Monday, August 20, 2012


Big day today.  It's the first day of school for kids in Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Palm Beach Counties.   

Here are three tips you can use to get and keep your kids (and you) on track for great health and a healthy weight this school year. 
  1. Eat breakfast every morning.  The importance of having breakfast every day cannot be understated.  It really is our most important meal of the day.  The problem is many adults still have not learned this lesson.  I’ll give you an example.  Last week, I was given the opportunity to speak with the cafeteria managers of a local school district.  I asked a lot of assessment questions and one of them was, “Did you have breakfast today?”  The surprising answer was that less than half of them said yes.  Breakfast is when we get our mental and physical fuel for the day.  Give your kids their fuel.  Be a good role model and give yourself the fuel you need for the day.  
  2. Get enough sleep every night.  Did you know that being sleep deprived is a great way to gain weight?  Ask your child’s pediatrician how much sleep your kids should be getting, then get your family started on some good “sleep hygiene” habits.  These include things like having a regular bedtime (even on the weekends), shutting off the TV and videos an hour before bedtime, and not eating a large meal right before bed. 
  3. Plan family dinners a couple of nights every week.  We all have busy lives.  Some of the high school students I’ve worked with in some of Growing Healthy Kids’ education projects have calendars that look like the Metro subway schedule in Washington, D.C. There is a great value to having time together to talk about the day over a meal your kids helped you shop for and prepare.  Eating dinner together is one of the habits proven to contribute to kids being at healthier weights.  Make it one of your family's winning habits!

 I hope you AND your kids have a great school year! 

From one parent to another, I salute you.


Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

One of our Growing Healthy Kids learns how easy it is to make healthy pizzas using whole grain  English muffins.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


You have been asking us how we get kids to eat more vegetables and for the recipes your kids learn to make when they attend a program.   

Here is one of the recipes that we teach kids to make.  It is delicious and easy to make!  Best of all, it is a meatless recipe.  It is just one of the recipes featured in the first book from the Growing Healthy Kids project (NOURISH AND FLOURISH: Kid-Tested and Approved Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes) which will be released next week.  Happy eating!

Veggie Sloppy Joes

  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 package Morningstar Farms Grillers Recipe Crumbles
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (8 oz) no-salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup (without high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 whole grain hamburger buns


SAUTE onions, garlic, and green pepper in oil in a 2 quart saucepan.
STIR in remaining ingredients (except the buns).
COOK over medium heat, until mixture starts to simmer, stirring occasionally.
REDUCE heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
SERVE hot on hamburger buns.  Serves 8.  

Participant in a Growing Healthy Kids program  at Boys & Girls Club.

Two girls learning how to create a delicious new recipe.

Nancy Heinrich

For more recipes and tips, go to