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How to keep your child’s heart healthy

Discussions on "How to keep your child’s heart healthy" in "Parents" forum.

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    How to keep your child’s heart healthy

    How to keep your child’s heart healthy

    Helping your child become heart healthy is important to maintain his health in childhood and throughout adult life.

    Teaching a child healthy techniques will help him carry these techniques with him into adulthood, thereby cancelling any future health issues once he or she has left your care. Children who make heart healthy choices will decrease their chances of developing heart disease later in life. In observation of World Heart Day 2012, we take a look at how you can keep your child's heart healthy...

    Eat healthy
    First of all, get that oh-let-my-child-have-what-he-loves out of your head. He is a kid, not you; be very cautious about what is going down his food pipe. Stop spoiling his eating habits

    Include fruits and vegetables in your child's diet. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and fiber has been shown to provide you with nutrients that can protect your child against future heart disease. Make sure your child eats at least five, 1/2 cup servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Avoid adding sugar, dips or high fat spreads to your child's fruits and vegetables.

    Exercise kiddo!
    Set aside time in your child's day for her to get exercise. Make sure the exercise is fun and enjoyable to her. Regular exercise is important to maintain a healthy heart. Encourage your child to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

    Let them jump kick and run...In fact you can join them too!
    Participate in physical activity with your child. Watch your child's sporting events. Take walks as a family after dinner. Go on family bike rides during the weekend.

    Cut back on screen time
    Avoid letting your child use the Internet, watch television or play video games for more than two hours a day. Help your child pick what they want to watch or play each day. Make them turn off the media after the two-hour time period.

    Get your child to take care of her teeth. Poor oral hygiene can contribute to the development of heart disease later in the child's life because the bacteria on your child's teeth and gums can get into the bloodstream and negatively affect the arteries.

    Make sure your child brushes her teeth in the morning and before going to bed. Help your child to floss on a daily basis. Ensure that your child attends regular checkups with the dentist.

    Salt less
    Limit your child's salt intake. Consuming too much salt can put the child at risk for developing cardiovascular disease later in life, reports HelpGuide.org. Use spices instead of salt to add flavor to foods. Avoid giving your children processed, canned or frozen foods because these tend to have high salt contents.

    Junk the Junk
    Remove foods that are high in trans fats and saturated fats from your child's diet. Both these fats cause the bad cholesterol called LDL to increase. Foods that tend to be high in trans and saturated fats include chips, whole milk dairy products, red meat, solid fats and packaged foods. Replace the unhealthy fats with unsaturated fats that come from foods such as olive oil, beans, fish, nuts and avocados.

    The smaller the better
    Limit your child's portions to help him avoid overeating. Do not make your child eat everything on his plate if he says he is full.

    Evade tobacco exposure and stress
    Smoking doesn't just happen. Its peer pressure, advertisements, machismo, adult role models. Set an example yourself by avoiding cigarettes. Talk about it to your children when they're at the age that they can comprehend and perhaps subconsciously engrain the idea that cigarettes are a no-no for their heart and lungs.

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    Last edited by Parasakthi; 1st Oct 2012 at 02:04 PM. Reason: External Link Removed
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