Sunday, January 17, 2010

Calling All Adults: Fat First!

Paradise greetings,

A rainy morning today. After the last couple of weeks of unusually cold, freezing weather, we need some liquid sunshine. This week we will be planning the new gardens for the new year.

Growing Healthy Kids Tip: Did you know that most of the fat calories we eat should be from GOOD fats, called UNSATURATED FATS? Unsaturated fats are in fish, nuts, olives, liquid vegetable oils like olive oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil, flax seeds, and avocados. Most of the fat we eat should come from these foods. One thing about nuts: since nuts' calories are primarily from fat, even though it is the good fat, if we - or kids - eat too many nuts we can quickly get too many fat calories. About 1/4 cup of most nuts has around 200 calories. Just a few walnuts provide an excellent snack!

Last Friday I visited the children at the Boys and Girls Club and shared some healthy snacks enjoyed by all (carrot sticks, walnuts, and organic bunny fruit snacks--yum). Afterwards everyone ran a couple of laps around in the fresh air. We planned our kayak adventure for next week and the kids decided on a healthy menu of tuna sandwiches on whole grain bread, oranges, and water. Several of these kids have never been on the water in a canoe or a kayak, so a great adventure is right around the corner! Our kayak partner, Mike Beck, reported that he was busy last week rescuing sea turtles from the dangerously cold Intercoastal waters. The kids will get to hear first-hand from him about his work while paddling and watching for egrets and manatees.

An observation from volunteering yesterday as a proctor at the state math competition hosted by Vero Beach High School (couldn't help notice all the soda machines placed strategically on campus): the number of obese adults chaperoning and volunteering. They were everywhere! It is my belief that adults must first address the problem of their own fat in order for kids to take them seriously. Maybe "Fat First" should be our new tag line. If you are a fat adult, then fix yours first by making one change a week to eat healthier and move more. I mean no disrespect to anyone, it's just that we can no longer ignore the problem. Has the term "obesity" lulled people into complacency about self-honesty? America, this is Mission Control, and We Have a Fat Problem. So, what's YOUR body mass index number?? If you are in the obese category (BMI 30 or higher), then how much weight do you need to lose to be one number smaller? Go to to find out!

Growing Healthy Kids - improving the health of kids, one garden and one child at a time.

To your perfect health.

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids