Most children don't pay attention to their nutrition and that lays the foundation for potential heart disease as adults. It is important for children to eat healthy at a young age and get a head start to being healthy adults. Unfortunately, very few people realize that the foundation for heart disease is laid in childhood. Our arteries (blood vessels that carry the good blood to our organs) are great receptors for fat. As we grow older, this fat starts to pile up; and by the time we are in our thirties, we are ripe for heart disease and heart attacks. To be a healthy child, you need to eat the right kinds of foods that don't clog your arteries, drink lots of water to keep your body well hydrated and get plenty of sleep. Younger children in the 6-12 age group need about 10 hours of sleep each day. As you grow older and become teenagers 8-9 hours of sleep suffices.

Mornings should start with a heart healthy breakfast. For example, eggs on a multigrain toast, milk, and a fruit of your choice. You could alternate with oatmeal and fruit for variety during the week. Children who are lactose intolerant (or allergic to milk) can trade in soy milk. A good heart healthy meal at the beginning of the day sets the stage for the entire day. As they say- well begun is half done!

During the day you should avoid eating junk food, such as cookies, potato chips, crackers, candy etc. for snack. Opt for fruits and vegetables, like carrot sticks and celery with ranch dressing. Sometimes it is difficult to exercise control when you have all the junk food sitting right in front of you. Almost all children struggle with it sometimes. Therefore, encourage your parents to get healthy snacks that are small portions and have lower calorie and sugar count. Why unnecessarily pressurize the (not so) old ticker! Save the cookies, cakes and candy for the Hoorah Moments! - the times when you think you've done something exceptionally well and deserve a little treat. 


​​​​​​Children's Health Awareness Program in Schools

           making American schools healthy, one child at a time