February is American Heart Month, 28 days dedicated to raising awareness for the importance of healthy hearts of all ages. In the United States, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. In order to change the statistics, it’s important for parents to start teaching children about effective ways to take care of their hearts. Two main contributors to a healthy heart are healthy eating and exercise. As many parents know, sometimes eating right can be hard to manage with picky eaters.
Below are easy ways to keep your family heart-healthy.
Switch to whole grain
One simple fix on the path to a healthy heart is switching to whole grain. Your kids may not even notice this switch, and you can make this adjustment to pasta, bread, rice, and even flour. Swap out the white processed flavors for nutrient-filled grain options.
Eat the Rainbow
Fruits and veggies are the best place to start on the journey towards a healthy heart. Plus, it’s no secret that kids love bright colors. Eats Amazing has come up with ten recipes that are so colorful and bright your kids won’t even realize they’re eating fruits and veggies packed with nutrients.
Sweet French Fries
According to WishfulChef when you bake carrots they taste almost identical to the sweetness found in sweet potatoes. Try this sweet twist on the regular and salty French fry, and make carrot fries. Using just one ingredient and your choice of herbs, your kids will be sure to love the sweetness and gobble up these healthy treats.
Peanut Butter Anything
Peanuts, peanut butter and peanut oil are filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These types of fats lower your “bad” cholesterol, so eating them in moderation is healthy for your heart. You will be surprised how many delicious recipes you can find related to peanut butter, from the classic: ants on a log, which uses celery and raisins, to a creamy peanut butter dip for your apples. EatingWell has loads of healthy peanut butter snacks that can be modified for your little ones to enjoy!
The key to teaching your kids about a healthy heart is to start their education at an early age. Remember when including your kids in decision making, they are more inclined to eat their own healthy choices.