Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Here are a couple of myths I hear:

MYTH 1: It’s hard to teach kids how to eat healthy.

FACT: Teaching kids how to eat healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Start with a simple food project and teach them a new skill. Give them room to try out new flavors.

MYTH 2: Eating healthy is too expensive.

FACT: When you choose foods that are in season, especially foods grown by your local farmers, it can be inexpensive to eat healthy.

MYTH 3: Youth Guidance has plenty of adult mentors for the kids they serve.

FACT: There are still 400 kids on Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program's waiting list hoping to be matched with an adult mentor. Through our collaborative education programs, we help identify mentors for these kids.

Learning how to eat healthy and stay fit is what we do in the programs taught by Growing Healthy Kids. We engage kids in the process by having “fun with a purpose” as Ronnie Hewitt used to say to me.

Here’s the story about last Saturday's Fitness, Fun, and Food Growing Healthy Kids with Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program event held at Riverside Park. Twenty great kids and some enthusiastic adult volunteers spent the morning getting fit on the fitness trail, checking out the cool things to do and see at the Vero Beach Museum of Art's Community Day, then learning how to make Fresh Corn Salsa. The food was fabulous and the young chefs had a blast learning some basic techniques for use in the kitchen, such as how to use a knife, how to slice vegetables, and creative license with ingredients. The cool thing to watch was that ALL the kids wanted to be involved, not just some of them. They ALL wanted to wear the Growing Healthy Kids' aprons that give them superpowers for eating healthy foods. They ALL were having fun with the purpose of learning how to eat healthy, one vegetable and one child at a time.

Below are pictures from Fitness, Fun, and Food. Be inspired to teach your own children about the joys of having fun with a purpose, especially in the kitchen. A very special thanks to Rebecca Hornbuckle of Veggies of Vero for supplying the farm fresh veggies for this event. The flavors of the just-picked tomatoes, peppers, and spinach were delicious. The juicy navel oranges provided very stylish decorations for our “al fresco” dining table.

Growing Healthy Kids is committed to reversing childhood obesity and improving the health of America’s children, one garden and one child at a time.  To learn how you can help, go to http://www.growinghealthykids.me/.

Respectfully yours,

Nancy Heinrich

PS - Watch for the Fresh Corn Salsa recipe in our next blog!  To learn more about becoming a mentor with Youth Guidance, just call 772-770-5040.

Nancy Heinrich get the kids excited about the fresh veggies.

Go, girls, go!

A volunteer and her mentee make squares for new Community Mural.

One participant learns how to use fresh lime juice to flavor foods.

Valerie Flanagan and kids on the fitness trail at Riverside Park.