Wednesday, December 12, 2012

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS' Founder Visits Boys and Girls Club

MOTIVATING KIDS TO TRY NEW FOODS is a challenge for parents.  At the first “Meet the Author” program held at the Sebastian Boys and Girls Club, Growing Healthy Kids founder Nancy Heinrich talked with kids about what inspired her to write Nourish and Flourish, her new book for parents about what kids (and parents) need to eat to stay at healthy weights.  According to Heinrich, “Parents pick up their kids from Growing Healthy Kids' education programs and the kids can’t stop talking about the great foods they learned to make.  We kept getting requests from parents to come up with a book for families to make it easier to eat better.  Their requests inspired us to write this book.” 

In a frank discussion with the kids about inspiration, Heinrich talked about the steps involved from taking an idea to a published book that all the kids got to see up close.  Her discussion prompted lots of young hands to go up in response to her questions to the kids about what ideas they have for writing their own books.  She offered several tips such as identifying a favorite pen or pencil to write with and taking ten minutes a day to write in a favorite notebook or journal.  Club Art Director Ella Chabot-Policare, who invited Heinrich to conduct the first “Meet the Author” program in November 2012, prompted the children to create artwork based on the Nourish and Flourish theme.  See below for the art of two Boys and Girls Club participants inspired by the first "Meet the Author" program

The best part of the "Meet the Author" program just might have been the snack Heinrich made for the children from one of the recipes in Nourish and FlourishArtichoke- Lemon Hummus served with fresh celery and carrots.  It was a big hit enjoyed by even the younger kids when they saw the eyes of their friends light up with delight and surprise as they had their first taste of the garbanzo bean dish and proclaimed it tasty and delicious!  Who knew it could be so much fun to eat healthy! 

Nourish and Flourish is available at

NOTE FROM NANCY:  We have a responsibility to protect the health - and lives - of our children.  We can reverse, prevent, and halt childhood obesity.  Be a role model for your children.  Eat less sugar.  Eat more breads and pastas with four or more grams of dietary fiber per serving.  Drink water, not soda.  Eat fruit and drink less fruit juice.  Take walks with your kids.  Love life.  Your children will thank you.  Their health and their lives depend on the choices you make for them.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I believe in breakfast.  My uncle Griff, who lived in Long Beach, California, was a basketball and tennis coach at Long Beach State College.  Our family would drive south for the holidays every year and Uncle Griff would always prepare great breakfasts.  Cereals, eggs, pancakes, fresh fruit, orange juice.  He taught me that it is the meal that sets the tone for the day.  It gives you the edge.   It gives you brain power.  It gets you and your body ready to play and work for the day.

“Breaking the fast” after not eating all night resets your body’s metabolism to expect small amounts of energy every couple of hours.   Believe it or not, eating breakfast is one of the master keys to getting to - and staying at - a healthy weight. 

Here are 3 great tips you can use:
1.       Replace rolled oats with steel cut oats.   The traditional rolled oats are more processed than steel cut oats.   Always choose less processed foods for better health.  I love the “Bob’s Red Mill” brand because it cooks in about 15 minutes.  Add your favorite toppings.  My favorites are cinnamon, ground flax seed, a little agave nectar and fresh or frozen blueberries (for a brain boost). 
2.       Plan for on-the-run breakfasts when the kids oversleep on school days and soccer Saturdays.  Hard boil some eggs, keep bananas in the family fruit bowl, and let the kids choose a low sugar-high protein breakfast bar to keep on hand. 
3.       Don’t skip breakfast.  If you want to lose weight, you need to eat breakfast. Anything is better than nothing.  

Steel cut oats with cinnamon, agave nectar, and frozen blueberries.

So, what’s in your breakfast bowl? 

Nancy Heinrich
Founder of the Growing Healthy Kids movement to halt, prevent, and reverse childhood obesity