Teach Children About Heart Health
it is never too early to teach children about how their hearts benefit from a good diet and lots of exercise. By reinforcing an active lifestyle and proper eating habits, you can teach children, by example, how to keep their hearts in good shape. You can, additionally, teach children how the heart works and the importance of taking good care of themselves.
1 Start off breakfast with a conversation about diet and exercise. Talk about what the child is eating and how it will affect her body's functioning, specifically with her heart. Ask her about her plans for the day and when she will exercise.
2 Cook a heart-healthy lunch together. Your local library or bookstore will have a variety of kids' cookbook options, with recipes for a healthy heart. While cooking together, describe the ingredients and how our body uses them.
3 Teach him to read a food label. Start with the ingredients list. Encourage him to look for natural ingredients, especially in the first couple of ingredients. Focus on avoiding foods containing hydrogenated ingredients," which can contribute to clogged arteries. Show him how to calculate the amount of calories, fat, protein, sugar and carbohydrates in a meal by reading the food label.
4 Download activities to do together in the afternoon that focus on heart knowledge.The American Heart Association's website has a section entitled "HeartPower!" which has lesson ideas and activities that can be downloaded by grade level.
5 Exercise together. Kids learn best by following behaviors. Teach her that exercise is not only good for her heart but it is also fun. Try to participate at least three times a week.
6 At bedtime, read a book that focuses on nutrition and exercise. Look for books at your local library about role models who take good care of themselves, such as Lance Armstrong.
Tips & Warnings
Participate in a local fundraiser that deals with heart health. Ask your child to assist you in participating.
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