Wednesday, June 17, 2015


“I have not failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 
                                                           -- Thomas A. Edison

Last month I took a real vacation and traveled to Europe to visit family.  For two glorious weeks I ate my way through Denmark, Germany and Holland with local vegetables and fruits, beautiful fresh breads baked every morning, and my personal favorite, dark chocolate with hazelnuts!   I walked for miles and miles, enjoying the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, downtown Copenhagen, University of Potsdam, and beautiful Tiergarten Park in Berlin.  You can't help but notice that everywhere people are riding bicycles. In Holland there are so many bicyclists that you must pay very close attention or you risk being run over because they are going fast!  One morning while in Holland I took a train from Amersfoort to Amsterdam and asked a young man how to get to the Van Gogh Museum by tram.  He replied he had no idea because he always traveled by bicycle, not by tram. I found the local tourist office and eventually figured out the tram system and got to my destination!  

Image result for picture of dark chocolate
Look for dark chocolate that is 70% or more cocoa.  Your blood pressure will thank you! 

Coming home to the United States, I was instantly overwhelmed by the number of obese Americans everywhere. As adults we can make choices about what we are going to eat or whether we are going to sit in front of a TV for days on end.   It is the children we must protect from the thoughtlessness and carelessness of adults’ bad habits.  The American way of life is killing us with unhealthy, processed foods filled with sugar, salt, and fat.  We think nothing of buying a $25,000 car but we cannot justify $200 for a bicycle. 

It is time to rethink about our lifestyle in America.   The contrast of having just been in Europe has sharpened my resolve to create more solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic.  Here are some tips for you:  
  • Have a small piece of dark chocolate every day to keep your blood pressure under control and forego eating the whole bar of milk chocolate.  
  • Shop first at your local farmers market. 
  • Make half of your dinner vegetables.  
  • Have fruit for dessert.  
  • Eat more fish, especially wild salmon.  
  • Enjoy small servings of nuts or nut butters with celery or whole grain crackers for snacks. 
  • Read food labels and avoid foods with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving.  
  • Live like a lean European, not like a fat American.  
  • Be active every day.  Eat dinner together as a family.

The fact is that obesity takes years off your life.  It is not acceptable for American children to be facing lifespans shorter than ours. But that is what is happening and will continue to happen when we turn away from all the overweight and obese children in America and pretend that obesity doesn't cause any problems.  

If you have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight, then reread the quote at the top of this article.  Growing Healthy Kids is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of why we need to reverse and prevent childhood obesity in America and creating solutions.  

Be a role model for your children and grandchildren.  Do something today to improve your children’s access to healthy foods.  Teach them how to eat less processed foods containing added sugars, fats, and salt. If you need help, then please email me at  

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.