How To Encourage Healthy Heart Habits In children

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How To Encourage Healthy Heart Habits In children
Rhett Krawitt, 6, and his sister Annesley, 8, eat dinner in their home in Corte Madera, California January 28, 2015

Parents would love their children developing healthy heart habits, but in reality, it is not easy to make them take healthy and balanced diet.  It is necessary to start any good habit in children when they are young. The habits stick in children when they are started earlier, says Dr Sara Lappe from Cleveland Children’s Clinic. 

It is better to start developing the habit of taking healthy food early in children as once if they develop a liking towards foods that are unhealthy, they stick to it and is not easy to break those habits, says Lappe. The key trick is to keep trying. Even in adults, it is not easy to adapt a new habit, so is it to children, particularly when it comes to changes in lifestyle, she said, reports

It is good to start slowly, says the doctor. Swapping an unhealthy snack with a healthy one at least once or twice a week or involving them in the process of preparing or buying a healthy food would help developing a liking for that food stuff in children, suggests Lappe. She also added that, it is important to keep the children interested, so it is good to take the children to the stores and make them pick the groceries and provisions on their own.

As children follow their parents, it is important to keep in mind to practice the habits that one expects from the child, be it eating healthy or exercising. Parents should themselves be an example to their children, says Lappe. Family meals could help children in adapting themselves to healthy food habits, says a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Parents should make eating good food fun for children, like making it a game or a race and encourage by practicing it with the family, says the doctor.

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