According to the World Health Organisation, being physically active and having a healthy diet are two key ways to prevent heart disease. Make changes to your child’s health habits now so that they can look forward to a happier, healthier heart in the future! We’ve put together a few simple ways that you can help improve your child’s heart health:
Make sure your children get plenty of physical activity (exercise and play!) – at least 60mins every day. It doesn’t have to be all at once either. Try going for a family cycle, having a laugh on the trampoline, or walking to school.
Avoid Junk Food
Foods high in sugar, fat and salt can contribute to high cholesterol and high blood pressure as well as obesity – all linked to heart disease. Avoid junk beverages too – fizzy drinks are really bad news for your child’s health. Don’t bring junk into the house and kids won’t eat it!
Help Your Kids to Five a Day
Studies have shown that people who consume 8 or more portions of fruit or veg per day are 30% less likely to get a heart attack or stroke compared with those consuming little fruit or veg. Green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits are particularly good. Try soups and smoothies for an easy way to five a day.
Eat More Fibre
Having a diet high in fibre has been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease by as much as 40%. Swap white bread, pasta and rice for brown. Try porridge for breakfast.
Eat the Right Fats
Eating healthy unsaturated fats is actually good for your heart, so stock up on yummy nuts (walnuts are particularly good) and seeds for heart healthy snacks. Avoid salted and honey roasted/dry roasted nuts.
Fill up on Fish.
Time and time again, we are hearing about the benefits of omega oils for our hearts. The best source of these oils is oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, herring and salmon. Even from tins, these fish pack a great omega punch. Try sardines and mustard on brown bread or fishcakes made with tinned salmon. Yummy!
Balanced Diet, Active Life!
It’s all about balance – and healthy eating should always be partnered with physical activity if you’re serious about improving your child’s health. So give a little extra love to your child’s heart this Valentine’s Day by promoting some heart healthy habits!