It All Started with Jack


Crystal, Nick and Jack Heyland of Winston-Salem are the winners of the “My Taste is Why” Family Health Challenge with Novant Health and the American Heart Association!

As the American Heart Association’s “Life is Why” sponsor, Novant Health is conducting quarterly health challenges to Forsyth County families. The “My Taste is Why” Family Health Challenge focused on families cooking and eating healthier together.

“It all started because of Jack,” smiles Crystal as she holds her 21-month old son. “After Jack started eating whole food, I started preparing all of his fresh, healthy food in the food processor. With Jack, we wanted to give him a great first step into healthy eating.”

After making such fresh, healthy options for Jack, Crystal and Nick started working on improving their own nutrition. “I crave salty snacks, so chips and crackers are always tempting,” shares Crystal. Nick tends to like sweets. Together they have been beating their old habits and focusing on whole grains, lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables. “Nick and I will both get into the kitchen to help cook when time allows,” says Crystal. “We are cooking from scratch when we can and avoiding all the processed foods.”

“Even though it is hard as a family to sometimes find the time to cook healthy meals, it really has paid off. The food Nick and I are making now is healthier, and it tastes better,” shares Crystal. “And Jack, what can I say, he likes all kinds of foods and some of his favorites are avocado, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes!” This is one healthy family that is also going to be growing. Crystal and Nick are expecting baby No. 2 this April.

As the “My Taste is Why” Family Health Challenge winners, the Heyland Family will receive a family heart-healthy cooking class courtesy of Southern Home & Kitchen and Dianne McConnell, health coach. They will also receive a $100 gift card from Whole Foods.

Heart disease and stroke are up to 80 % preventable, yet they are the 2nd and 4th leading causes of death in Forsyth County. A healthy diet is a great place to start. Including 4–5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day, reducing sodium in everyday meals, going fresh when possible and moving towards whole grains will make a huge difference for your family. For heart healthy, family-friendly recipes, visit For more details on upcoming Family Health Challenges, visit