Wednesday, December 4, 2013



 “We as parents are our children’s first and best role models, and this is particularly true when it comes to their health…We can’t lie around on the couch eating French fries and candy bars and expect our kids to eat carrots and run around the block.”

                                         --Michelle Obama at the Building 
                                         a Healthier Future Summit, 3/8/13

The facts are staggering:
  • One out of every 7 low income preschool children is obese. 
  • Kids spend an average of 8 hours a day in front of a screen.  
  • Girls who are obese will have an earlier puberty than normal. 
  • Obesity and physical inactivity are leading risk factors for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. 
  • Children who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults.

As parents, we need to take responsibility for our children’s health.  It is not the job of their teachers or doctors.  It is up to parents.  To add years to their lives, add life to their years.  Are your kids getting enough fitness?  Most kids are NOT getting the minimum of what they need at school.  The minimum recommendation for children ages 6-17 is 60 minutes every day.  

Family walks are part of my family's traditions.  Make them part of yours, too.  That's my brother, Bill, in the middle at a recent family gathering in Kentucky walking with his children, Erika and Neils (on left side) and our nephew Christopher and his girlfriend, Chen (on right side).

Kids need a mix of 3 different types of fitness:
  1. Aerobic activity (this should be the majority of the 60 minutes/day, consisting of brisk walking or running)
  2. Muscle strengthening (at least 3 days a week, consisting of gymnastics or pushups)
  3. Bone strengthening (at least 3 days a week, consisting of exercise such as jump rope or running)

Take the lead.  Start by looking at yourself first.  Are you getting enough exercise?  Are you a good role model for your children?  As my friend, Sam, says, “Don’t talk, do.”  To learn more about the benefits of physical activity, click here.
Recently, I did a shoutout asking for ideas from you about what kids wanted to make.  My friend, Jill, responded that her daughter loves eggplant and she asked for eggplant recipes.  That started my quest for the perfect Baba Ganoush recipe (a Middle Eastern eggplant dip).  I found it and now you and your kids can enjoy Baba Ganoush plus 2 other amazing recipes that are super healthy, delicious, and fun to make with kids.  Click here.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.