Heart Healthy Habits to Share With Your Kids

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Heart Healthy Habits to Share With Your Kids


Being the best role model and making heart health a priority in your family is the most important step you can take as a parent to give your children a great foundation for their heart health in the future. Practicing these few steps can promote healthy heart habits not only for children, but also for the entire family.

Encourage a well balanced diet.

When we eat foods that are bad for us they can make us feel bad. Choose foods that are low in salt, added sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Lean meats, fruits and vegetables are always good choices. We should pick foods made with whole grains and filled with fiber over their processed and refined counterparts.

Water will always be the best choice over sugary juice and sodas. One soda has a whopping eight teaspoons of sugar; the American Heart Association recommends a daily limit of six teaspoons of sugar per day.

Make physical activity a priority.

Physical activity is as important for children as it is for adults. Did you know that one out of three American children and teens are overweight or obese? Not only does exercise help control weight, but it can also reduce blood pressure and increase your HDL (good) cholesterol. Being active can help children gain self esteem by improving their physical well-being.

It is important to reduce time playing on electronic devices and watching television and promote physical activity in a way that is enjoyable for your child. Aim for 60 minutes of exercise a day.

Know your family history and risk factors.

We recommend bringing your child to see a doctor as early as possible. Your pediatrician can make better care recommendations based off of family history and routine check ups.

Be a good role model.

Practice what you preach! Take care of yourself, eat healthy and stay active. Be sure to avoid smoking at all costs. Setting your child up for a healthy lifestyle at a young age helps them keep those same habits in adulthood.

The Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Amazing Half Marathon Weekend on March 11-12, 2017 is a great opportunity for your family to kick start a more active lifestyle. The weekend offers a half-mile and one-mile fun run options for kids, a 5k, 10k and half marathon. Learn more and register here.

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