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American Heart Month Tips for Kids

Posted on Feb 19, 2016

Heart disease is a major problem in the United States, which is why February has been named American Heart Month. It's a great time to learn more about ways you can live "heart healthy," and it's also a good opportunity to talk to your kids about healthy living. At Monkey Joe's, we know that physical activity is one of the most important ingredients for a healthy lifestyle, and we love providing families with a safe, clean place for active play in Orlando. In fact, our motto is Active Kids = Happy Hearts!

Most of us adults know that old habits are hard to break, so it's important to help kids get a good start in life by establishing healthy habits while they're young. Read on to learn about the American Heart Association's "Life's Simple 7 For Kids" to help you explain these concepts to your kiddos. 

  1. Don't smoke or use tobacco products. You may think your kids are too young for it to matter, but teaching them to say NO to smoking should start well before you think they're old enough to experience peer pressure over it.
  2. Exercise every day. According to the CDC, kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. 
  3. Choose heart healthy foods. Your kids will probably react better if you focus on positive changes instead of negatives. For instance, make an effort to serve more fruits and veggies and to make them fun and exciting, rather than banning hamburgers.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Daily exercise and focusing on healthy foods is a good place to start.
  5. Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. High blood pressure can cause serious heart damage when left untreated. Making healthy choices--like limiting sodium--can help keep blood pressure to healthy levels.
  6. Keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. High cholesterol can cause heart disease and stroke. Again, diet is a big factor in preventing cholesterol problems.
  7. Keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. Eating too many refined grains (white bread, white pasta, etc.), potatoes, etc. can increase blood sugar levels, eventually leading to diabetes for some people. Choose whole grains for your family, and think of ways to replace breads and crackers with fruits or veggies. For instance, use bell pepper slices, snow peas, or celery to dip in hummus instead of crackers or chips.

Photo by jp26jp via Pixabay