Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Favorite Cole Slaw Recipes

“If you can shred a vegetable, you can make slaw.” 

                                                                           --Chef Michael Glatz

Summertime is here and all kids deserve access to healthy foods.  Here is a simple food idea that kids love to help make.  Gather together the ingredients in this delicious Summer Slaw recipe.  Put the kids in the back yard* with a grater, a head of red or green cabbage, and a big bowl.  The key to most slaw recipes is to make them ahead of time, allowing the flavors marry in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. 

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS:  Our Recipe Collection

·        ¼ head red cabbage
·        ½ jimaca (or substitute rainbow carrots)
·        ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
·        1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
·        1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
·        3 Tablespoons local honey
  • SHRED cabbage and jimaca in food processor (or use a hand grater).
  • WHISK together remaining ingredients. 
  • MIX juice mixture with the vegetables, cover and place in fridge for at least 1 hour. 
SERVE with your favorite summertime dinner such as shrimp tacos or black bean burgers.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

*Kids and cabbage can get a little messy, so taking this preparation step outside will keep your kitchen neat.

NOTE TO PARENTS:  If using a mandoline for the cabbage, do this yourself.  This kitchen tool is not for kids.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: National Mental Health Awareness Month

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”  
                                                                                                     --Mother Teresa

Did you know...One in five is the best estimate of the number of adults with any diagnosable mental disorder within the past year?

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month.  If one in five people have a mental health disorder, then the number of people indirectly affected by depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and the other conditions that fall under the “mental health” umbrella is much larger.

When a child is overweight or obese, there can be psychological consequences resulting from being ostracized, bullied, and made fun of by their peers.  These can have lifelong consequences, including depression.

The fact is that it can be downright uncomfortable to talk with someone who has an anxiety disorder or who is depressed.  In working with thousands of people with diabetes, I have talked with many people struggling with depression caused by uncontrolled high blood sugars.   Sometimes it is their family members who I meet first.  They are often the ones who ask for help.

The worst thing we can do is ignore someone who may be struggling with depression.  Be a friend and open a door. Talk.  Listen. Smile.  Connect them with help.

To learn more, go to National Institute of Mental Health at or click here.
In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Health and Happiness

Image result for tomatoes

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”          
                                                              –Lewis Grizzard 

Do you laugh every day?  How often do you perform a random act of kindness?  Do you eat several  small meals every day?  Do you say "please" and "thank you"?  Do you eat dinner with your children most nights?  What makes you smile?   Do you get at least 6 hugs every day?  Who is your favorite comedian?  Is your bedroom a sanctuary where you sleep well every night?  Do you wake up every day excited about what might happen?

There is a strong correlation between how healthy you are and how happy you are.  Happiness is an attitude, a verb, a noun, a state of mind.  A passing thought, a favorite song, or watching a child play in the rain.  A memory from a family wedding, the smell of your favorite pizza, the anticipation of a summer vacation.  Being happy often means conscious action to create desired results.  Health is more than the absence of disease; it is the state of well-being.

Image result for laughing kids

Happiness is the dependent variable in the equation of lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness.  If you never get enough sleep, you will be too tired to see the beauty of life.  If you eat too much sugar, your body and mind will suffer like being on a bad roller coaster ride.  If you do not exercise daily, your body  will be sad and your mind will be depressed.  

As parents, we sometimes get too wrapped up in our work.  This habit can have disastrous consequences for our families.  This week, make it a priority to focus on what makes you happy.  Laugh, smile, and play.  Share good times with your children.  Cook together.  Being happy is key to being healthy. 

Smile.  Laugh.  Repeat.  It might be the difference between health and disease for you and your children.  Because your health may depend on your happiness.

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Image result for picture of sugar in drinks

“Woman is the light of God.”  

It happened again.  While on the way to give a talk called "Good Foods for Growing Healthy Kids," I stopped at a convenience mart across from where I was speaking.  I asked the clerk one question: “What is your most popular drink that kids buy?”

There was no hesitation from the clerk: “Far right cooler door, top shelf.  Short bottles.”  I walked to where he was pointing and opened the cooler door.  There were three different colored drinks: blue, red, and pink.  Something called Tum-E Yummies.  Never heard of them before.  I settled on a blue drink, walked back to the front of the store and paid for it.  The clerk said, “One dollar even.”

I handed over my dollar, then walked out to the car and drove to the Fellsmere City Hall in Fellsmere, Florida.  At the “Women and Girls Summit,” I looked over my prepared notes and looked at the people in attendance. Faces of all colors and ethnicities, mostly women and girls with some high school age boys as well.  I waited as the police detective, the speaker before me on the agenda, finished talking about domestic violence.  

When I was introduced as the next speaker, I held up the blue bottle of Tum-E Yummies and announced that I had decided to change my presentation to “Why Kids Fidget.”

Image result for picture of sugar in drinks

I handed the bottle of Tum-E Yummies to a girl sitting near the front.  She counted 14 ingredients, including:
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Food dyes
  • Preservatives
  • 2 different sugars
  • Zero fruit juice

What kids drink and eat can have a big effect on their physical and mental health, including their ability to learn and focus.  To improve our children’s results in school, it is my hope that parents become aware of the food and drink choices kids make.  All the sugar, food dyes and preservatives found in Tum-E Yummies and thousands of other processed foods and drinks contribute to poor health outcomes.  

Tum-E Yummies and other drinks like it are just sugar water and food dyes, which are known to contribute to obesity, certain cancers and attention deficit hyperactivity.  

Thank you to all the mothers and grandmothers who attended the “Women and Girls Summit.” Kids need food that makes them healthy and strong, not sick and unfocused. Together, we can guide children to make healthier choices.  

Off for a glass of water!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.