Health: Heart Health Wellness Center
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  • Raising Heart-Healthy Kids

    Use these handy tips to teach your children healthy ways to eat, exercise and stay active.

  • Set a Good Example

    Heart health should begin at an early age. Children learn by example, so it is important for parents to teach them healthy ways to eat, exercise and stay active.

    • Play It: Children with active parents tend to stay active themselves. Show children that exercise and fitness are important and fun by setting aside time to play or be active at least three times per week.
    • Say It: Adults often take it for granted that children understand how to make good choices. The fact is, children need to be taught. Make a point of verbalizing your choices when ordering food, exercising or making other heart-healthy choices. For example, switching from a cookie as an afternoon treat to an apple makes a bigger impression on young minds if you tell them “why” the apple is better for the body.

    Encourage Outdoor Activity

    • Everyday Play: Video games and indoor play have their proper place, but you should also encourage children to remain active by setting aside daily outdoor playtime when temperatures permit. Be sure to provide one or a few individual and group toys. These may include bikes, skateboards, basketballs, footballs, badminton sets, skates, hula-hoops, jump ropes, Frisbees and other toys designed to keep kids active. Establish a daily routine that balances time for homework, chores, time outside and indoor quiet time.
    • Mother Nature's Playground: Use weekends and vacations as opportunities to introduce your kids to the Great Outdoors. Camping, hiking and taking bike rides with kids are fun and inexpensive ways to spend quality family time while setting an example that will last a lifetime. Plan age-appropriate family outings to local parks, nature trails or other nearby destinations with a weekly theme. For example, bird watching, collecting rocks or shells, insect observation and fun nature lessons are great ways to keep kids healthy while teaching them about the environment.

    Pack Healthy Lunches & Practice Proper Nutrition

    • Fruit Treats: Resist the urge to routinely reward children with candy or other sweets. Instead, purchase all-natural popcorn, sugar-free gum and fruits or nuts to use as a reward or treat in addition to a few sweets on special occasions. It teaches children heart-healthy alternatives to high-fat, high-calorie “comfort foods” while still satisfying the craving for something a bit different. For another fun alternative, try exotic fruits like kiwi, mango or figs. They are fun to eat, taste great and are packed full of heart-healthy nutrients.
    • Proper Nutrition: Allow children to help shop, select and prepare foods for their own lunch. Not only is it a great way to educate kids on healthy food choices, but children get a big kick out of eating what they have purchased or prepared.
    • Play With Food: Make mealtime fun by getting creative with fruits and vegetables. For example, purchase “star apples” (carambola) when in season for a sliced fruit treat that really shines, or make a veggie face out of shredded carrots (hair), tomato (lips), cucumber (eyes) and olives (nose).

    Educate & Communicate

    Talk to children about heart health at an early age. Make sure they understand how to avoid bad choices like smoking and lack of exercise that can lead to obesity, heart disease and other problems later in life.

    • Stay Positive: It’s important for parents to keep a positive attitude when exercising or making good food choices, even when you don’t feel like it yourself. Avoid comments that make it sound like a chore or inferior choice; children easily pick up on negativity but respond enthusiastically to excitement and a positive attitude.
    • Shared History: Don’t forget your adult children! Take time to share the family heart history with older children so they can take steps to stay healthy and educate their own children especially if there is a history of heart disease, high blood pressure or other heart problems in the family.

  • Used with permission. ©2015 Walmart. All Rights Reserved. 

     
    Important Walmart Disclaimer: All content provided is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a medical professional. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking any diet, exercise or health program, or before using any prescription or over-the-counter drug. Neither the author nor Walmart.com assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter. Walmart does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service or information provided on this site. If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all products prior to consumption. If the ingredient list is not available on the product, check with the product manufacturer, or do not consume the product.

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  • Heart Health Costs Less at Walmart
    If you’re concerned about your heart, Walmart’s Heart Health Wellness Center is a great place to find savings on heart health essentials and key information about how to maintain a strong heart. Save when you stock up on everyday heart health basics, like vitamins and supplements, or get great prices on heart rate and blood pressure monitors from brands like ReliOn, Omron and Braun. Not sure where to start? Our Heart Health Buying Guide has tons of ideas your heart will love and make it easy to start saving at Walmart.com. You can also read articles about diet and weight management, then support your cardiovascular health with products to help control cholesterol levels and weight – both over the counter and through the Walmart Pharmacy.