Friday, April 29, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids with Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program

Big Day Tomorrow Morning!

A record number of children are signed up to attend the GROWING HEALTHY KIDS program beginning at 10 AM at Everything Outdoors Garden Shop on US1 (just south of Oslo Road) in Vero Beach, Florida. HINT: LOOK FOR THE GIANT YELLOW AND BLUE ADIRONDACK CHAIRS.

This monthly program is with our
partner, Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program, where we teach kids and their parents how to eat better and smarter while having a great deal of FUN.

SO...The vegetables have been gathered, the recipes have been printed, the volunteers have been recruited, and the children are learn how to eat healthy AND economically!! Tomorrow is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!!

An incredible team of instructors will converge tomorrow morning to teach these awesome children how to eat smart and move more. It's a beautiful thing!

To learn more about how you can help us to reverse childhood obesity, stop by the GROWING HEALTHY KIDS VARIETY STORE - 3300 43rd AVE, #4, VERO BEACH, FL. And remember to practice "The Nancy Rule" when you are shopping: buy bread and pasta with 4 OR MORE grams of dietary fiber per serving and the first ingredient includes the word "WHOLE".

Perfect health to you!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

PS -- did I mention that we are going to have a TON OF FUN tomorrow? To join the festivities, call Youth Guidance at 772-770-5040.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


This morning while passing by Vero Beach High School, a group of 5 kids crossed the street. Four of them were obese.

What we know is that if someone is obese as a youth, they are more likely to be obese as an adult. Obesity is the leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Adults who have diabetes have higher health care costs than adults without diabetes. Who will pay the bill?

I would like to have one hour with the parents of the four kids I saw slowly making their way across the street this morning. They did not move gracefully. If they remain obese, their joints will wear out too soon, their blood pressure will rise, causing them to be placed on medications, and they will probably develop diabetes. When the girls become pregnant, they will be at higher risk for gestational diabetes, increasing the chance of delivering an overweight baby.

When I wrote the book, "Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time," it was because I was motivated to teach people how to prevent diabetes. Childhood obesity is a wake-up call for Americans to prevent diabetes.

Be honest with yourself. Are you overweight? If so, let's agree to make one small change this week, because the Growing Healthy Kids movement depends on YOU to lead the way for America's children.

Be well.
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yes, Your Son is Eating Vegetables

Last week, this was part of a Reuters news article ("NIH Obesity Plan focuses on Real-World Research") about obesity in America:

"Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of U.S. medical spending, or an estimated $147 billion a year.

Studies have shown that obese children are more likely to stay obese as adults, and that they develop chronic conditions at younger ages, burdening the healthcare system."

Obesity is a result of an energy imbalance. Getting back into balance with the foods we eat and the daily exercise our bodies desperately want and need is really simple when you know what to do. Nearly 17% of America's children are obese. THIS MUST CHANGE. Enter, Growing Healthy Kids, stage left:

At the GIANT SALAD PARTY held by Growing Healthy Kids this week, one parent came to observe her two children who were participants. When I spoke with her, she was speechless because she was watching her younger son from a distance and HE WAS EATING HIS VEGETABLES!!! She was just beside herself with joy seeing a new habit forming in her younger son known for never eating vegetables, a great source of dietary fiber.

This kind of response is what the Growing Healthy Kids movement based in Vero Beach, Florida is all about. Showing kids how to eat great food, some of which is grown right in their own neighborhood, and teaching them things they can then teach their parents. All kids deserve access to healthy foods, not the junk and sugar and salt that stops up their digestive and cardiovascular systems. Ask any pediatrician in this country if they are seeing kids with digestive problems due to too little dietary fiber and too much sugar and you'll hear a resounding "YES" across the land.

For the parent who was speechless this week watching her son have an amazing time helping prepare a salad and a simple vinaigrette dressing, then eating all of it and asking for seconds, I say, "Now help me teach other parents how simple and affordable it is to eat healthy when the kids know what to do." Healthy eating is key to getting to and staying at a healthy weight.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to erase childhood obesity from America. We teach kids and adults how to eat better, eat economically, and enjoy locally grown foods when and where available AND move more, all while having fun. As we like to say at all our educational programs, "Having fun IS the best way to learn new stuff!"

Here's to your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

To support our national education work, please go to and click on "Vero Beach". - click on "store" for the new Growing Healthy Kids Get Shot by Ella-designed shirts as featured in the April 2011 issue in Vero Beach Magazine and debuted at A FUSION OF FASHION AND FUN.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids goes to Imagine Schools at South Vero

Boy, was today fun! First, we had a TON of liquid sunshine drop in for a visit. For you northerners, that is Florida-speak for RAIN.

Then, this afternoon the awesome kids from Indian River Charter High School's Kiwanis Key Club who are participating in the Growing Healthy Kids' service leadership project presented a most excellent program for the children at Imagine Schools at South Vero ( We had the kids eating salad, making vinaigrette dressings, and jumping up and down with joy. WHAT FUN!

Let me tell you a story about one little girl at this afternoon's event. She was 30-35 pounds overweight. At the beginning of the party she said to me rather defiantly, "I'm not eating that." During the course of the project, she changed her mind and tried the salad at the gentle urging of the 2 high school girls working with her. Next time I stopped by her table, she was wearing a GIANT SMILE while eating a bowl of Kevin's greens with the balsamic dressing she helped to make.

The point is that kids CAN change their attitudes AND their eating habits, when we let them. That one little girl can now teach others.

First of all, thank you to all the children at Imagine School-YOU'RE AWESOME! Thanks to Liz Santiago, Kiwanis Key Club sponsor, for helping put it all together. A big thank you for all the kids from the charter high school - YOU ROCK!! Thanks to Jonathan Sternberg, principal at Imagine Schools, for allowing the high school kids to teach your children fun, creative ways to eat healthy and be active. Thanks to Kevin O'Dare of Osceola Organics for donating the beautiful spring mix of fresh, locally grown greens - THE KIDS LOVED THEM!

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement which, beginning in Indian River County, Florida, is reversing childhood obesity through knowledge, skills, and practice of healthy habits. Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. teaches kids and adults how to eat healthier and get moving. We can and will reverse childhood obesity in America because FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

To learn more how you can support our 2011 education projects, go to and click on "Vero Beach".

Monday, April 4, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids Partnership with Cindy Ashton Helps Kids Live Their Dreams NOW

It just keeps getting better! With your help, Growing Healthy Kids is teaching kids and their families how to eat healthier and move more so they get to (and stay at) healthy weights. This is part of the Growing Healthy Kids' strategy for reversing childhood obesity in America. Growing Healthy Kids' incredibly talented friend, Cindy Ashton, has partnered with us as one of the 6 charities she is highlighting on her 2011 Red Carpet Dreaming Tour! How cool is that! With Cindy's support and help, all kinds of people across America and Canada will learn from Growing Healthy Kids about how children need access to healthy foods and simple ways to eat smarter.

Here's what you need to know now if you are concerned about children's health issues.

Tell everyone you know who loves to sing, who is under 25 years old, and who lives within a 100 mile radius of Vero Beach (that includes Orlando, Lake Wales, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Melbourne, Okeechobee, and Fort Lauderdale). Send them this message: ENTER THE COMPETITION!!! Join us when Cindy is in Vero Beach this June to help us teach the United States and Canada (let's get real, the whole WORLD, thanks to high calorie fast food establishments like McDonald's and Burger King) that it is not OK for children to be eating a bazillion more calories a day than they need to be healthy.

GOT IT??? Check it

Together, we are teaching kids and adults how to reverse childhood obesity. Because failure is not an option...

The Growing Healthy Kids movement is reversing childhood obesity, one child and one garden at a time.

To your perfect health,

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids