Wednesday, December 30, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Creating a Legacy of Health: Educating Parents

Image result for family eating dinner

“Because if we don’t, who will?"

Since Growing Healthy Kids was founded in 2009, our mission has always been laser focused on creating and deploying solutions that prevent, halt, and reverse childhood obesity and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes.  We deliberately work at two levels:  (1) educating children in our hands-on healthy cooking and garden programs such as the Nutrition Scientist program and (2) educating parents, especially those with diabetes, in workshops and healthy cooking classes.  Oh, what fun we have had!

When you start out early with good healthy habits and access to healthy foods, you will have those habits for a lifetime.  We have experienced firsthand that it is much easier to teach a 1st or 2nd grader to make good food choices than to teach a 9th or 10th grader who has been raised on honeybuns for breakfast, chips and soda for lunch and McDonald's for dinner.  We have gotten really good at answering the most common question from skeptical parents: “How can I afford to feed my kids healthy foods?”  

Here are 10 fabulous and real simple tips for parents to help you create a legacy of health for your children:
  1. Cook dinner at home.  Let your children help you. If they don’t learn to cook at home, they certainly won’t learn how to cook from going through the drive-through window at McDonald's.  This is an essential skill that all kids need as part of the solution to childhood obesity.  Our belief is that all kids need to know how to cook 10 basic recipes by the time they turn 10 (our "10 by 10" rule).  For some ideas, check out our book, NOURISH AND FLOURISH: Kid-Tested Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes, available at  Pick up a copy for your family and buy an extra copy to donate to your local library. 
  2. Buy fresh, locally grown vegetables.  Take your kids to the farmers market.  Teach kids where real food comes from.  Meet the people who grow it.  This will encourage your children to seek out and enjoy real food. 
  3. Eat rainbows.  This concept is taught in every Growing Healthy Kids workshop.  We have it printed on our shirts and our aprons.  Teach kids to eat vegetables and fruits that are the colors of the rainbows.  Variety really IS the spice of life.
  4. Eat dinner together.  I know it won’t be every night for many families.  My son was in the marching band for all 4 years he was at Vero Beach High School so I know from experience.   Do, however, set aside at least 3 nights a week to eat together as a family.  Set the table.  Put all the cell phones in a basket in another room.  Light some soy candles.  Talk about the day.  Learning how to relax and dine is a habit that, sadly, many children never experience.  I know children who don’t have a dining table and eat dinner every night sitting in front of a TV. That is sad.  One of the best experiences in our Healthy Cooking classes for children is when we all sit down together to eat, laugh, and talk together.  Enjoy being together at mealtime as a family.
  5. Drink water, not soda.   
  6. No high fructose corn syrup.  Never buy foods or drinks containing high fructose corn syrup. Make this easy step your first strategy for eliminating added sugars and protecting your children’s health.
  7. Read food labels.  If there are ingredients you or your kids cannot pronounce, don’t buy it. Real simple. 
  8. Get enough sleep.  Lack of sleep is one of the risk factors in obesity.  If you get the right amount of sleep, your body is better able to do its job and process the food you eat during the day.   Makes sense. 
  9. Walk daily.  Real simple.  Plus it’s free!
  10. Laugh every day.  Send a joke in your child’s lunch box every day to school.  Read the funnies in the newspaper.  Watch comedies on your family’s weekly movie night.  Laughter is good for us.  Really good.   It relieves stress.  People who smile more also laugh more.  Smiling leads to happiness.  Happiness is healthy.  Happiness really is good for you!

What a fabulous year of WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS!   Thank you to all the children and parents who have played in the kitchen and on the farm with us.  Thank you to our collaborative partners including: Florida Veggies and More, Boys and Girls Clubs of Indian River County, Youth Guidance Mentoring and Activities Program, Hope for Families Center (formerly Homeless Family Center), Gifford Youth Achievement Center, and Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise.  Thank you to Bob's Red Mill, Publix Supermarkets, The Fresh Market, and Seminary Covenant Community for your support.  

Thank YOU for allowing Growing Healthy Kids to be a part of your life.  Being a parent is the best – and often the hardest – job we will ever have in our lifetimes.  Our children are our legacy.  Give them the gift of optimal health.  Because the best is yet to come!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Foods That Fight Depression

"Carbohydrates-sugars and starches-are essential, too.  To enter the bloodstream, starches and sugars must be broken down to glucose, a simple form of sugar.  Our body extracts glucose not only from sweets such as candy and cake, but also from starchy foods such as grains and beans.  Glucose is the body's main fuel.  Without glucose, we couldn't move and we couldn't think.  Our cells, particularly our brain cell cells, require a constant supply simply to maintain life."  

--from DIABESITY: The Obesity-Diabetes Epidemic That Threatens America-And What We Must Do to Stop It by Francine R. Kaufman, M.D., Past President, American Diabetes Association

My fascination with Alzheimer’s keeps growing, as does the epidemic.  There is a distinct connection between Alzheimer’s and diabetes.  Alzheimer’s and depression are also closely connected.  People with diabetes are at higher risk for depression than people without diabetes.  Depression and childhood obesity are intricately connected.  If we truly care about the present and future health of America’s children, we must learn from the emerging lessons from the Alzheimer’s epidemic.
Can foods fight depression?  What foods promote good moods?  Why, in this joyous month sandwiched between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, should we be concerned about depression?

Depression is more prevalent at the holiday time than other times of the year.  This is also the time of the year when we are eating foods high in added sugars and refined grains.  Please pass the Christmas cookies... 

Here are seven tips to promote good moods:
  • Limit foods containing added sugars. Starting in January, eliminate them. Start right now by eliminating foods containing high fructose corn syrup from what you are eating and drinking.
  • Stop buying sodas for you and your kids.  Drink water.
  • Eat green vegetables every day.  This week I am making arugula pesto using organic arugula from my local farmer to enjoy with some gluten-free pasta for a delicious, spicy holiday meal.  On tap this week, besides the arugula pesto, are meals planned around broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale. 
  • Start cooking with turmeric.  Where I live, I am lucky to be able to get locally grown, organic turmeric.  I use it regularly with sautéed vegetables (HINT: always use gloves when you grate or microplane it or else you will have orange fingers the next day, trust me, I know).  If you can’t get fresh, then use dried turmeric.  Turmeric is the ingredient that gives curry its vibrant, golden color.  It is a cousin of ginger (they look the same outside, but when you cut the turmeric root, it is bright orange, whereas ginger is a whiter shade of pale).  This is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods we can eat. 
  • A little coffee is excellent for promoting good moods.  A lot of coffee, however, can interfere with your sleep, especially if you drink it 8 or 9 hours before going to sleep. 
  • Get enough sleep.   This is essential for promoting good moods and preventing depression.
  • Eat something every 3-4 hours.  Eating every couple of hours may be one of the most important things we can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Teaching Kids about Real Food

"The most important fact about Spaceship Earth:  An instruction book didn't come with it."  

                                                          --Buckminster Fuller

Image result for pictures of a child eating vegetables

When you buy a new TV, you get an instruction manual. When you get a new video game, you get an instruction manual.  So how come when you have a baby, there is no instruction manual?  

In a recent class with some wonderful 2nd and 3rd graders, the kids were kind of surprised to learn that parents don't get an instruction manual for children.  We talked about how kids can learn about real food and then teach their own parents.  They listened intently when I taught them about why eating vegetables and fruits that are the colors of the rainbows is a clue for identifying real food.  I brought several rainbow foods to the class for them to sample:  cucumbers, orange bell peppers and some beautiful grapes.  

At the beginning of the lesson, the kids were all focused on the grapes.  As we talked and I showed them my really cool tool for slicing cucumbers, they all wanted to taste the cucumbers.  Then they wanted more cucumbers.  One of the volunteers created artistically arranged plates of vegetables for each table.  As the kids continued munching on their healthy snacks, the noise level continued to rise in the room.  Staff at the after school program popped in to see what the noise was coming from our classroom.  All they saw when they peaked in was children having fun, laughing and eating vegetables.  Can you imagine!?!  They were surprised.  They smiled.  They laughed, too!   

Here are 4 tips for teaching your own kids about real food:
  1. When you go food shopping, encourage your kids to pick out a new vegetable.
  2. Google the vegetable to look at the health benefits. My favorite site for nutrition facts about vegetables and fruits is The World's Healthiest Foods: click here
  3. Teach your kids how to cut up the vegetable (when they are old enough to use a knife).  There is no substitute for the hands-on experience of playing with your food!
  4. Read food labels with your kids and look for ingredients that end in "-ose". That is a sugar.  Choose something with less grams of added sugars per serving. 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Happiness and Health

"Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions."   -- Dalai Lama XIV

How do you define happiness? 

Do happy people live longer?  Do happy people enjoy better health?  When someone is chronically depressed, how does that affect their health and their happiness?  Is there a relationship between happiness and blood pressure?  Happiness and heart health? Happiness and gut health? 

Recently, a client said to me, “You are always smiling.”  I decided a long time ago that life is so much better when you are happy about what you do every day, when you treat people with kindness, and you work hard to make the world a better place. When I wake in the morning and see the trees gently dancing in my back yard, I smile and my heart sings.  When I see the glow of the fading sun at the end of the day turn the sky into a brilliant shade of soft orange and yellow, I smile and my body relaxes.   For me, happiness is defined by my relationship with nature, my family and friends. What makes YOUR heart sing?

There is an ultimate relationship between happiness and health.  I see it every day.  Working with parents and children around the country who are dealing with diabetes, I hear their stories about what they would like to change about themselves.  I hear about their daily struggles with depression as they learn what to do about out-of-control blood sugars.  Many diseases are the cause, or the result, of depression.  Diabetes is one of them.  Being overweight is another.  

Whenever I talk with an adult at a healthy weight now who was overweight or obese as a child, I hear the pain in their voices when they share how they still suffer from depression because they never stopped thinking of themselves as fat.  There is a sadness that reveals itself when I have a deep conversation with someone who was fat as a child or teenager, even though they might be a very successful corporate CEO now and it was 30 years ago when they were overweight. 

This is why the work of GROWING HEALTHY KIDS, INC. is so important.   We have an opportunity to impact the future happiness of our children by actively learning what we need to know to give them access to the right foods and other tools for great health.

As parents, we have a responsibility to provide our children with good, healthy foods.  One of the keys to happiness starts with being as physically healthy as possible.  Physical health is connected to mental and emotional health.  When we feel good about ourselves, when we have fresh plant-based foods to eat, and we know how to get a good night’s sleep, then we are on the path to happiness.

Please pass the brussels sprouts. To learn more about the wonderful nutritional value of these little gems, click here. 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


"Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health."  --Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

After seniors watched a funny video in a 2014 study, their cortisol levels dropped and they did better on memory tests. "No matter your age, anything that lowers stress will improve memory."  --Majid Fotuhi, MD, author of Boost Your Brain

Last week’s Wellness Wednesdays’ article was about what happened in a controlled situation when the added sugars consumed by 43 obese children were replaced with the same amount of calories from carbohydrates that were not in the form of high fructose corn syrup and other forms of added sugars.  The results were pretty amazing.  The study, conducted by Dr. Robert Lustig, found that ALL of the 43 children showed improvements in their blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar. 

Considering that we now know that Alzheimer’s starts decades before the first symptom appears, there are millions of reasons – our children – to ensure that all kids have access to healthy foods.  Does food play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s?  Yes.  Given the increasing number of Americans with Alzheimer’s and the devastation and havoc it has on an individual and their family, the obesity epidemic in children is the canary in the coal mine.  Consuming too many calories, especially calories from added sugars with no nutritional value found in products such as sodas and sweet treats made with high fructose corn syrup, leads to obesity which leads to high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol.   Controlling blood sugars and preventing diabetes is critical to the long term health of our brains.  So is watching sodium intake and controlling blood pressure.  Increased blood pressure is a risk factor for strokes, which is a heart attack in the brain. 

Food matters to the health of our brains.  So does getting a good night's sleep, keeping stress in check, exercising, enjoying the company of family and friends, and the joys of a good laugh or two or five every day. 

There is one common denominator in every workshop conducted by Growing Healthy Kids:  the message about the importance of avoiding all foods and drinks containing high fructose corn syrup because of its negative effect on health.  Focusing on making this one change can set our children’s health on an entirely new – and healthier – path.  Given what we know now about foods that are good for brain health, such as olive oil, wild salmon, dark berries, nuts, and green vegetables, let’s all agree to make the change and be role models.  Please put down the high fructose corn syrup and pass the spinach.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich 
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


"I tried every kind of dieting.  They said decrease your calories; increase your exercise; you're lazy; you're stressed out.  And then I met Dr. Lustig.  He said it was none of those things.  It was all the sugar and it was a lack of fiber.  I changed my food to the things he told me to do.  I've lost 100 pounds; I've restored my vitality, my health, and I'm happy."                            --Cindy Gershen

The evidence is mounting.  All calories are NOT equal.  A recent 2015 study* by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist with University of California-San Francisco, looked at the impact of sugar on the metabolism on 43 obese children ages 8-18.  The study replaced calories from added sugars with starchy foods.  The study was NOT designed to reduce calories; in fact, children’s weight was monitored to ensure they did NOT lose weight during the study.  During the study, the children’s sugar intake dropped from 28% to 10%. 

Results were dramatic.  After only 9 days, all 43 of the children’s blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar improved.  What’s the take home message here?  We are eating too much sugar and it is negatively impacting the health – and lives – of America’s children.  

As parents, you and I have a responsibility to ensure that all children have access to healthy foods.  Let’s do WHATEVER IT TAKES to ensure that our children have access to food that is healthy, not food that makes them sick and unhealthy.  The fact is that if a child is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (normally a disease of older adults) that their lifespan will be reduced by 17 years. 

Here are 3 healthy eating tips for you and your children:
  1. Read food labels and look for any ingredient that ends in “-ose”, which is a sugar.  Buy a similar product with less sugar.
  2. Drink water, not soda or juice.  Many parents have been tricked to think that fruit juice is healthy for their kids.  Fruit juice is all sugar and no fiber.  Instead, choose some fresh fruit.  
  3. Avoid ALL foods which contain HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.  This is the most highly processed form of sugar in our food supply and is highly addictive and destructive to our health. 

As we gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving this week, I want to acknowledge and honor the amazing volunteers who have made the Growing Healthy Kids' educational programs for children and parents a success.  It is because of you that we are improving the health and lives of America’s children.  Be kind.  Laugh every day.  Love life.  Eat vegetables.  Thank you. 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

*The study was published online on October 27, 2015 in the journal Obesity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Kale, Kids, and Alzheimer's

“Follow the Mediterranean or the MIND diets and your mind will be sharper in six months – and less susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease decades later.”         

                                                                                  --Majid Fotuhi, M.D., medical director of NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center and affiliate staff at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland

Tuscan (or flat-leaf) kale

Every time I read an article about brain health and Alzheimer’s, I think about the emerging knowledge that Alzheimer’s is a disease which begins 30 or 40 years before the first symptoms appear.  An article in the October 2015 issue of AARP's Bulletin, “Eat Your Way to Brain Health,” is about the MIND* diet which emphasizes fish, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and a daily glass of wine.  Eating foods that contain the good, healthy fat (unsaturated fat) like olive oil, nuts, and fish (but not farm-raised fish) enhance memory and information processing. 

As parents, we should take note of all this emerging knowledge.  Scientists are documenting the foods that can keep our brains active as they attempt to urgently learn how to blunt the life-robbing effects of Alzheimer’s as the numbers of Americans affected continue to increase each year.  It is clear that Alzheimer’s does not develop in one month or one year.  It develops over several decades of eating foods that clog up the brain instead of eating brain-boosting foods that maintain healthy blood flow and prevent inflammation.  Choosing more of the good foods and deciding to eat less of the bad foods is what the Growing Healthy Kids workshops teach children and their parents.  This is why teaching kids to be Nutrition Scientists is so much fun!  

Here are some foods that are very good for your brain (now and in 30 years): 
  • Olive oil
  • Blueberries
  • Turmeric (curcumin, its active ingredient, is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances in the world and a key ingredient in curry)
  • Nuts, especially walnuts
  • Beets, tomatoes, and avocados
  • Leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, collards
  • Dark chocolate (I eat a little piece every day!)

Please pass the kale!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

*MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: November is National Diabetes Month

"In neighborhoods without a usable park or playground, the incidence of childhood obesity increases by 29%." 

                                                                  -- Darell Hammond

Infographic image about Diiabetes

November is National Diabetes Month. 

In the US, more than 29 million Americans – or 9.3% of the US population - have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes.  One in four Americans with diabetes don’t know they have it.

It is estimated that about 86 million Americans – more than 1 in 3 Americans - had prediabetes in 2012, of which only about 11% with prediabetes were aware of their diagnosis. 

Chances are you or someone you know has diabetes or prediabetes.  With obesity as a leading risk factor for developing diabetes, raising health literacy about the importance of getting to and staying at a healthy weight is key to the work and mission of Growing Healthy Kids.   

Here are six of my favorite tips to lower your family’s chances of developing diabetes or prediabetes:
  1. Eat fabulous fiber.  Make most of all the grains you eat WHOLE grains.
  2. Eat vegetables every day.
  3. Drink water, not soda or fruit juice.
  4. Walk briskly and frequently.
  5. Take time to smell the roses.
  6. Laugh often.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

PS - Here's how you can help Growing Healthy Kids to improve the health literacy of Americans. Make the commitment right now to get on the path of healthy eating and cooking.  Get 2 copies of Nourish and Flourish:  Kid-Tested Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes - one for your family and one to give to your public library.  See the link in the top right corner of

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


"When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down 'happy'.  They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."  

                                                              --John Lennon

This week Growing Healthy Kids has been very busy teaching 3 classes for 75 children.  I wish it was 300 classes for 5,000 kids.  

Our children are drowning in sugar.  There are 600,000 foods found in grocery stores and more than 80% contain added sugar.  These processed foods are marketing directly and indirectly to kids.  It is no wonder we have a problem with childhood obesity in the United States. 

Children listen when they know someone cares and teaches so they can easily “digest the lesson” about how easy it is to make healthy choices.  It is so gratifying reaching little ones in an after school program, inspiring them to listen, engage, and learn for an hour.  The best part is the huge hugs when the children leave!  When a child says to me, “This is the best day of my life,” that is proof that our work is making a difference.    

The fuel for the obesity epidemic is the obscene amount of added sugars in the foods children eat.   As children learn to identify foods that are bad for them, they become more interested in foods that are good for them.  Once we teach children these two things, then we teach them how to prepare delicious foods.  Nothing is a better teaches than playing with your food! 

Why should you care?  Americans eat and drink an average of 41 teaspoons of sugar a day.  The recommendation from American Heart Association is 6-9 teaspoons a day, more than what is in one soda or one cup of fruit juice.  The human body is not designed to process 41 teaspoons of sugar a day.  When we and our children consume added sugars like the high fructose corn syrup found in sodas, most breads and cookies, the sugar is stored as fat.  Giving kids fruit juice is the same as giving them soda.

The fact is that excess  sugar is stored as fat.  Americans cannot afford the price tag that comes with childhood obesity.  When one child has a heart attack because they have been eating foods high in added sugars, we have done wrong.  If we do not take care of our children, then who will? 

While reaching 5,000 kids this week would have been terrific, it is an honor to reach the 75 children who attended our classes.  Most of those 75 kids have 2 parents, some have one.   Which means by empowering 75 kids we are also reaching at least 125 adults.  Empowering kids is like skipping a rock in the pond and counting the skips.  Each rock we throw in the pond is like one child.  The skips are the families that one child can teach, once they are empowered.  

If we don’t empower our children with the literacy needed to make good decisions about their health, then who will? 

Drink water, not soda.  

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


"I like Pixie Sticks.  Yeah, screw the middle man.  Just a tube of sugar...I'd pour two of those in a big 12 ounce coke.  And I'd go out to catechism class and try to concentrate on the priest.  I saw Jesus several times.  I swear I did."                                  --Tim Allen

This time of year kids eagerly look forward to Halloween because “it is all about the candy.”  Parents know their kids will bounce off the walls if allowed to consume lots of sugary sweets all at once.  There has to be a way to set some boundaries that will make everyone, or at least most everyone (read: parents), happy. 

Depending on whether Halloween is on a school night or the weekend, let the kids have several pieces when they get home from trick or treating.  The next day, the “one-a-day rule” goes into effect for the month of November or until the candy is gone, whichever comes first. The one-a-day rule is the most sensible one that I know.  Kids enjoy their haul of candy, one piece at a time, and parents don’t have to deal with an out of control child on an extreme sugar high every day in November. 

I looked and looked before locating pretzel treats for the trick and treaters roaming my neighborhood this Halloween.  It felt like a huge victory to score something that did not contain food dyes or high fructose corn syrup or where sugar was the first ingredient listed on the nutrition facts label.    

Have a safe Halloween night...and enjoy the pretzels! 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: The Real Costs of Eating Meat (or “Why I Decided to Eat Lower on the Food Chain”)

“A small number of people in every generation are forerunners, in thought, action, spirit, who swerve past the barriers of greed and power to hold a torch high for the rest of us.  Lappé is one of those.”  --Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States

Last month I wrote an article called “Watering the Almond Trees:  The Hidden Cost of Food” about the drought in California and its impact on food production.  A lot of readers commented about that article.  This is the rest of the story...

It takes 106 gallons of water to produce one ounce of beef.  Consider that an average serving of protein is 3-4 ounces.  To produce a 3 ounce hamburger, 318 gallons of water are needed;  a 4 ounce hamburger requires 425 gallons of water.  This much water to produce such a small amount of food for so few people people has never made economic sense to me.  If you also consider how much grain is needed to feed one cow and the amount of water needed to grow the grain, then a hamburger should be more expensive than diamonds, right?  So then why does a hamburger at a fast food restaurant cost less than $3.00?

Enter Diet for a Small Planet, a book by Frances Moore Lappé first published in 1971.  When I read this book it changed my life.  It taught me that we have an abundance of food on this planet, but we are using too much energy to produce meat when that same amount of energy could feed so many more people with whole grains and vegetables.  Eating lower on the food chain has been one of the most important guiding principles in my life.  Choosing to eat plant-based whole foods has always been an easy decision for me because of my deep faith that we have a responsibility to protect our planet and our natural resources like fresh water supplies, the vast prairies and the oceans.  As a teenager I learned how to combine plant foods to make complete proteins.  I learned about the connection between food, health, and disease and have been studying the connection ever since. These connections are why I started the Growing Healthy Kids organization in 2009 and collaborations with organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs to improve the health literacy of children and adults to eat foods that promote health instead of creating diseases like heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes and obesity.  
The fact that I don’t eat foods full of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and herbicides has a lot to do with why I rarely get sick.  I buy vegetables and fruits which are locally grown, in season, and mostly organic.  I spend a lot less on food than people who eat meat every day - just saying!  

People tell me they can’t afford to feed their kids healthy foods.  My response is, “Yes, you can.  Give me an hour and I’ll show you how.  Hold the hamburgers and pass the quinoa*.”  

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

*Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a grain (technically a seed) that is a complete protein and cooks in 15-20 minutes.  For one of my favorite quinoa recipes, check out Nourish and Flourish: Kid-Tested Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes.  Check out Wellness Wednesdays for more delicious recipes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: "I want to learn to cook" (3 tips to empower your kids)

“Food is medicine.  We can heal our bodies by eating the correct things or make them sick by eating bad things.”                                                                 --Mark Hyman, M.D.

Fall is the season when Growing Healthy Kids is busy teaching little ones and their parents about good foods to eat more of as well as foods to eat less of such as added sugars, sodas, and refined grains.  Earlier this month we spoke to the 28 kids who are part of the new Wildcat Culinary Club at Oslo Middle School in Indian River County, Florida.  I asked the kids why they had chosen to join THIS club instead of the others offered to students.  Their common response warmed my heart:  “I want to learn how to cook.” After learning about the kids and asking them about their favorite fruits and vegetables, we talked about how to identify foods that can make you sick.  

When you empower kids in the kitchen (and the garden) by teaching them basic culinary skills, giving them the knowledge about how to choose good ingredients and the confidence to experiment with ingredients, flavors, spices, and textures that complement each other, you have kids who can prepare healthy foods for the rest of their lives.

Here are 3 tips you can use to empower kids in YOUR kitchen:
  1. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, then it’s not good for you.
  2. Look for colors (food dyes) listed on the ingredient list.  Choose foods without food dyes.  Example:  These are ingredients listed in a box of Wildlicious Pop Tarts:  Blue 2 Lake, Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6.  NOT good for you! 
  3. Look for foods that contain dietary fiber.  Increasing the amount of dietary fiber we eat is a simple way to fill up on good foods and prevent weight gain. 

If you need Growing Healthy Kids to help empower kids at your school, then we would love to hear from you!  Send us an email at and let’s grow healthy kids together.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

PS-Fall is also the season for amazing squash.  The other night I had some leftover steamed butternut squash which I used to make the most amazing butternut squash corn cakes.  For the link to the recipe from Foxhollow Farm in Kentucky, just click here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Health Literacy Month

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."                                --Mahatma Gandhi

October is Health Literacy Month.  Since Growing Healthy Kids started in 2009, we have been committed to improving the health literacy of Americans so we can reverse, prevent, and halt childhood obesity and obesity-related diseases. 

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.  Do you and your family have access to the health information you need in order to make the appropriate health decisions?  If not, Wellness Wednesdays can help bring you much-needed health information.  We are here for you and your family.  We help you improve your health literacy so you can be health-smart and heart-healthy.  Think of what your life would be like if you couldn’t read.   Imagine if you were blind and couldn’t read Braille.  What if you were thirsty but couldn’t swallow? Being literate about your health so you can make good decisions makes sense.   

Commit to improve your health by deciding to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to obtain, process, and understand the basic health information you need to make decisions about your health.   Your children’s health - and their lives – may depend on it. 

Be a role model for health literacy and good health. Ask questions.  Seek answers.  Eat whole plant-based food.  Read food labels and avoid eating foods containing added sugars, food dyes and ingredients you can't pronounce.   Drink mostly water.  Walk and play daily with your children.  Get a good night's sleep every night. 

Click here for information from the National Diabetes Education Program about how to help your children stay healthy by preventing type 2 diabetes.  

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” 
                                               --Albert Einstein

Kids on the beach Going outside to play with your kids?  Good for you!  These are how healthy habits begin.  Our children need and deserve to have quality time with their parents and there is nothing better than taking a family walk together in the woods or on the beach. 

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.  Here are 5 tips for helping kids grow up healthy:

Tip 1:  Make fitness and physical fun a priority on your family calendar.  Schedule time together to go outside and play with your kids.

Tip 2:  Drink water not soda.  With around 10 teaspoons of sugar in a regular 12 ounce soda, there is more sugar in one soda than kids should have in an entire day.  Drinking sodas before bedtime can lead to poor sleep.  

Tip 3:  Plan your main meals around the vegetables that are fresh and locally grown, whenever possible. Fall is coming up and it is a great time to focus on delicious veggies that are high in dietary fiber such as butternut and spaghetti squashes. 

Tip 4: Make sure breakfast includes some protein, a little good fat like avocado or nuts, and good carbs like steel cut oats or whole grain toast. Let your kids help plan, shop for, and prepare meals, including breakfast.   

Tip 5:  Establish bedtime routines so that your kids have plenty of sleep at night in a bedroom that is free of electronics.  Do not let kids have cell phones in their bedrooms because if cell phones are within 5 feet of their brains, they can interfere with their sleep. 

Check out Let's Move, the First Lady's initiative to combat childhood obesity by clicking here.  To read the President's proclamation on National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, then click here.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Watering the Almond Trees: The Hidden Cost of Food

“California is basically all over your market basket,” says Penn State Professor James Dunn who studies how weather affects food prices.

Almond trees in California

Image result for picture of almond trees
Almonds ready for harvest

I love almonds.  Almonds, like other nuts, are a perfect source for the good fats (unsaturated fats) that most of our fats should be and our bodies need for good health.  A handful of almonds is frequently my afternoon snack because it is so darn easy to pack and carry with me.  Almond milk is always in our fridge at home.  Almond butter on gluten-free crackers is one of my favorite evening snacks. 

Almonds, and most other nuts, are grown in California.  In fact, California produces nearly half of the nuts, fruits, and vegetables grown in the United States.  Unless you have been living on Mars, you know that California is experiencing a drought of epic proportions.  Its agricultural products “consume 80% of the water tapped for humans in California.”

So a recent Sierra magazine article (September/October 2015 issue) caught my attention.  The article was about how much water goes into producing foods Americans love.   Did you know…it takes 97.2 gallons of water to produce one ounce of almonds (shelled)?  One ounce? 

Here’s how many gallons of water are needed to produce one ounce of foods:
  1. Beef:  106.28*
  2. Almonds:  97.2
  3. Chickpeas:  76.07
  4. Lentils:  71.28
  5. Pork:  41.25
  6. Rice:  16.26
  7. Asparagus:  20.32
  8. Artichokes: 5.92
  9. Peaches:  4.69
  10. Raspberries:  4.22
  11. Orange juice:  4.11
  12. Wine: 3.48
  13. Kale:  2.26
  14. Eggplant: 1.69
  15. Strawberries:  1.24
  16. Tomatoes:  0.95

As stewards of our natural resources, we must use water responsibly.  We owe it to our children to also teach them to conserve our water supplies.  By not wasting water we can help ensure that we have enough water for growing the foods that promote good health.  Can you imagine a world without fruits and vegetables?  A world without almonds?  When America’s farmers have to restrict their water use, our food supply may be on the line.  So next time you leave the water running while you brush your teeth or you run a load of dishes in half-full dishwasher, rethink your actions. 

Conserving our water use is a good thing.  A very good thing.  Your next bag of almonds may depend on it! 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

*Look for more on the topic of eating lower on the food chain in a future issue of Wellness Wednesdays.  Consider this: to produce a 6 ounce steak, more than 600 gallons of water are needed.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Part 3: "I have diabetes. Please help me."

“My son always talks about food, but since attending the Growing Healthy Kids’ program, he only talks about eating healthy foods now.”                        -- Parent of a 12 year old boy in a recent GHK program

Infographic image about Diiabetes

For the past two weeks, Wellness Wednesdays has been about diabetes.  Guess what! Due to the amount of social media response we've received, we’re doing it again!  This issue of Wellness Wednesdays will wrap up our September diabetes series by sharing resources from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) AND a delicious recipe created in the Growing Healthy Kids Test Kitchen!  

When someone tells me they can’t afford to eat healthy, my usual response is, “Give me an hour and I’ll show you how.”  What I REALLY want to say is, “You think eating healthy is expensive?  Try paying for diabetes.”

For the sake of our children, parents owe it to themselves to learn how to lose weight, eat healthy, and be more active.  Then teach your kids how to eat right and be more active.  Here’s the problem:  I see a lot of parents who take great care of themselves and then buy crap for their kids.  Don’t be like them.  I’m talking about the parents wearing the cool fitness or yoga clothes with their high-priced salon hair shopping with their children with a grocery cart filled with crap for the kids.  You know what I’m talking about:  cases of those high sodium ramen noodles, cases of sodas filled with high fructose corn syrup and 3 days’ worth of sugar, pizzas with 850 mg of sodium PER SLICE, and don’t forget the case of honeybuns! 

Eat healthy and be more active. Shop at the local farmers market and buy vegetables and fruits that are in season.  Plan your week’s menus around those foods.  Let the kids tear up the salad greens you just bought from the local farmer and make the salad dressing in a jar (to encourage recycling and reusing).  Create your own Wellness Wednesdays Salad Bowls.  Cook up a pot of quinoa, then layer up salad greens, shredded carrots, sliced celery, diced organic tomatoes and avocado.  Top with a ½ cup of cooked quinoa, add the vinaigrette dressing (2 parts olive oil, 1 part apple cider or red wine vinegar, a little local honey, and fresh black pepper) and dinner is served.   Simple, delicious, and healthy in under an hour! 

Lesson for preventing diabetes in adults:  lose weight, eat healthy, and be more active.  For your kids?  Eat healthy and be more active.  Got it?  Good!  Now, off to the kitchen to cook up some quinoa for Wellness Wednesdays Salad Bowls!

America needs Growing Healthy Kids, not kids with diabetes.  Be the change.  

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

For more information about preventing diabetes, go to CDC's website by clicking here.  For more healthy recipes to prevent diabetes, click on the link on the top right of this page and get a copy of Nourish and Flourish!  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Part 2: "I have diabetes. Please help me."

“Monitoring carbohydrate intake, whether by carbohydrate counting or experience-based estimation, remains critical in achieving glycemic control.”  
       -- from Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2015, American Diabetes Association

“What was your last A1C result?” 

Whenever someone asks me for help with their diabetes, their answer to this question tells me volumes about their relationship with their doctor and their health literacy about diabetes.   This is because the A1C is the most important blood test for someone diagnosed with diabetes.  Understanding its significance is, without a doubt, the key to gaining control. 

It ALWAYS bothers me when their answer is, “What’s that?”  It means their doctor has not taught them well. 

Class is now in session.  What is the A1C and what does it mean?  It is a blood test that measures one’s average daily blood sugars over the past 2-3 months.  Fasting is NOT required for this test.  Here’s the bottom line:  the higher the A1C, the higher the chance of complications from diabetes. The longer an A1C remains elevated, the greater the chance the damage may be irreversible. However, when the A1C remains stable at goal, as determined by 2 or more consecutive tests at or below the goal, it is the best test of how well controlled one’s diabetes is.  

What is the A1C goal for most people?  In non-pregnant adults, it is below 7%, according to American Diabetes Association.  In older adults, the goal may be less stringent (less than 8%).  Diabetes is diagnosed by a physician when the A1C is 6.5% or higher, so for this reason some doctors set goals for their patients lower than 7% because they want to help the patient get their blood sugar to levels as normal as possible. 

Why does all this matter?  In last week’s Wellness Wednesdays was data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that lays out the scope of the problem.  We have a very big problem with diabetes in this country and it is up to us, the adults, to do something about it for the sake of our children’s health. The diabetes epidemic is directly related to our obesity epidemic.  

What’s the solution?  Sugar.  Eating huge amounts of sugar has to stop.  Sugar, just like salt, is added to all kinds of foods and many people mindlessly consume foods and drinks that are toxic to their health.  When those people are parents, their choices affect their kids.  When someone has diabetes, one of the first things I talk with them about is what they drink.  Like my friend I told you about last week, her answer was that she drinks Cokes all day long!   She has made changes and you can, too.  She has now stopped drinking all sodas.  

Be mindful what you eat and drink.  Start training yourself to be a nutrition detective by looking at food labels for sugar and fiber content.  You may be very surprised by all the hidden sugars you find in what you normally eat and drink. Once you (and your kids) start cutting back on foods and drinks containing added sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup, your clothes will probably start fitting better.  Nice side effect of being a nutrition detective! 

So if you have diabetes (or prediabetes), what can you do starting today to improve your A1C? 
  1. Stop drinking sodas.  
  2. Drink water, not soda.   
  3. Eat real fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.  
  4. And please, talk with your doctor about your A1C goals.  

Do you have a question about what to eat?  Then please send me an email at and I'll pick one reader's question to feature in an upcoming issue of Wellness Wednesdays in October.  

Now, off to the kitchen for another piece of crustless spinach quiche!  

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: "I have diabetes. Please help me."

Group of runners

“Over the past 32 years, from 1980 through 2012, the number of adults with diagnosed diabetes in the United States nearly quadrupled, from 5.5 million to 21.3 million.  Among adults, about 1.7 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year.  If this trend continues, as many as 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States could have diabetes by 2050.” 
          --Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014 Diabetes Report Card

The majority of what the US spends on health (read: sick) care is on chronic (read: preventable) diseases like diabetes.  It is taking down some of our best and brightest adults.  The lesson is clear.  We cannot afford to continue down this path.  Our children are in trouble…unless we stand and act. 

I often speak about the need to improve the quality of foods kids have access to and eat.  Whenever I am shopping for food, I always notice what others have in their grocery carts, especially if there are kids in tow.  The foods that many parents choose to feed their kids are feeding diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  Foods and drinks high in processed sugars and salt are NOT what kids need.  All kids need – and deserve – access to whole, plant-based foods.  But, as I have said here before, we need to put on our own oxygen masks first before we put on our children’s masks.

This week, it happened again.  I ran into a friend who stopped me to ask for help because she has diabetes.  She has a stressful job running a department for a local county municipality and said she needs help knowing what she can eat.  She and I have already had our first education session to begin empowering her for her own health.  We will have another in 2 weeks.  But what about her children? What about the health of her employees?  Many of them have sedentary desk jobs, a red flag for diseases like obesity and diabetes.  What about the health of her employees’ children? 

I can help my friend become more literate about diabetes, control it, manage it, and hopefully, reverse it.  While I am educating her, I will also be educating her family and her staff.   With 9.3% of Americans estimated to have diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed), and another 1 in 3 Americans with prediabetes, the stakes are clear:  the health and quality of our children’s future lives are on the line unless we step up and accept the challenge to take care of ourselves.  If we are going to help our children, we have to help ourselves.  Please pass the crustless spinach quiche and sparkling mineral water!

For kid-tested tips and recipes to prevent diabetes and put your family on a clear path to healthier foods, check out Nourish and Flourish. Click on the link in the top right corner!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

PS-If you have a family member with diabetes or prediabetes and have a question about what to eat, write to me at  I'll send you the new recipe for Crustless Spinach Quiche, brand new from the Growing Healthy Kids Test Kitchen! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Building a Better Breakfast

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "What's the first thing you say to yourself?" "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh.  "What do you say, Piglet?" "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today," said Piglet.  Pooh nodded thoughtfully, "It's the same thing," he said.
                                                                      –A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

I have always enjoyed having a good breakfast.  When I was a little girl, our family would drive from Sacramento to Long Beach, California several times a year to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin.  My uncle was a coach for Long Beach State College and he always believed that breakfast should be the biggest and most important meal of his day.  Our breakfast choices always included eggs, fresh squeezed orange juice, pancakes, oatmeal, and sausage.  No matter what, we always ate breakfast together, talking, laughing, and sharing. 

Are YOUR kids getting a good breakfast?  How about YOU? Here are 4 breakfast tips to inspire you:
  1. Breakfast gives your kids (and you) the energy to make good decisions and to be alert. 
  2. Having breakfast is one of the secrets to staying at a healthy weight and having a healthy metabolism.  People who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat when they do eat. 
  3. Plan breakfast to include protein (eggs, cheese, milk), some high-fiber carbs (steel cut oats, beans, fresh seasonal fruit, whole grain toast or tortillas), and a little fat (nuts, nut butter, coconut oil, avocados). 
  4. Having a good breakfast is one of the secrets to longevity, as documented in The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner.  “In the Blue Zones, the biggest meal of the day is typically eaten during the first half of the day.”* 

Here’s one of my favorite breakfast ideas: scramble an egg in a little coconut oil, slice half an avocado, squeeze a little lime on the avocado, and wrap it all in a gluten-free tortilla (my favorites are made by Toufayan Bakeries).   If you have any baked potatoes or sweet potatoes leftover from the night before, you can add a little when you scramble the egg! 

Another great breakfast idea is to cook several servings of steel cut oats on Sunday to eat in the first part of the week.  Let the kids add their favorite toppings such as:
  • chopped pecans or walnuts
  • dried fruit (raisins, craisins, or cherries)
  • cinnamon
  • ground flax seeds, sunflower, or chia seeds
  • fresh fruit (sliced banana, peaches, or strawberries)
  • soy or almond milk
  • honey or chopped dates (for a little natural sweetener)

For more great breakfast ideas, check out Nourish and Flourish:  Kid-Tested Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes available at amazon.

In gratitude, 
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

*The Blue Zones is the term for regions around the world where people live the longest.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Sleeping for Good Grades and Good Health

“Getting enough sleep is important for students’ health, safety, and academic performance.”                --Anne Wheaton, Ph.D., lead author and epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Population Health

All About Sleep
August is when America’s kids go back to school.  That is why it's a great month to teach parents skills that can improve their children’s health, safety, and academic performance.  The quote (above) is from a recent CDC press release entitled, “Most US middle and high schools start the school day too early”.  If you have a child in middle or high school, you already know this.  

When my son, Edward, was in high school, his classes started at 7:05 AM.  It always felt like the school board was torturing parents and kids.  We (I) would have to be up at 5:30 AM so that Edward could be at the bus stop by 6:05 AM.  The bus came this early so that kids on the free and reduced meal program could get to school in time to have breakfast before classes.  I saw first-hand how destructive such an early start time is for families and for kids. 

The fact is that kids need lots of sleep.  Most don’t get enough.  High school kids need 8.5-9.5 hours a night.  You do the math. For my son to get up at 5:30 when he was in high school, he needed to be in bed at 8:30 PM to get 9 hours a night.  Since he was in the marching band, band practice was 2 nights a week until 9:00.  Makes no sense to start classes at 7:05.  He never got 9 hours of sleep a night and waking him up after a night of not enough sleep became one of my most dreaded tasks as a parent.  If you have kids in any after school activities, I know you can relate.

In the recent CDC press release, it states that “insufficient sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks such as being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs as well as poor academic performance.  The proportion of high school students who fail to get sufficient sleep (2 out of 3) has remained steady since 2007, according to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Report.”

The evidence is clear that not getting enough sleep is a risk factor for poor academic performance in addition to being overweight.  Giving kids some boundaries about bedtimes that ensure they are getting enough sleep most nights is a big Back to School Tip for parents. 

If adults are overweight or obese, one question to ask is, “Are YOU getting enough sleep?”  Once you start getting an adequate amount of sleep, many people find it is easier to lose weight.  How about that for a sleep fun fact? 

Let’s be good role models and make sure that WE are getting enough sleep.  Then families can have a conversation about this topic.  Make it cool to talk about sleep at your family dinners.   Your children will thank you.  Maybe not this school year, maybe in 5 years. Remember, as parents we are investing our time and efforts into the present and future lives and health of our children.  Can life get any better than this?

To read NIH's article about the relationship between brain health and sleep, click here. Lots of valuable information.  Health is wealth.  Sleep is brain power.  

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Back to School Tips for Parents

 “There is nothing more important than a caring and empowered parent.”
                                                     --David Lawrence, Jr., President of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and former publisher of the Miami Herald

Image result for pictures of kids at school

This week friends have been posting adorable pictures on social media of their little ones all dressed up in new school outfits with big smiles and lots of excitement about the new school year.  One picture just cracked me up:  a friend’s son insisted she take a picture of him with his back to the camera showing off his new Spiderman backpack.  Love it! 

The success of our kids in school depends on teachers, principals, and most importantly, parents.

Here are 5 Back to School Tips for Parents that can make a difference in your child’s school year:

1.       Help your kids get a great start to each day by ensuring they get enough sleep at night with non-negotiable bedtimes.
2.       Make sure your kids have a good breakfast each day.  Kids need protein, some good carbs, and a little fat for breakfast.  Steel cut oats (cook it the night before) with a little almond milk and fresh seasonal fruit like blueberries, ½ cup Greek yogurt and fresh fruit on a whole grain waffle or scrambled eggs with a little cheddar cheese wrapped in a whole grain tortilla are 3 suggestions for healthy breakfasts for growing healthy kids. 
3.       Plan to have lunch with your child at least once in the first 2 weeks of school.  This is an especially important tip if your son or daughter has a school-prepared lunch.  Watch to see if your child is throwing away most of the lunch or eating most of it.  See how much added sugar is in the flavored milks, if that is what they are choosing.
4.       Fill a large bowl with fresh fruit to keep on your dining table within the kids’ reach.  Fresh fruit makes a great after school snack. 
5.       Set aside a special area at home for your kids to do their homework.  Make sure they have a glass of cold water to drink to ensure that they are properly hydrated.  Most kids (and adults) do NOT drink enough water.

Dare to care enough to give your kids bedtime boundaries, access to fresh whole foods, and lots of love. Be empowered.   None of us received an instruction manual when we had kids.   Being a parent, however, is the most important - and best - job we will ever have! 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.