As parents, it can be difficult sometimes to juggle work, after-school activities, healthy meals for the family, etc. Let’s face it – It’s hard work! But we get it all done because we take pride in caring for our families. As we near the end of Heart Month, let’s focus on introducing heart healthy habits to our children. Following these simple heart healthy tips for kids can make a huge impact on their heart health in the long run.
Physical activity is key in maintaining a healthy heart. I don’t know about your kids, but my boys LOVE to dance – and I do too! Find activities you all enjoy and can do together to get that heart pumping! Start with just 10 minutes a day, and increase from there.
Promote Healthy Teeth and Gums
Encourage your children to keep good dental hygiene. Did you know that tooth infections and gum disease could be related to diabetes and other heart conditions? Make sure your kids are brushing for at least 2 minutes each day to keep those teeth and gums squeaky clean!
Limit Screen Time
Yes, we are definitely living in the age of technology – BUT we HAVE to set limits for our children. It’s so easy to allow our kids to get on tablets, phones, gaming computers – or whatever and play for hours at a time. But, excessive screen time can lead to a very sedentary lifestyle and constant snacking, which can increase the risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Try to limit screen time to 2 hours a day.
Have Nutrition Talks
The more you know, the more you grow right? While at the grocery store, or when preparing ingredients for a meal, show your children what to look for on nutrition labels. Teach them what their nutritional requirements are, so they’ll be more educated on choosing healthier foods and snacks.
Schedule Check-Ups Before Sports Season
If your child is an athlete, be sure to get a physical evaluation BEFORE the season starts. This is very crucial in helping to identify heart conditions or other at-risk medical conditions.
Keep encouraging and reminding your children to make good, healthy choices. Whether is choosing healthier snacks at school or staying active, let your voice be heard.