Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: The High Price of Cheap Food

“If you let corporations cook your food, they’re going to load it up with sugar.” 

                                                                  --Michael Pollan, author of Cooked

Common statement heard from parents:  “I can’t afford to feed my family healthy food.”

Nancy Heinrich's response: “Give me an hour and I’ll show you how.” 

Michael Pollan recently spoke at the Emerson Center in Vero Beach, Florida and one of our youth Nutrition Scientists was able to attend his talk with me.  Throughout Mr. Pollan’s talk, I said to her several times, “That is something we discussed in our class.” He kept coming back the fact that as food has become increasingly processed with the advent of the industrial food chain, people have cooked less and we have gotten sicker.

 Image result for kids cooking

Getting kids out to farms and farmers markets and into the kitchen is what we do.  As kids learn about using locally grown, fresh ingredients and that when you can cook at home instead of eating highly processed foods, they are also learning that they are no longer at the mercy of large corporations that prepare foods filled with added sugars, salt, and fat.  Giving kids the confidence to know how and where to shop for locally grown ingredients (organic where available), to prepare easily modifiable basic recipes, and to buy the best ingredients they can afford are some of our key lessons. 

Whenever I ask the kids in our classes if they have family members with diabetes or high blood pressure, most of the kids raise their hands.  Sometimes I also ask the kids if they know anyone with Alzheimer’s and more hands go up.  We know that Alzheimer’s is a disease process that is 30 or more years in the making before symptoms appear.  Diabetes has an incubation period of about 5 to 10 years.   

Image result for kids cooking

The “ah-ha” moments we see in Growing Healthy Kids’ classes are a constant reminder of how essential our work is to reversing and preventing obesity-related diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes.  One of the essential lessons taught in Growing Healthy Kids’ educational programs is that everyone can afford to eat healthy foods.  Be the solution.  Cook at home with your kids!

With love and gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

PS - If you need ideas to get you and your kids started in the kitchen, then get a copy of NOURISH AND FLOURISH:  Kid-Tested Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes may be just the thing!  Available at