Whether it’s acing a spelling test or scoring the winning goal of a soccer game, you always want what’s best for your kids. One part of ensuring your children go on to live long and happy lives is making heart health a priority from the start. Studies have shown that promoting heart health at an early age can actually  decrease the chance of cardiovascular issues later in life. At Urgent Care for Children, we understand the importance of teaching kids healthy habits from infancy to adulthood, so we came up with a few tips you can use to help your children’s hearts grow big and strong!

Encourage Physical Activity

There’s nothing like a day spent outdoors to get your heart pumping! Encouraging physical activity at an early age increases the likelihood that your children stay active well into adulthood. Playtime for infants and toddlers can range from crawling to walking, and is a great way to enhance motor skills and get out excess energy. Tweens and teens should receive 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, whether that be through a scrimmage game of soccer, trip to the park or visit to the local gym. The sky is really the limit when it comes to staying active, so get creative and find what works for your family!

Make Healthy Eating Choices

Eating healthy may not sound fun, but it can be easy (and tasty) when you put it into practice! Teaching your kids the importance of a healthy diet can help them carry those practices well into the future. Limit the intake of cholesterol and salt, especially among younger children, and incorporate fish/Omega-3-rich foods to maintain a healthy blood pressure. You should also ensure your children eat their daily serving of vegetables that are low in calories and high in fiber. Make cooking a family activity by finding healthy recipes that both your kids and their hearts will enjoy! 

Limit Sugary Drinks

Sodas and juices may be appetizing, but they aren’t very healthy for any of us. Limiting sugary drinks will keep your kids from developing a sweet tooth and ensure they stay hydrated. Younger children should primarily stick to water and milk so that they receive the vitamins and minerals needed for early childhood development. It’s also important to limit juices as they are often full of added sugars. Remember, it’s better to encourage eating your fruit rather than drinking it.

Be a Role Model

Kids watch your every move, so it’s important to practice these tips yourself. Being active and encouraging playtime with your children helps you stay in shape while also creating lasting memories for the entire family. You should also practice the same healthy eating habits that you want to instill within your kids –  and prove that vegetables and fruits can be delicious! Heart health is a family affair that every member should be a part of.

Heart health is important at any stage in life, which is why it’s crucial that children learn heart healthy habits from an early age. From taking a trip outdoors to perfecting a new recipe, there are many ways you can lead by example and share heart health tips with your kids.

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