Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Fifty Shades of Sugar Part 2 (and Tiny Desk Concerts)

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”  
                                              -Dalai Lama

We did it.  We stirred the pot last week with Fifty Shades of Sugar.  People are talking.  Adults are reading food labels.  Children are eating less sugar and are having better moods.  They are happier.

As discussed in my upcoming radio interview* with Chef Michael Glatz of La Patissiere (a fabulous artisian bakery and boutique foodie destination in Vero Beach, Florida), the reason why there are more than fifty names for sugar is so that you, the consumer, will be tricked by food manufacturers into thinking there is only a little bit of sugar  - instead of the gazillion teaspoons  -  in the processed food item about to go into your grocery cart and then home to be consumed by you and your children. 

Curious?  You can find fifty-nine (59) names for sugar in my book, Nourish and Flourish:  Kid-Tested and Approved Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes (available at or click on the link on the right side of this page).

Engage your children in improving your family’s health literacy.  Ask the kids to look for these 50+ names for sugar when shopping for cereals, snacks, crackers, pies, cakes, cookies, breads and more.  Especially the foods that have been placed at your children's eye level.  Start becoming aware of all the added sugars in your family’s foods.  

Image result for picture of healthy kids


1.  Look for ingredients that end in “–ose”.  These are sugars.   Pure, white, and deadly.**

2.  Read food labels and look for “high fructose corn syrup”.  One of the most highly processed sugars, high fructose corn syrup is used because it is sweet, addictive, and most of all, cheap.  If your kids (or you) drink any beverages with added sugars (think sodas), look for high fructose corn syrup on the ingredients portion of the Nutrition Facts label.  In all our Growing Healthy Kids’ classes, we teach kids and adults to avoid all foods and drinks containing this evil ingredient.

3.  Avoid (or limit) drinks and foods with added sugars, fats, and salt.  

Speaking of love, the original Growing Healthy Kid, my son, Edward, a trombonist and poet-extraordinaire, turned me on to some very cool music recently.  “Tiny Desk Concerts” are performed by really famous musicians (and not-so-famous but really good musicians) in the office of National Public Radio's music department.  To listen to very cool music while you are cooking dinner with your kids and significant other, click here.

Surround yourself with people and ideas that support the best you.  And, of course, support the mission of Growing Healthy Kids to reduce, halt, and prevent childhood obesity and obesity-related diseases.  All children deserve access to healthy food and lots of outdoor playtime.   One of the best ways for growing healthy kids is to be the best YOU!

With love and gratitude,

Nancy Heinrich
Founder of the Growing Healthy Kids Project

*My interview with Chef Michael Glatz airs Tuesday, March 3rd at 3:30 PM on WAXE 107.9 FM/1370 AM and will be rebroadcast on Sunday, March 8th at 3:30 PM (you can listen to the interview from anywhere in the world by going to, then search for WAXE).

**Pure, White, and Deadly by Dr. John Yudkin, originally published in 1972.