Tips for a heart-healthy diet
It’s never too early to think about your child’s heart health. That is particularly true if there is a family history of heart disease. Research has shown that maintaining a heart healthy diet for young children and teens can reduce the risk of heart issues later in life.
Here are some healthy choices parents can help kids make.
- Fruits and vegetables versus foods high in saturated fat
- One percent milk and low-fat yogurt versus whole milk and regular yogurt
- Baked, broiled or grilled meats versus fried
- Chicken, fish and turkey versus beef, bacon, hot dogs, sausage or pepperoni
- Whole grain breads versus white
- Dark chocolate versus milk chocolate
Leafy green vegetables, fish, berries, avocados and walnuts—also all healthy food choices.
“There is great value in promoting heart healthy choices in children and adolescents,” says Dr. Ira Shetty, pediatric and adult congenital cardiologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “The eating habits children learn at a young age will follow them into adulthood. Add in regular exercise, and you will be laying a healthy foundation for your child over a lifetime.”
Now is the perfect time to schedule your child’s annual checkup. Find a primary care doctor in Illinois or Wisconsin.
About the Author
Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!