February is Heart Health Month! The best way to fight heart disease is a healthy diet and exercise.
When buying groceries, focus on whole, real foods and avoid processed and fast food as much as possible. Half your plate should be vegetables, with a serving of fruits, as well. Incorporate lean protein - meat or plant based - and focus on whole grains over refined carbohydrates; choose brown rice, wheat bread, non-sugary cereals, etc. Stay hydrated by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Additionally, 2-3 glasses of milk per day is okay (choose low-fat milk after one year of age). Avoid added sugars like sodas and juices, candy, and other sweets.
It’s also important to keep moving! The American Heart Association recommends activity for kids at least 60 minutes every day. An hour may seem like a lot, but start with 20 minutes at a time. Plan a night each week to be active as a family. Incorporate easy activities like walking before or after dinner, turning up the music and dance, or turning TV commercials into fitness breaks.
Ideas for home when you can’t play outside:
Fitdeck.com exercise cards for kids – family friendly bear-crawl, ape-walk
Healthy challenge scavenger hunt. Create fun challenges and compete to be the first to complete
Get in and out of bed (with covers) 5 times
Touch every doorknob in your house
Walk around the kitchen table 3 times
Run in to every room and jump twice
Touch your mailbox and come back
Find more ideas at aha.org