3 Habits of a Heart Healthy Family

| February 23, 2015 | 9 Comments

Heart_health_by_pixomarToday’s families are busy being busy so it is often difficult to eat healthy and make time for all family members to stay physically active – two keys for a healthy heart.  Parents are consumed with naps, diapers & feeding schedules or drop offs and pick ups and waiting in arena’s, at dance studios and swimming pools, that we don’t have time to get active ourselves. Older kids are busy being shuffled to after school sports and this hectic schedule leaves little time for parents to plan, or kids to eat, healthy meals.

Families that do manage to stay healthy amidst the chaos share three essential habits.

3 Habits of A Heart Healthy Family

Heart Healthy Menu

Even on the go, heart healthy families include important proteins and nutrient rich foods in daily meals to keep everyone going.

Dinner
Include fish at least one to two times a week. Salmon, halibut and tuna are excellent sources of Omega 3 fatty acids that protect your heart. Prepare quick healthy meals even if you have to eat in the mini van! Quick meals that include fish are tuna melts or a fast tuna helper made whole grain noodles, peas, can of broccoli soup and 2 cans of tuna.

Breakfast
Mornings are always a super busy time, that is why overnight steel cut oats or homemade instant oatmeal packets are perfect. The fibre in oatmeal fills you up for a full day ahead and keeps your digestive system on track. Add some yogurt and berries and you are good to go.fruit_for_fibre

Snacks
Apples are natures candy, actually all fruit is. Pack some to go and include cubed cheese and almonds for a complete heart healthy snack that is easy to eat on the run.  Leave the packaged and processed snacks at the store and opt for your own mix of dried fruits, seeds, low sugar whole grain cereals and granola.

Heart Healthy Exercise

Research shows that to maintain optimal health kids and adults need to stay active. Scheduling in something physical for the kids after school is key, and for yourself also. Active lessons, such as dance, karate, swimming or hockey, will keep them moving and keep those hearts pumping healthy and strong. But what about Mom and Dad?

It can be trickier for busy parents to fit in exercise, but it can be done. Schedule a 30 minute block of time 2-4 times a week for you. During lunch break at work, during babies nap time, before kids get up in the morning or in the evening when the after dinner rush is over. Go for a brisk walk, learn to jog, take up yoga, swimming, climb stairs, invest in good at home workout video. Get a friend or spouse to help motivate you.

Healthy parents raise healthy kids; make sure you are taking care of you.

Heart Healthy Homework

Do your homework. The more you know the better educated you will be to help your family lead a heart healthy lifestyle.

You have heard the Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” It applies here. Insist your kids eat broccoli and they will reap the nutrient rewards today, teach them why it is so important to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables everyday and their health will benefit as they get older and make their own food choices.

Learn the benefits of healthy foods and exercise yourself and then pass these lessons along to your children. Educate your kids on the benefits of regular exercise and then lead by example. For your kids your kids a healthy heart will just be a part of growing up.

 

Image courtesy of Pixomar at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Fitness, Food, Health, Nutrition, Wellness

About the Author ()

Deb Lowther is a writer, runner, mom of 3 and wife of a very driven entrepreneurial husband in the health and nutrition field. When not running after the kids, Deb is running in the trails, climbing mountains, training for a triathlon, doing hot yoga and enjoying her evening glass of wine. She ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active together. After selling their first company in 2015, the Lowthers' launched Element Nutrition with Stuart focusing on creating nutritional products for the baby boomer generation with Boomer Nutrition and kids with IronKids Nutrition. Deb inspires healthy families through numerous articles in print and online, encouraging others to enjoy a healthy diet, staying active and not being afraid to flex a little muscle.

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I agree that in today’s rush rush world it is quite difficult to maintain a healthy diet. It is possible and you have given some very good tips to help busy parents maintain their health and that of their family. Thanks for posting this, it will definitely help people I’m sure 🙂

  2. kathy downey says:

    With so many easy prepared foods to chose from that are high in fat/sugar/salt,its sometimes hard to chose good foods

  3. kathy downey says:

    We are trying to stay away from processed food since Lent started.I actually feel better.

  4. Victoria Ess says:

    Doing the homework is one of the most effective ways for me to make changes!

  5. Caroline says:

    I feel that doing things in groups or as a family really helps to keep me motivated and on track.

  6. kathy downey says:

    Fall is here and not as active need to make better food options

  7. Wanda Tracey says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I am trying to eat more fish and making healthier food choices.We are eating less processed foods too.

  8. Chandra O'Connor says:

    Great tips, I did have to name certain foods diff for kids like fish were fish cookies, healthy soup was worm soup, I made chicken meat loafs in muffin tins so they would eat the muffins. But they got the veggies and better food into them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *