), along with $5.00 entry fee (checks made payable to: Growing Healthy Kids), and the following information with each entry:

Parent's name
Parent phone or email
Address
Child's name
Grade in 2011/2012
School name

The organization sponsoring this poster contest, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc., is a non-profit organization which creates and delivers programs and events to teach and inspire kids of all ages. Its mission is to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity.

Help us get the word out about this contest! Help us reach and teach kids and adults about the importance of healthy eating!

With sincere thanks and gratitude,

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
Improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy, Healthy Grilling with Nancy's Famous Black Bean Burger Recipe

Happy Birthday, America!

I love the 4th of July. It's about spending time with family and friends and celebrating the fact that we are free to do what we choose to do and to be.

As you know, I choose to eat healthy foods and love to share ideas with others in the healthy cooking programs that Growing Healthy Kids conducts. Teaching kids how to eat healthy and return to a healthy weight so they can be free from a lifetime of suffering that comes with the complications of diabetes is a huge part of why I started the Growing Healthy Kids movement. We must halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity. We are America, the land of the free and home of the brave. Be brave and take a stand with me. Dare to make a difference in the life of an overweight child.

A recipe I love to make and share, especially today when people have grilling on their minds like today, the 4th of July, is my famous black bean burger.

Here is the recipe:

Healthy Cooking with Nancy Heinrich: Black Bean Burgers


PROCESS in food processor (or mash with fork in large mixing bowl):

• Two-thirds of one 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
• ¼ cup corn meal
• ¼ cup brown rice flour
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
• ½ cup salsa
• ½ zucchini (if not using food processor, then grate zucchini)

TRANSFER to large mixing bowl and mix in:

• Remaining 1/3 can of black beans
• ¼ cup cilantro (optional)

SHAPE into 4 patties.

GRILL with small amount of canola oil.

SERVE on whole grain buns* with your choice of sliced cheddar cheese*, avocado, and tomato.

*For demonstration purposes, Arnold’s Flat Sandwich Thins were used in the preparation of this recipe. Each bun has 100 calories and 5 grams of dietary fiber. Cabot’s Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese was also used in the preparation of this recipe.


NANCY’S NOTES: What I really like about this recipe is that you can make it a day ahead and keep in refrigerator until ready to use the next day.

Beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, with about 5-6 grams of fiber per ½ cup. Increasing the dietary fiber improves your blood sugar control if you have diabetes or prediabetes and prevents you from overeating because dietary fiber fills you up.

Enjoy today's freedom and remember to say a prayer for all the people in the military who are serving out of the country and for their families.

In kindness,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dancing and Exercise

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Whenever I give a talk about preventing diabetes and reversing childhood obesity, EXERCISE is always at the top of the list I give to my audience. Regular physical exercise is soooooo important.

This is what you need to put into practice: 60 minutes a day for kids and 30 minutes (or more) a day for adults.

What counts as exercise?? ANYTHING THAT GETS YOU MOVING! So before I head off to the beach for a walk, here's a video from some of my son's classmates at Vero Beach High School to help you get your exercise groove on today:



Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to reverse and prevent childhood obesity, one garden and one child at a time.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One Child's Future: Diabetes and Colorectal Cancer


Last week a woman I worked with for the day told me she was “on a diet.” If you’ve read my book, Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time (www.ourlittlebooks.com), then you know I hate the word “diets” because a short-term diet doesn't teach you what you need to know about how to eat healthy for the long-term ("for the rest of your life").

This woman is clearly obese and in her early 30’s. Getting to a healthier weight will not only add quality (less stress on her joints, decrease her chance of getting high blood pressure and cholesterol, sleep apnea and obesity-related cancers such as cancer of the breast) but also quantity to her life. Her comment that she is on a diet opened a window of opportunity for me.

Within 5 minutes of our conversation, I learned that her 12 year old son has only one bowel movement a week. My teaching immediately zoomed in on teaching her about what dietary fiber is (the undigestible part of plants that give them structure), what foods have it (only foods that are grown from the Earth like beans, lentils, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains), and how much of it we need to eat every day (14 grams of dietary fiber per 1,000 calories we eat, or around 28 grams a day if you eat around 2,000 calories a day). She started writing down everything I said to her, as I quickly sensed her worry and quiet desperation for her son.

Let's talk about something most people don't talk about. It is normal to have at least one bowel movement every day. It is not normal to have one just once or twice a week. Not getting enough dietary fiber is common in children, particularly those who are on the free and reduced lunch program in public schools and get 2 of their 3 daily meals at school. Fiber in foods is what gives us the sense of fullness so we stop eating. Lack of dietary fiber leads to overeating, obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers like colorectal cancer. This woman and her 12 year old son are part of the majority of Americans who eat far less than half the dietary fiber needed.

There is no to little fiber in fruit juices, fruit drinks, Capri sun drinks, white breads, “honey wheat” breads, McDonald’s or Burger King items, sodas, and energy drinks.

Become a fiber detective. Read food labels. Aim for at least 28 grams a day (the current recommendation for American men is 35 grams a day according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, see www.usda.gov).

I am 100% confident that the homework assignment I gave last week to the woman was completed in one day. She learned a key piece of knowledge and the skills to get herself on the path to a healthier weight and help prevent a future diagnosis of diabetes and/or cancer in her son.

Growing Healthy Kids - improving the health - and lives - of America's kids, one child and one garden at a time. Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to reverse childhood obesity. Because failure is not an option.

In kindness,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

PS -- "The Nancy Rule" says choose breads and pastas with 4 or more grams of dietary fiber per slice or per serving and the first ingredient includes the word "WHOLE".

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Danish Company-Novo Nordisk-One of World's Best 9 Stocks Thanks to Global Obesity

I just read an article in the February 2011 issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance called The World's Best Stocks by Andrew Tanzer (www.kiplinger.com). The first stock to be highlighted by Tanzer, in case you are capital-flush, is Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical company which provides OVER HALF the global market for insulin.

According to Mr. Tanzer, "As people gain weight and consume more sugar in their diets, the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin to break down that sugar. By the end of this decade, UnitedHealth recently estimated, half of all adult Americans will be diabetic or pre-diabetic unless we suddenly change our diets and lose weight. The incidence of dietabetes is also exploding in countries such as India and China, where diets and lifestyles are shifting abruptly as people see their incomes rise."

I love Novo Nordisk. They are an extremely focused company. They produce very well written patient education materials which I have used in working with adults with diabetes. They are highly skilled and professional at what they do. Because 5-10% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes and require insulin, we need companies like Novo Nordisk. However, for the 90-95% of people with diabetes type 2 (the one you get when you eat too many calories and get too little exercise), Novo Nordisk should be Plan B, not Plan A. Even American Diabetes Association says that in their Standards of Medical Care. The fact is that diabetes is preventable and reversible. Most doctors don't spend much, if any, time telling patients how to do that because it is simply easier for them to hand you a prescription.

Americans - and now countries like India and China - are killing themselves - and their children - with too much sugar. Where do you find sugar? Just look on the food labels under "total carbohydrates". There is sugar in cereals. Sugar in sodas. Sugar in energy drinks. Sugar in the processed foods served in school cafeterias. Sugar in fruit juices. Sugar in energy bars. Sugar in the snack foods served at the Boys and Girls Clubs.

It's OK if you want to eat too much sugar. There are drugs just waiting for you. Like insulin. Your doctor will be happy to give you drugs because then you have to keep coming back for more. Instead of becoming drug addicts, it would be so much easier to get back to the basics of wholesome, whole, good foods in the right portion sizes. Call me old-fashioned but I'll take a dinner of wild salmon and spinach anytime over a big Mac (540 calories, 10 teaspoons sugar, 7 teaspoons saturated fat, and 1,040 mg sodium) and large fries (500 calories, 14 teaspoons sugar,6 teaspoons saturated fat, and 350 mg sodium).

My focus is to prevent diabetes and to raise awareness about how to do it. When you know what to do, it's easy. Healthy eating means a commitment to learn how to get to - and stay at - a healthy weight. Focusing on solutions to childhood obesity is what the Growing Healthy Kids movement is all about.

Improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time. Because failure is not an option.

In kindness,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

NOTE: My book "Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time" is available at the Vero Beach Book Center, the Growing Healthy Kids Variety Store (3300 43rd Avenue in Vero Beach) and www.ourlittlebooks.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids event at Everything Outdoors Garden Shop is a HOME RUN SUCCESS!



Post-event notes:
Did we have fun? Yes!
Did the kids who attended learn tips for healthy eating and physical activity they can use for the rest of their lives? Yes!
Did the adults who volunteered learn something they can use for the rest of their lives? Yes!

On April 30, Growing Healthy Kids, in partnership with Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program, held its second annual event at Everything Outdoors Garden Shop in Vero Beach, Florida. The 42 kids from Youth Guidance who attended had a blast with the action-packed morning where they all wanted the opportunity to help load up the fresh and locally grown vegetables into our beautiful salad bowl.

Teaching kids how to eat healthy is easy when you make it fun. That's what the Growing Healthy Kids movement is all about. We make it fun to learn how to eat healthy AND economically.

TIP FOR GROWING YOUR OWN HEALTHY KIDS: Plan some color at each meal. For example, at breakfast use fruit that is in season to make fruit shakes. A couple of weeks ago, I had a canteloupe that needed to get used QUICK, so I cut it up, put it in a zip-lock bag and froze it. A couple of days later I put the frozen canteloupe, some frozen strawberries, and some fat-free milk in the blender for a most delicious shake. Use a little splenda or agave nectar if you need to add a dash of sweet!

Back to my post-event notes...Thank you to all the children and the volunteers who attended our little event at the garden shop with the big Adirondack chairs. Let's do it again soon! A special thanks to Spencer Porteous for his fabulous "What's New in the Garden?" talk. Everyone enjoyed learning about pitcher plants and more!

Reversing childhood obesity is our moral responsibility. It begins with your next meal. Set an example for your kids.

Till next time!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

I've had a lot of fun reading my current library book: The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano. The former president and CEO of Clicquot, Inc., Guilano said, "I am still not a fan of big breakfasts, but am a devotee of and convert to balanced breakfasts (and lunch and dinner): some protein, some carbohydrates, some fat (a holy trinity of sorts), and fluids. I often do eat a slice (or slivers) of cheese. And, I consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. Don't skip it or your wheels tend to come off in a hurry."

Guiliano specifically used the word "balanced" in describing her relationship to food. She writes elegantly of the same issue I teach in Growing Healthy Kids workshops, that if you want to get to (and stay at) a healthy weight, you must eat small meals and small snacks, including breakfast: BALANCED meals.

So, once again, I ask you, "What are you having for breakfast today? Do you have a little protein, some carbohydrate, and a little fat on your breakfast plate?"

You can visit Mireille Guiliano online at www.FrenchWomenDontGetFat.com.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's children by restoring balance to what we eat. Because failure to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic is not an option.

To learn how you can support our educational programs, please visit www.GrowingHealthyKids.me.

Thanks,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Making Choices


Everyday we are faced with decisions. What to wear for the day? What route to drive to work? What tasks to accomplish on the "To Do" list? and so on....

What decisions are you making for your own health? Let me ask you one question. What are you having for breakfast today? If your answer is, "Nothing" then let's talk about making choices.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, ESPECIALLY if you are choosing to get to a healthier weight. Breakfast should consist of some protein, a little fat, and the good carbohydrates such as a whole grain muffin or steel cut oats.

Choose to have breakfast. Make sure your kids also have a good breakfast. We all need our brains to be working in high gear throughout the day. If you want to lose weight, have 3 small meals (including breakfast) and a couple of small snacks. The picture I am sharing is the smile of one happy child from a GROWING HEALTHY KIDS program where we taught kids how to make a Fabulous Florida Fruit Shake with frozen blueberries and bananas, non-fat Greek yogurt, and a little almond milk. That shake, together with a slice of whole grain toast or a whole grain muffin, can get the kids off to school with a smile!

Whenever I give a talk about Healthy Eating and Reversing Childhood Obesity, I always include the importance of a good breakfast. Invariably, someone in the audience asks this question, "Did you have breakfast today??" My answer is always YES! Know what my favorite breakfast is? A small bowl of either steel cut oatmeal or shredded wheat with bran, topped with about 3/4 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries, and almond milk. Now, what are YOU choosing for breakfast?

To your perfect health!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, GROWING HEALTHY KIDS--a movement to improve children's health, one child and one garden at a time

To learn more about our programs and our store, go to www.GrowingHealthyKids.me.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids with Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program

Big Day Tomorrow Morning!

A record number of children are signed up to attend the GROWING HEALTHY KIDS program beginning at 10 AM at Everything Outdoors Garden Shop on US1 (just south of Oslo Road) in Vero Beach, Florida. HINT: LOOK FOR THE GIANT YELLOW AND BLUE ADIRONDACK CHAIRS.

This monthly program is with our
partner, Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program, where we teach kids and their parents how to eat better and smarter while having a great deal of FUN.

SO...The vegetables have been gathered, the recipes have been printed, the volunteers have been recruited, and the children are waiting....to learn how to eat healthy AND economically!! Tomorrow is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!!

An incredible team of instructors will converge tomorrow morning to teach these awesome children how to eat smart and move more. It's a beautiful thing!

To learn more about how you can help us to reverse childhood obesity, stop by the GROWING HEALTHY KIDS VARIETY STORE - 3300 43rd AVE, #4, VERO BEACH, FL. And remember to practice "The Nancy Rule" when you are shopping: buy bread and pasta with 4 OR MORE grams of dietary fiber per serving and the first ingredient includes the word "WHOLE".

Perfect health to you!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

PS -- did I mention that we are going to have a TON OF FUN tomorrow? To join the festivities, call Youth Guidance at 772-770-5040.

www.GrowingHealthyKids.blogspot.com
www.GrowingHealthyKids.me

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS BEGINS WITH YOU

This morning while passing by Vero Beach High School, a group of 5 kids crossed the street. Four of them were obese.

What we know is that if someone is obese as a youth, they are more likely to be obese as an adult. Obesity is the leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Adults who have diabetes have higher health care costs than adults without diabetes. Who will pay the bill?

I would like to have one hour with the parents of the four kids I saw slowly making their way across the street this morning. They did not move gracefully. If they remain obese, their joints will wear out too soon, their blood pressure will rise, causing them to be placed on medications, and they will probably develop diabetes. When the girls become pregnant, they will be at higher risk for gestational diabetes, increasing the chance of delivering an overweight baby.

When I wrote the book, "Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time," it was because I was motivated to teach people how to prevent diabetes. Childhood obesity is a wake-up call for Americans to prevent diabetes.

Be honest with yourself. Are you overweight? If so, let's agree to make one small change this week, because the Growing Healthy Kids movement depends on YOU to lead the way for America's children.

Be well.
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids


www.GrowingHealthyKids.me
www.EconomicWellnessWorks.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yes, Your Son is Eating Vegetables

Last week, this was part of a Reuters news article ("NIH Obesity Plan focuses on Real-World Research") about obesity in America:

"Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of U.S. medical spending, or an estimated $147 billion a year.

Studies have shown that obese children are more likely to stay obese as adults, and that they develop chronic conditions at younger ages, burdening the healthcare system."

Obesity is a result of an energy imbalance. Getting back into balance with the foods we eat and the daily exercise our bodies desperately want and need is really simple when you know what to do. Nearly 17% of America's children are obese. THIS MUST CHANGE. Enter, Growing Healthy Kids, stage left:

At the GIANT SALAD PARTY held by Growing Healthy Kids this week, one parent came to observe her two children who were participants. When I spoke with her, she was speechless because she was watching her younger son from a distance and HE WAS EATING HIS VEGETABLES!!! She was just beside herself with joy seeing a new habit forming in her younger son known for never eating vegetables, a great source of dietary fiber.

This kind of response is what the Growing Healthy Kids movement based in Vero Beach, Florida is all about. Showing kids how to eat great food, some of which is grown right in their own neighborhood, and teaching them things they can then teach their parents. All kids deserve access to healthy foods, not the junk and sugar and salt that stops up their digestive and cardiovascular systems. Ask any pediatrician in this country if they are seeing kids with digestive problems due to too little dietary fiber and too much sugar and you'll hear a resounding "YES" across the land.

For the parent who was speechless this week watching her son have an amazing time helping prepare a salad and a simple vinaigrette dressing, then eating all of it and asking for seconds, I say, "Now help me teach other parents how simple and affordable it is to eat healthy when the kids know what to do." Healthy eating is key to getting to and staying at a healthy weight.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to erase childhood obesity from America. We teach kids and adults how to eat better, eat economically, and enjoy locally grown foods when and where available AND move more, all while having fun. As we like to say at all our educational programs, "Having fun IS the best way to learn new stuff!"

Here's to your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

To support our national education work, please go to www.RedCarpetCompetition.com and click on "Vero Beach".

www.GrowingHealthykids.blogspot.com

www.GrowingHealthyKids.me - click on "store" for the new Growing Healthy Kids Get Shot by Ella-designed shirts as featured in the April 2011 issue in Vero Beach Magazine and debuted at A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids goes to Imagine Schools at South Vero

Boy, was today fun! First, we had a TON of liquid sunshine drop in for a visit. For you northerners, that is Florida-speak for RAIN.

Then, this afternoon the awesome kids from Indian River Charter High School's Kiwanis Key Club who are participating in the Growing Healthy Kids' service leadership project presented a most excellent program for the children at Imagine Schools at South Vero (www.myimagineschools-verobeach.com). We had the kids eating salad, making vinaigrette dressings, and jumping up and down with joy. WHAT FUN!


Let me tell you a story about one little girl at this afternoon's event. She was 30-35 pounds overweight. At the beginning of the party she said to me rather defiantly, "I'm not eating that." During the course of the project, she changed her mind and tried the salad at the gentle urging of the 2 high school girls working with her. Next time I stopped by her table, she was wearing a GIANT SMILE while eating a bowl of Kevin's greens with the balsamic dressing she helped to make.

The point is that kids CAN change their attitudes AND their eating habits, when we let them. That one little girl can now teach others.

First of all, thank you to all the children at Imagine School-YOU'RE AWESOME! Thanks to Liz Santiago, Kiwanis Key Club sponsor, for helping put it all together. A big thank you for all the kids from the charter high school - YOU ROCK!! Thanks to Jonathan Sternberg, principal at Imagine Schools, for allowing the high school kids to teach your children fun, creative ways to eat healthy and be active. Thanks to Kevin O'Dare of Osceola Organics for donating the beautiful spring mix of fresh, locally grown greens - THE KIDS LOVED THEM!

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement which, beginning in Indian River County, Florida, is reversing childhood obesity through knowledge, skills, and practice of healthy habits. Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. teaches kids and adults how to eat healthier and get moving. We can and will reverse childhood obesity in America because FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

www.GrowingHealthyKids.blogspot.com
www.GrowingHealthyKids.me

To learn more how you can support our 2011 education projects, go to www.RedCarpetCompetition.com and click on "Vero Beach".

Monday, April 4, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids Partnership with Cindy Ashton Helps Kids Live Their Dreams NOW

It just keeps getting better! With your help, Growing Healthy Kids is teaching kids and their families how to eat healthier and move more so they get to (and stay at) healthy weights. This is part of the Growing Healthy Kids' strategy for reversing childhood obesity in America. Growing Healthy Kids' incredibly talented friend, Cindy Ashton, has partnered with us as one of the 6 charities she is highlighting on her 2011 Red Carpet Dreaming Tour! How cool is that! With Cindy's support and help, all kinds of people across America and Canada will learn from Growing Healthy Kids about how children need access to healthy foods and simple ways to eat smarter.

Here's what you need to know now if you are concerned about children's health issues. www.RedCarpetCompetition.com.

Tell everyone you know who loves to sing, who is under 25 years old, and who lives within a 100 mile radius of Vero Beach (that includes Orlando, Lake Wales, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Melbourne, Okeechobee, and Fort Lauderdale). Send them this message: ENTER THE COMPETITION!!! Join us when Cindy is in Vero Beach this June to help us teach the United States and Canada (let's get real, the whole WORLD, thanks to high calorie fast food establishments like McDonald's and Burger King) that it is not OK for children to be eating a bazillion more calories a day than they need to be healthy.

GOT IT??? Check it out...www.RedCarpetCompetition.com.

Together, we are teaching kids and adults how to reverse childhood obesity. Because failure is not an option...

The Growing Healthy Kids movement is reversing childhood obesity, one child and one garden at a time.

To your perfect health,

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

wwww.GrowingHealthyKids.me

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Balsamic Vinaigrette will Spring You Into Health!


One way to improve the health of America's children and reverse the childhood obesity epidemic which is already bringing older adult diseases like type 2 diabetes into many children's world is to teach the adults.

At THE GIANT SALAD PARTIES (TM) developed by Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. we teach kids -- of all ages -- how to eat smarter and healthier. The key thing is we ALWAYS make it fun! Here is one of the recipes we are currently featuring at Growing Healthy Kids' educational events in Indian River County, Florida. Please DO try this at home with your own kids.

MIX together:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

WHISK IN: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

SERVE with a salad of locally grown vegetables like the ones I use that Nat Rew and Rebecca and Mark Hornbuckle are growing at Veggies of Vero (www.veggiesofvero.com).

Are you and your kids ready to learn more about healthy eating?? Then JOIN ME at The Club at Vero on Saturday, March 26 from 2 to 5 PM for SPRING INTO SPRING, an expo and business networking event. Michael Gifford (he's the one in the picture giving me a FABULOUS chair massage at the Growing Healthy Kids Variety Store) will be giving complementary chair massages and I will be teaching how you can easily and economically SPRING INTO HEALTH using recipes such as the Balsamic Vinagrette recipe above.

For information on vendor tables, call Barbara Petrillo at 772-205-7133 or email her at barb4jewels@yahoo.com.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's chldren, one child and one garden at a time. Because failure to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity is not an option.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

photo credit: Ella Chabot, Get Shot by Ella

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Childhood Obesity Organization gets new Youth Voice

Today is an exciting day. In a couple of hours we will hold the first-of-its-kind training in Florida to give youth a voice in halting,reversing, and preventing childhood obesity. In a unique collaboration between Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. and the Kiwanis Key Clubs, we begin engaging and mobilizing high school students in the recently funded GROWING HEALTHY KIDS: OUR HEALTH, OUR LIVES, OUR VOICE project in Indian River County, Florida.

This second semester service leadership project is one of the current round of projects funded by Youth Service America. We will keep you posted as the project progesses.

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's children, one child and one garden at a time.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Monday, February 7, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids Restores Energy Balance to Children's Health (and gives notice that childhood obesity has got to go!!)

Growing Healthy Kids teaches kids and adults that "small stuff matters" in its educational programs and workshops about healthy eating and physical activity. We recommend you start at the beginning with step one: assess your own weight and find out your own Body Mass Index. Are YOU at a healthy weight?? Go to www.cdc.gov to find the online BMI calculator for adults (height and weight) and kids (height, weight, age, and sex). If we are going to restore the energy balance for kids (to get them eating the right amount of food for the energy they use and need to maintain their bodies in tip-top condition), we better know where we stand. With 2 in 3 adults overweight or obese, who will mentor kids about how to get to a healthy weight if all they see is fat adults?

Help Growing Healthy Kids teach, empower, and inspire kids AND adults how to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity. Join us next Thursday at STAX Restaurant at our MEET THE DESIGNERS party to follow-up our first annual event held last week at Windsor Beach Club. Your preregistration for the MEET THE DESIGNERS party is kindly requested by the restaurant, please go to


Join the brilliant designers who are collaborating with Growing Healthy Kids to make a difference in the health - and lives - of America's children, one child and one garden at a time.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"A Magical Afternoon" for Growing Healthy Kids


Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the first annual event, A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN, for Growing Healthy Kids! We are raising awareness about how to improve the quality of foods that children are eating at home, at school, at day cares, and at afterschool programs. One of the things I asked attendees at A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN to do is to call the principal of the elementary school closest to where you live or work and schedule a visit to have breakfast or lunch. Then let me know what you would do to improve the quality of what kids are eating. Then go outside and plant some seeds and watch them grow!


Thank you to everyone who attended A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN! Thank you for being part of our first annual event. Thank you for daring to have the courage to be part of the solution to the childhood obesity challenge in Indian River County, Florida.



Special thank you's go to:
Debbie DeBie for her incredible work as event planner - we couldn't have done it without you!
Barbara Petrillo (http://www.barb4jewels.com/) and Ella Chabot (http://www.shotbyella.com/) for their incredible designs of clothing and jewelry that were featured as inspirations and infusions of the positive. Your collaborations and electric creativity are the spark for the FUSION, the FUN, and the FASHIONS that everyone will clamoring to wear!
Elton Thomas
for being the Master of Ceremonies and for coordinating a beautiful and elegant fashion show

Kim George for providing http://www.irculture.com/ as the host website for event information and tickets


Donna Anselmo of Bold Marketing Solutions for handling the event's media relations
Pritti Prakash for introducing me to Elton Thomas (http://www.splashonefm.com/)
Karen Swanson, Karen Frank, and Cindy Hejlik for helping plan the event and to Brian Frank for helping with day of event logistics
STAX Restaurant for hosting our planning meetings and keeping our water glasses filled and great appetizers on the table
Windsor of Florida for inviting Growing Healthy Kids to host its first annual event at the Windsor Beach Club and to Chef Brian of Windsor for your beautiful and delicious foods
Vero Beach Magazine for writing about our event in your January 2011 issue (thanks to your article, we may be working this semester with the UCF School of Nursing to help educate nurses!)
Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program for providing staff to help with event registrations
Treasure Coast-Vero Kiwanis Club members for supporting the community projects of Growing Healthy Kids

Thank you's to our wonderful Event Sponsors:
Nelson Wealth Management Group (Merrill Lynch)
Helen DeBie
Seacoast National Bank
GreensPlus
SeneGence
Disney's Vero Beach Resort
Don's Import Auto Service
Nancy Orlando
The Firm, LLC
Shot by Ella Photoart, LLC
The Petrillo Collection
Ambrosius
Penelope's Boutique and Twirl (thanks for providing the beautiful pants, shorts, skirts, jackets, and children's tutus for A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN)
Mark's at the Pointe
The Space Arranger
MaxAchiever LLC
Top Drawer Cabinetry & Carpentry LLC
Bold Marketing Solutions, Inc.

Thank you's to our Event Supporters:
Facial Rejuvenation by Dr. Gerald Pierone
Eco-Colour Designs
Publix Super Markets
Staples
Decorative Arts
Jetson TV & Appliance
Blue Ribbon Boarding & Grooming
Riverside Theater
Sebastian Gym
Florida Kids
Bags by "B"
Kiva's Organic Contour
Alternative Medicine Family Care Center
Hands for Healing
River Grille
Patti's Bistro & Catering
The Etched Heart
Bags 'N Rags
Essential Healing Therapy
Island Smoothie Cafe


The Village Store
Vic's Pizza

When you do business with any of these businesses and individuals, please thank them for supporting Growing Healthy Kids and helping us to improve the health - and lives - of America's children, child and one garden at a time.

To quote one of the event's attendees, "A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN was a magical afternoon!!"

With deep gratitude and sincere appreciation to everyone for helping create A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN so we can add fuel to our work that teaching adults that childhood obesity is not OK and must be reversed, I thank you all.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
http://www.growinghealthykids.me/

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Designer Fashions Remind Adults that it Takes a Community to Raise a Healthy Child







Here's an idea: What if what we wear is an "infusion of the positive" messages that remind us to make good choices about food and exercise? We're working to do just that! As you know, our team of dedicated Growing Healthy Kids volunteers is preparing to hold our first annual fashion show in Vero Beach, Florida to raise awareness about how each of us can help solve the childhood obesity challenge facing our country.

Growing Healthy Kids is ready to dress you for success so you can help us reach and teach others. Designed by Ella Chabot, the new Growing Healthy Kids Get Shot by Ella design collection features the first release of designs to empower and educate with an infusion of the positive. Ella has been collaborating with me in this movement to teach adults and kids.
The basic adult T-shirt is 100% cotton in a beautiful natural color. The Growing Healthy Kids logo is on the front left side and on the back.

The fabulous "Eat Rainbows" ladies T is also being released today. This design beautifully illustrates that when you "eat the colors of the rainbow" with a variety of fruits and vegetables, your health will be on cloud 9! It features artwork Ella created from a child's project in one of our monthly GHK events for children served by Youth Guidance Mentoring and Activities Program.
To place your order, just go to http://www.growinghealthykids.me/ and click on "store".

More products will be released after A Fusion of Fashion and Fun (www.IRCulture.com/gala.cfm) featuring the designs of Ella Chabot and Barb Petrillo!
Growing Healthy Kids - improving the health - and lives - of America's kids, one child and one garden at a time.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Author Debbie Macomber Meets Growing Healthy Kids

Today was an awesome day! Just after finishing last minute details with the planning committee for A Fashion of Fusion and Fun (the first annual event for Growing Healthy Kids to be held at the exclusive Windsor Beach Club in Vero Beach!), I dashed to Panera's to tape a radio interview with Rhett Palmer (www.RhettPalmer.com). As Rhett concluded our interview, local resident and writer extraordinaire Debbie Macomber (www.DebbieMacomber.com) walked over to say "hi". Rhett introduced me to Debbie and shared with her about Growing Healthy Kids' work and programs educating adults and children.

Debbie immediately connected to what I told her. She said that as a child she always thought she was overweight. She said as an adult when she looked back at pictures of herself as a child, she realized that she wasn't overweight, but that her self-image was influenced by others and by the media.

Let's start by being honest with ourselves in assessing our current state of health. Do my clothes fit too snug? What do I look like in my birthday suit? Would my blood pressure come down if I lost a few of these extra pounds? (answer: yes) Do I run out of energy and stamina before everyone else? Do I think it's OK to be overweight just because everyone around me is?

If we are going to help kids get to and stay at healthier weight, we have to help ourselves. Take a look at yourself - literally! Check your Body Mass Index (BMI) at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/index.html. If we are going to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic that threatens the health - and lives - of millions of American children, then ask yourself this question: am I one of the 2 in 3 American adults who is overweight or obese and if so, what am I willing to do about it?

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's children, one child and one garden at a time. Will you join us?

For tickets to A Fusion of Fashion and Fun next Tuesday, February 1, go to www.IRCulture.com/gala.cfm or call 772-359-8382.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

For more resources and tips you can use:
http://www.growinghealthykids.me/
http://www.healthydiabetescoach.com/

Friday, January 21, 2011

First Lady Goes to Walmart and Lowers Prices

Yesterday's news had a great photo of First Lady Michelle Obama in front of a beautiful produce display in a Walmart store announcing the lowering of prices on fresh fruit and vegetables. This is a great step for helping American families purchase more fruits and veggies.

Solving the childhood obesity challenge requires strategic planning and the First Lady is able to get the attention of America's largest retailer. Congratulations to her!

Now, when Walmart (www.walmart.com) is ready to get to work improving the health of its own employees, just give me a call. My number is 772.453.3413. Every time I shop at Walmart for things for my healthy cooking classes to show people how to eat healthy AND economically, I engage in conversation with employees there and I always hear the same thing: "I sure wish I could go to your classes. I have diabetes and I could really use some help."

Solving the childhood obesity challenge requires that adults lead by example. Walmart, are you listening?

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's children, one child and one garden at a time.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

For tickets to our first annual event - A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN - in Vero Beach, Florida, go to www.IRCulture.com/gala.cfm.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Worldguy.org gets my vote

Yesterday's Vero Beach Press Journal had an article about Erik Bendl, his dog, Nice, and the 6 foot world globe he is pushing on his walk from Florida to Louisville (www.worldguy.org). Why, you ask, is he doing this? To raise awareness about diabetes, from a guy who describes himself as a little "fluffy". Because his mother was a state legislator in Kentucky who died at age 54 from diabetes. Because Erik knows that 54 is too young to die.

I admire this man. He knows that diabetes is preventable and controllable. He also knows diabetes is reversible.

Anyone who undertakes a journey on foot with his dog (especially a dog named "Nice") pushing a globe of the earth 1000 times larger than the one I had in my house growing up in Sacramento, California deserves my attention and admiration.

Congratulations, Erik! With regular physical exercise (as simple as walking) and healthy eating (like what I teach in every Growing Healthy Kids and Healthy Diabetes Coach workshop), diabetes can be controlled - and reversed - without medicines.

I will be looking for you and Nice on U.S. 1 in Vero Beach tomorrow!

Growing Healthy Kids - a movement to prevent diabetes by teaching and empowering kids and adults to eat better and move more.

To your perfect health.
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Growing Healthy Kids teaches people how to prevent diabetes with education about reversing obesity. You can help: For tickets to our first BIG EVENT on February 1 at the Windsor Beach Club, go to www.IRCulture.com/gala.cfm. See you at A Fusion of Fashion and Fun!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A New Year, New Commitments, New Results: Tip Three


My dear friends,

Today is a new day in the new year. What are you going to do differently? "The diets that have enabled the world's longest-living peoples to live such healthy lives are very high in whole grains and other healthful carbohydrates." --John Robbins. This is one of the quotes I used in my book, "Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time" (http://www.economicwellnessworks.com/). The fact is that due to unprecedented numbers of children at unhealthy weights, for the first time in history, American children born today will lives shorter lives than our generation. We must act to change this. NO MATTER WHAT. So, here's TIP THREE for your new year, new commitments and new results: Use "The Nancy Rule" for buying breads and pastas: 1) 4 or more grams of dietary fiber per serving or per slice and 2) the first ingredient includes the word "WHOLE".

You can help Growing Healthy Kids increase the impact of its educational programs by joining us at A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN February 1st at Vero Beach's exclusive Windsor Beach Club. With the collaboration of two amazing designers, Ella Chabot and Barbara Petrillo, and sponsors including Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Tom Nelson at Merrill Lynch, Staples, Blue Ribbon Pet Grooming, Publix Supermarkets, Jetson's, Senegence, and Don's Import Auto Service, we have a great afternoon planned for you! You will be able to purchase affordable and stunning new collections, including the new Growing Healthy Kids Get Shot by Ella designs! Purchase tickets at www.irculture.com/gala.cfm. Hurry, because there are only a limited number of seats available for this first annual event. Become part of our movement to prevent obesity-related diseases in children. Help us halt and reverse childhood obesity, because failure is not an option. STAY TUNED for Tip Four...

Growing Healthy Kids - improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one child and one garden at a time.

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year, New Commitments, New Results: Tip Two


My dear friends,

I love a good piece of cake once in a while, don't you? There's nothing wrong with a little sugar. The problem is too much sugar.
While it used to be simple to figure out which foods have a lot of sugar, there are a lot more names for sugar than there used to be. We just have to be smarter about what we eat. Here's the bottom line: whatever you call sugar, it has 4 calories a gram and zero nutritional value ("empty calories"). Do you (and your kids?) need to get to a healthier weight?? Do you have diabetes in your family?? Then this tip is for you. Tip Two: EAT LESS SUGAR.

Here's a few names for sugar:
molasses
honey
lactose (the sugar found in milk)
fructose (the sugar found in fruit and some veggies)
agave nectar
corn syrup
high fructose corn syrup
maple syrup
table sugar

You can help Growing Healthy Kids reach more adults and kids expand the reach of our education programs to halt and reverse childhood obesity. Our first event - A Fusion of Fashion and Fun - will be held on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 in Vero Beach, Florida. Who do you know who would love to purchase a ticket to this great event and support our movement to prevent obesity-related diseases (such as diabetes and high blood pressure) in children? Go to http://www.irculture.com/gala.cfm. Simply scroll down to the bottom to buy tickets. And stay tuned for Tip Three...

For more information about Growing Healthy Kids, go to httt://http://www.growinghealthykids.me/. Together, we can halt and prevent childhood obesity!

To your perfect health.
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
PS -- Instead of having cookies in the house for an afterschool snack, leave a dish of grape tomatoes (that's what's in the photo at the top next to your tip!). They taste good and they're good for you! Remember, with small changes like this, you can ensure that your kids will develop good eating habits for the rest of their life.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year, New Commitments, New Results: Tip One


My dear friends,

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to educate Americans about reversing and preventing childhood obesity. Act boldly and BE the solution. Since today IS the first day of your life as well as the first day of 2011, make the new commitment to get new results. So here is Tip One for _______'s (fill in your name) A New Year, New Commitments, New Results: Make one SMART health goal every week in 2011. What is a SMART health goal, you ask? It is a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Specific. As an example, I'll share my own SMART health goal for Week 1: I will weigh myself on Monday 1/3/2011 and Thursday 1/6/2011 at 6 AM and record my weights in my logbook. If I gained any weight while I was on my family vacation last week, then I will commit to eat smaller portions at dinner on Monday through Friday this week. Now, make your first SMART health goal for 2011, write it down, and tell someone what it is so you have an accountability partner!

You can help Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. reach more adults and children with our education programs to halt and reverse childhood obesity. Our first annual event - A Fusion of Fashion and Fun - will be held on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 in Vero Beach, Florida. Who do you know who will purchase a ticket to this great event and become part of our movement to prevent obesity-related diseases (like diabetes and high blood pressure) in children? Go to http://www.irculture.com/gala.cfm and scroll to the bottom to purchase tickets.

For more information about Growing Healthy Kids, Inc., click on http://www.growinghealthykids.me/.

To your perfect health.
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

PS - The first ten people to share their 2011 week one SMART health goal in the "Comment" section below will receive a copy of the new Growing Healthy Kids e-book, "Tips for Growing Healthy Kids - and Families."