Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mothers Day is a Great Day for Growing Healthy Kids: Spinach Frittatas

Happy Mothers Day!  

Did you ever stop to think about what your mother taught you about foods, cooking, and exercise?  What are your childhood memories?  I remember baking apricot pies with my mother for our family’s weekend  trips to Stinson Beach north of San Francisco.  I remember learning how to make stews filled with carrots, potatoes, and turnips in our family kitchen in California.  I remember making homemade ice-cream and sitting on the freezer, struggling to hand crank it right before an adult would deem it ready to eat.  I remember skateboarding to travel from my house to my best friends’ houses.  I remember hiking in the Sierra Nevadas on snowshoes (now, that is a workout!)

Create some new family memories for Mothers Day.  Take your children to the Saturday Green Market today and buy locally grown veggies from the farmers who are also your neighbors.  Then teach your kids how to make a veggie frittata.  Buy some navel oranges and have fresh squeezed orange juice. Take a 30 minute walk together.

Last month, one little girl who attended one of our Growing Healthy Kids in the Kitchen programs told me, "My mother never lets me help in the kitchen.  She thinks I'm too young."  I told her what a great job she was doing.  She was smiling and having so much fun helping with each job she was asked to do by myself and several other volunteers that night.  Our children deserve to our respect and if we don't teach them how to enjoy, respect, and prepare foods that nournish their growing minds and bodies, then who will?

This Mothers Day, teach your children respect for real foods.  Create a new family favorite recipe together.  Below, is one of the recipes from the soon-to-be-released book from Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. to inspire you.  

Frittata with Spinach and Cheese

HEAT in a 9-inch nonstick skillet until hot:
  • ·        2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

ADD in this ingredient and stir until onion is soft, about 5 minutes:
  • ·        1 onion, finely chopped

ADD in these 2 ingredients and cook for about 2 minutes:
  • ·        1 cup spinach, finely chopped
  • ·        ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped  OR ½ cup grape tomatoes

MIX these 5 ingredients in a large bowl:
  • ·        8 large eggs
  • ·       ¼ cup extra sharp cheese, grated or thinly sliced
  • ·        ¼ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • ·        Sea salt
  • ·        Freshly ground black pepper

POUR egg mixture into the skillet and cook until bottom has set, about 5 minutes. 

HOLD a flat plate over the pan and invert frittata onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan.  (Note:  If you use an oven-proof pan, you can place frittata into oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes after the bottom has cooked instead of flipping it.)

COOK until just set, about 5 minutes more, and serve hot.

Adapted from a recipe by Mario Batali.
Nancy Heinrich teaching at a recent GHK in the Kitchen program.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Dear America,

We want to hear from kids about how everyone can eat healthier foods at home, at school, and at work.  We believe that input from kids is key to solving the childhood obesity epidemic in America.  We need to hear kids' voices...their ideas for teaching adults...their ideas for teaching kids about eating real foods and avoiding foods that are bad for us.  We want to provide a platform for their thoughts about what healthy eating means to them and what they need to make it happen for themselves and their friends. 

We need some big solutions to solve a big problem.  Kids were never meant to be shopping in “plus size” stores and wearing XXXL sizes.  Kids are not supposed to be struggling to walk to school.  Kids are not supposed to be out of breath after 5 minutes in their once a week physical education class.  Kids are not supposed to be eating meals at school filled with white sugar and white flour.  
Now we need your help to get the word out to parents and kids.  Growing Healthy Kids has unleashed its 2012 Poster Contest to unleash the voice of America’s youth.   With the theme of The Art of Healthy Eating for Growing Healthy Kids, kids ages 5 to 25 are invited to create their impression of the theme on an 8-1/2 x 11 inch piece of white paper.  The only rule in this poster contest is that these 9 words (The Art of Healthy Eating for Growing Healthy Kids) must appear on the poster, either as the title or somewhere on the poster.  Anything goes:  pencil, watercolor, mosaics, murals, pen, chalk, paint, photographs, etc. 

What does "The Art of Healthy Eating for Growing Healthy Kids" look like to you?  We are excited to find out! 

On the back of the poster include: parent name, phone, and email (if available), child’s name, age, school name, city and state.   Mail poster to: Growing Healthy Kids Variety Store, 3300 43rd Avenue, #4, Vero Beach, FL. 32960 by May 25, 2012.  All entries become property of Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.  Winners will be notified by June 30, 2012. 

Over the past 2 weeks The Art of Healthy Eating for Growing Healthy Kids poster contest was launched in collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County.  The children at the Fellsmere, Sebastian, and Vero Beach clubs were inspired with a challenge from Nancy Heinrich, founder of the Growing Healthy Kids movement.  The challenge was to create centerpieces for a dinner table using fresh fruits, vegetables, and dried beans.  This challenge was to motivate them to make healthy eating a central part of the family dinner table by giving it a real focal point.  It also reinforced recent research findings that when children sit down and eat dinner with their families, they maintain healthier weights.

Photo taken at Sebastian Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County, Florida at poster contest launch.

Let’s use the power of America’s youth and commit to be fit.  Growing Healthy Kids is committed to halting, reversing, and preventing obesity and obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and bone and joint disorders.  We are a non-profit organization based in Vero Beach, Florida providing leadership to solve public health problems.