Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our Blog Goes Global

Childhood obesity is a global problem. It's not just a problem in the U.S. Think about this: Where do you find McDonald's? Where high fat, high salt, high sugar, and white flour foods go (what you find in the foods at McDonald's), obesity follows.

My Russian friend, Luda, and I have been busy today with a big native plant sale and Garden Playshop at the Growing Healthy Kids Variety Store and decided to take a little break. I looked up where readers of the Growing Healthy Kids blog are located. Pinch me!! People in Canada, Russia, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Ukraine, and many other countries are reading I am honored to know that my words and actions have meaning for you.

Solving the problem of childhood obesity requires that we ALL take responsibility for the solutions. Kids are smart. They know if we say one thing and do another. They are watching when their teachers say, "Eat plenty of fruits and veggies" but have a coke and a sandwich on white bread. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and hope that the problem of kids being overweight will just evaporate. We must act deliberately every day to teach adults, to lead by example, and to care enough about our children's health to do the right thing.

Are you a good role model for healthy eating? Do you choose breads that meet "The Nancy Rule"?? Are you getting at least 150 minutes of exercise (aka "physical fun") every week??

Be a positive role model for healthy eating. Work on getting to a healthier weight. Lead by example. Because failure to reverse childhood obesity is not an option.

Growing Healthy Kids - we create and deliver solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic. We are improving the health - and lives - of America's and the world's children, one child and one garden at a time.

Perfect health!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

PS--My gift to you for being part of the solution:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Got flavor? Make Chipotle Lentil Burgers tonight!

You've been asking, so I'm delivering. Below is the recipe for Chipotle Lentil Burgers.

Lentils are on my list of SUPERFOODS. They are a nutritional powerhouse. Full of fiber. Low in calories. When combined with rice, you get a complete protein. If you want/need to lose weight or have diabetes/prediabetes, eating more foods like lentils will put you on the right path towards your goals. Teach your kids how to cook lentils and let them create their own lentil burgers.

Yet I find that lots of people have never cooked lentils, let alone eaten them. I've been making a killer lentil soup for years, so when I found this recipe in a new cookbook a relative sent me (thanks, Pam!), I couldn't wait to try it. I made a couple of changes and taught dozens of people how to make Chipotle Lentil Burgers in this week's Healthy Cooking classes. (They are ALL clamoring for the recipe so they can make this at home now!)

I also love this recipe because it's also introducing people to one of my favorite spices: Smoked Paprika. NOT the same as paprika. When you open a bottle of smoked paprika the first time and get a whiff of it, the common response is, "WOW!!" So put dried lentils and smoked paprika on this week's shopping list and enjoy!


• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small red onion, cut into small pieces
• ½ pound zucchini (1 medium). Cut in half lengthwise and slice ½ inch thick
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped, stems and leaves
• 1-1/2 cups cooked lentils
• 1 cup bread crumbs
• 1 Tablespoon chipotle peppers, seeds removed, with adobe sauce
• 2 Tablespoons “lite” soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2-3 teaspoons smoked paprika
Preheat a large pan. Sauté onion for about 3 minutes. Add zucchini, garlic, cilantro, and a pinch of salt, and sauté about 7 or 8 minutes, until zucchini is soft.
Transfer veggies to a food processor. Add all other ingredients EXCEPT for ½ cup bread crumbs. Pulse until mostly smooth, but leave a little texture. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup bread crumbs. Use a fork to thoroughly combine.
Preheat the pan (OK to use same pan zucchini was cooked in). Divide mixture into 6 equal pieces.
Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray. Form burgers into patties and cook for about 12 minutes, flipping often, until nicely browned on both sides. Use cooking spray as needed.
Serve on whole grain buns such as Arnold’s whole grain sandwich thins with your favorite burger toppings. I like to serve this with sliced tomatoes and dill potato salad.
Note: If you’ve never cooked lentils before, here’s all you need to know: You cook them just like white rice. Dried lentils take about 20 minutes to cook. Just follow the directions on the bag and it’s easy. The thing about lentils is they contain about 9 grams of dietary fiber per ¼ cup (dry) which is a little more than ½ cup when cooked.

This is adapted from a recipe in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, 2011.

Live well, eat well. Using recipes like Chipotle Lentil Burgers, you CAN eat healthy AND economically.

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity, one child and one garden at a time.

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Friday, July 15, 2011

Listen to my interview on Public Radio WQCS


What have YOU done today to be a role model to teach a child or youth good eating habits? Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to reverse childhood obesity.

Here are a few things anyone can do to be a great role model for kids:
Drink water, not soda.
Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.
Take a child to your local farmers market and buy locally grown stuff.

It's easy to get to a healthy weight -- when you know what to do. To learn more, listen to my interview with Drew Mello on WQCS (just click on the link, then click on "listen now"):

WQCS: Growing Healthy Kids (2011-07-15)

The next Growing Healthy Kids Victory Garden Playshop is Saturday, July 31 at the Growing Healthy Kids Variety Store, 3300 43rd Avenue, #4, Vero Beach, Fl. 32960 (a mile north of SR 60 (AKA 20th Street). This event is FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Here's to your health!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
dedicated to improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time.

If you know someone with diabetes OR prediabetes, go to for a copy of my book, Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Growing Healthy Kids Newsletter Debuts This Month

The GROWING HEALTHY KIDS movement to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity is proud to introduce its monthly newsletter due to overwhelming requests from parents, educators, day care workers, and employers who see their costs skyrocketing due to the obesity-related costs of employees' children. It's time to get going so that all kids are surrounded by adults who know how to eat healthier and prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease if our kids are going to stand a chance.

To show you how serious I am about reaching out to you with the featured lessons, tips, recipes, video success stories that can help families get to healthier weights, I'm giving away my book to 10 special subscribers to the Growing Healthy Kids Newsletter...The first 2 subscribers from each of the states with the highest rates of childhood obesity (Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Louisiana) will receive a copy of my book, "Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time".

Click here to subscribe to our Growing Healthy Kids Monthly Newsletter:

We need your help to reach and teach Americans who don't know what to do or where to start. Let's get started, get moving, and get healthy, America!! Eat well, live well.

Improving the health - and lives - of America's children - TOGETHER!!!

To your perfect health,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Enter the 1st Annual Growing Healthy Kids Poster Contest for Summer Fun!

Dear Parents--

Looking for a summer art project idea for your kids?? Here it is! Growing Healthy Kids invites young artists ages 5-18 to enter our 1st Annual Poster Contest. The theme we have selected is "Healthy Eating...Healthy Me". Entry deadline is August 31, 2011.

Kids can create an 8-1/2 x 11 poster using any medium (pencil, crayon, ink, etc). for a chance to win prizes such as Publix gift certificates, personalized herb gardens, and T-shirts printed with the child's design. Several kids and adults in Indian River County will be invited to help judge the contest. The theme, "Healthy Eating...Healthy Me", must be included as the poster's title.

This poster contest is a great way for kids' voices to be heard so they can teach others about the importance of eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and whole grains and limiting the sugars and the sodas. It's also an art project with heart which we'd like to display in public places throughout the Treasure Coast. Let us know if you know someone who would be interested in hosting a display this fall of some of the kids' posters.

Mailing address for entries:
Growing Healthy Kids
3300 43rd Avenue, #4
Vero Beach, FL 32960

Posters can be mailed (or dropped off during store hours), along with $5.00 entry fee (checks made payable to: Growing Healthy Kids), and the following information with each entry:

Parent's name
Parent phone or email
Child's name
Grade in 2011/2012
School name

The organization sponsoring this poster contest, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc., is a non-profit organization which creates and delivers programs and events to teach and inspire kids of all ages. Its mission is to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity.

Help us get the word out about this contest! Help us reach and teach kids and adults about the importance of healthy eating!

With sincere thanks and gratitude,

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
Improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy, Healthy Grilling with Nancy's Famous Black Bean Burger Recipe

Happy Birthday, America!

I love the 4th of July. It's about spending time with family and friends and celebrating the fact that we are free to do what we choose to do and to be.

As you know, I choose to eat healthy foods and love to share ideas with others in the healthy cooking programs that Growing Healthy Kids conducts. Teaching kids how to eat healthy and return to a healthy weight so they can be free from a lifetime of suffering that comes with the complications of diabetes is a huge part of why I started the Growing Healthy Kids movement. We must halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity. We are America, the land of the free and home of the brave. Be brave and take a stand with me. Dare to make a difference in the life of an overweight child.

A recipe I love to make and share, especially today when people have grilling on their minds like today, the 4th of July, is my famous black bean burger.

Here is the recipe:

Healthy Cooking with Nancy Heinrich: Black Bean Burgers

PROCESS in food processor (or mash with fork in large mixing bowl):

• Two-thirds of one 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
• ¼ cup corn meal
• ¼ cup brown rice flour
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
• ½ cup salsa
• ½ zucchini (if not using food processor, then grate zucchini)

TRANSFER to large mixing bowl and mix in:

• Remaining 1/3 can of black beans
• ¼ cup cilantro (optional)

SHAPE into 4 patties.

GRILL with small amount of canola oil.

SERVE on whole grain buns* with your choice of sliced cheddar cheese*, avocado, and tomato.

*For demonstration purposes, Arnold’s Flat Sandwich Thins were used in the preparation of this recipe. Each bun has 100 calories and 5 grams of dietary fiber. Cabot’s Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese was also used in the preparation of this recipe.

NANCY’S NOTES: What I really like about this recipe is that you can make it a day ahead and keep in refrigerator until ready to use the next day.

Beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, with about 5-6 grams of fiber per ½ cup. Increasing the dietary fiber improves your blood sugar control if you have diabetes or prediabetes and prevents you from overeating because dietary fiber fills you up.

Enjoy today's freedom and remember to say a prayer for all the people in the military who are serving out of the country and for their families.

In kindness,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids
a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time