Wednesday, January 18, 2017


"Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." 

                               --Michael Pollan

Did you know that cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins?  These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, plus formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic and DDT.  The fact is that nicotine is highly addictive. 

Image result for cigarettes ".gov"

Every day I see adults driving and smoking cigarettes with young children in the back seats.   Delivering doses of second-hand smoke to children with developing brains is cruel and mean.  Yet smoking is totally legal in the United States.  The fact is that millions of children are exposed to poisonous toxins every day from their parents' cigarettes.  

Image result for sugary foods ".gov"Is it any wonder, then, that people turn a blind eye to the foods and drinks children consume that are loaded with added sugars?   Food manufacturers, like cigarette manufacturers, are very smart about hiding unhealthy ingredients.  They are extremely skilled at marketing highly processed foods filled with dangerous ingredients to children. 

Sugar is highly addictive, just like nicotine in cigarettes. In our classes for children and parents, Growing Healthy Kids teaches how to recognize added sugars in processed foods.  Kids learn to identify hidden sugars by looking for ingredients that ends in “-ose” (any ingredient that ends in "-ose" is a sugar, such as fructose, sucrose, maltose).  In my book, Nourish and Flourish:  Kid-Tested Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes, there is a list of more than 50 different names for sugar that you and your kids can use to become smart shoppers.  

If you are a parent, become aware of the hidden ingredients such as added sugars in processed foods that contribute to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure contributing to negative health outcomes in children.  Start with the cereal aisle in your grocery store. Compare the ingredient list on your kids’ favorite breakfast cereal or snack bar with the list of sugars in Nourish and Flourish.  Choose products without added sugars or with the smallest amount of added sugars. 

America’s children are depending on us.  Let’s do them right and keep them healthy.  Feed kids real food. 

With love and gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.