Friday, December 9, 2011


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 and

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.