American Heart Month: 4 Healthy Habits for You and Your Kids

Most deaths that are causHMG - American Heart Month - 1.15.15ed by CVD (Cardiovascular Disease)  are preventable, yet CVD is the most common cause of adult deaths in America. Luckily, early intervention can prevent CVD and support greater health. Teach your kids to make healthy choices from an early age to lower their risk of CVD at an older age. Healthy lifestyle choices will be easier for kids to make later in life if you set an example and show how to make healthy decisions.. These healthy choices are often easy to make for both you and your children.

Here are four easy ways you can set an example for your children, and help prevent CVD in their future.

  1. Be Smoke Free: Let your children know that smoking and being around anyone who is smoking (also known as secondhand smoke) is dangerous. If you smoke, quit smoking and encourage your loved ones to quit as well. Your house and car should always be smoke free. If someone wants to smoke in your house or car, politely ask them to go outside. Remove yourself and your family from environments where there is exposure to second hand smoke.
  2. Avoid Alcohol: Don’t drink alcohol often and limit yourself when you do drink. It is ok to have a drink every now and then, but do not overdo it. Stick to one or two drinks on special occasions or holidays. Set up rules for how you and others drink around your children – try not to let your children see or hang around those who abuse alcohol. Controlling your drinking will help you set a good example for your kids and they will take note of your responsibility.
  3. Eat a Low Sodium Diet: Fill your house with food and drinks that has low amounts of sodium. You can check how much sodium is in most food by reading the label. Compare options at the grocery store to reduce the amount of sodium in you and your family’s diet, and show your children how to do the same at an early age. The typical adult and child should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Middle-aged adults, African American adults, and African American children should eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. Here are 6 popular foods with high levels of sodium.
  4. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Encourage your kids to exercise and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit the amount of sugary beverages in your household, like soda and sports drinks. Inspire your kids to spend 60 minutes a day doing physical activity by making 30 minutes of it quality time with you.

Together we can create a healthier Delaware to decrease the number of people affected by Cardiovascular Disease. Dial 2-1-1 Help Me Grow to talk with a trained specialist about resources to help you raise healthy kids and lets work together to reduce the number of residents of Delaware diagnosed with CVD.