Monday, October 22, 2012


When I am least expecting it, people share profound observations with me that remind me how valuable the mission of the Growing Healthy Kids movement to reverse, halt, and prevent childhood obesity is.  One of these was a sentinel event about five years ago that led to me making the decision to form a nonprofit organization focused on education projects and services. 

After giving a talk on preventable chronic diseases to a community organization, one of the audience members came up to talk with me.  She was a social worker at one of Indian River County’s elementary schools and was desperate for help with a student who was very overweight.  The social worker confided that the girl’s grades were slipping, she was skipping class, and she had a very low self-image of herself.  I started making calls to offer my knowledge and experience and found myself stuck in layers of school district bureaucracy.  It was a very frustrating experience that I have never forgotten. 

This led to me learning about the “food deserts” in some communities where there are no markets or stores within walking distance of where people live that sell fresh vegetables and fruits and where lack of transportation to large stores is also a barrier for kids having access to fresh foods.  I started looking at what America’s kids who get their breakfast and lunches in school are eating compliments of the USDA.  I was appalled to learn that elementary age kids get 30 minutes of physical education a week in school.   When I grew up, we had a regular P.E. class every day through high school.  I had to do something meaningful with my frustration over a little girl, who through no fault of her own, was extremely overweight and becoming more and more socially isolated. 

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. is a nonprofit organization which has now reached thousands of kids and adults with our healthy cooking programs, education workshops, and educational websites.  The work, however, is just beginning because the numbers of children who are not at healthy weights are increasing. 

Educating parents is a critical step in solving the childhood obesity epidemic.   Someone you know wants to know how to help their kids.  You can help us educate parents with your purchase of the new book, NOURISH AND FLOURISH, filled with valuable tips, lists, and kid-tested recipes that put knowledge into the hands of parents.    All profits go to Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.  

Have a healthy day!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.