Wednesday, May 1, 2013



"Gumbo is a taste, a feeling, a party." -- Paul Prudhomme

I love this quote.  Great food should be part of every family's traditions and when we gather together and enjoy a meal, it should feel like a party, a celebration.  Working on the frontlines of the obesity epidemic, I love to power up with great food every chance I can get, which is one reason why the first weekend in May is so much fun.

The first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, known as the Fastest 2 Minutes in Sports.  This Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky is the giant party known for fast horses, beautiful hats, great food and drinks.   Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday I love to celebrate because it is a great reason to make fresh guacamole and salsa.  Cinco de Mayo – or the fifth of May – commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).  While Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, it is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States. 

Haas avocados are rich in the good kind of fat. 
What do the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo have in common?  It’s an opportunity to celebrate really good food and fitness as well as foods that have a place in our cultures.  So if you are having a Derby party this weekend, consider making some fresh guacamole and salsa for your friends.  With Haas avocados  in season (and on sale for $1 each right now at Publix Supermarkets if you live in the southeast US) and fresh tomatoes hitting the local green markets in Florida, it is the perfect time to share one of the kids’ favorite recipes from Nourish and Flourish, our education project’s first published book featuring foods that have earned  the prestigious GROWING HEALTHY KIDS SEAL OF APPROVAL.  

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS:  Our Recipe Collection

CUT in half, take out seed, and scoop into a bowl:
·         1 avocado

MASH with a fork.

·         2 cloves garlic, chopped real small
·         1 Roma tomato, chopped real small
·         1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime
·         Hot sauce and salt to taste 
          Chopped cilantro (optional)
          a little chopped onion (optional)

SERVE with:
·         Your choice of chips*

*For demonstration purposes, Tostitos Blue Corn tortilla chips were used. 

The GROWING HEALTHY KIDS SEAL OF APPROVAL for this recipe was received 3/19/10 at the  Boys and Girls Clubs of Indian River County, Florida.

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS TIP #17:   Avocados contain the good kind of fat, called “unsaturated”.  Our bodies need fat to work right.  The key is that most of the fats we eat should be – you guessed it – the good kind.  Besides avocados, other foods that contain the good fats are fish, nuts, flax seeds, olives, olive oil, canola oil and other liquid vegetable oils. 

We need to limit the bad fats we eat.  These are called “saturated” and “trans” fats.  Saturated fats are found in foods that come from animals such as meat, chicken, milk and cheese.  Trans fats are found in packaged and processed foods.  You can identify them by looking for the words “partially hydrogenated” on the list of ingredients. 

A GROWING HEALTHY KIDS “WATCH OUT!” alert for parents:  Food manufacturers are allowed to put up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving in a food and still label the food as “0 trans fat”.  

Have a great Derby party and Cinco de Mayo celebration this weekend!

Hats rule at the Kentucky Derby.


For Derby party recipes, go to click here.  Then click on "Derby Party". 
    For Cinco de Mayo party recipes from Delish magazine, click here:

Let's hear from you.  What is YOUR favorite party food to make for friends and family?

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids