Heart-Healthy Habits for Children and Teens

Posted on Jul 14, 2022

It is a well-known fact that the habits we learn as children stay with us even when we are older and we pass on those to the next generation. Unfortunately today we see children immersed in gadgets and not being physically active. Their eating habits are also varied and most of them are fussy eaters. As children, it is easier to adapt to healthy habits for diet and lifestyle. 
People often don’t think about their heart health until they are well into adulthood. But research shows that children who start practicing heart-healthy habits have a lower risk for heart diseases later on. If we want the younger generation to remain healthy as they grow older, these tips and habits should be incorporated by the parents:

Eat Right, Drink Right
Eat small and frequent meals a day, with healthy snacks. 3 meals a day helps to balance the metabolic rate.
Increase fiber in the diet and decrease the use of salt. 
Try to avoid feeding junk and processed food to your child. Rather, try to use grilling, steaming and broiling methods instead. 
Try to avoid drinks that are high in sugar. Canned fruit juices are full of calories, so limit your child’s intake. Whole fruit is always a better choice
Chicken, eggs, and fish are always better than red meats. 
Drink plenty of water, while opting for beverages, give them fresh fruit juice, lemonade, or coconut water instead of colas and sodas.

Be Physically Active 
Outdoor activities are important for physical and mental well-being. Exercise as a family, go for hikes, walks, or play a sport together. 
Cut down on screen time. Make sure your child does not have any gadgets while eating or before sleeping. Excessive screen time leads to a sedentary lifestyle and constant snacking, which increases the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Limit TV, computer, and phone time to two hours each day.

Keep a Check on

  • Your child’s weight, height and BMI
  • Your child’s sleeping pattern and screen time
  • Your child’s digestion and elimination
  • And most importantly, be flexible with your child’s mood!