Just like adults, children can develop heart problems if they eat a poor diet or engage in other unhealthy habits. As a parent, it is your job to keep your child's heart in good shape. If you have a history of heart disease or your child has been ill/overly tired for some time, you should contact a children cardiology specialist. Here are five tips for keeping your child's heart healthy.
Limit Your Child's Salt Intake
If your child is like most kids, he likely enjoys eating salty foods like potato chips and french fries. The bad news is that a high-sodium diet can increase his blood pressure, which can lead to heart problems. Encourage your child to avoid foods that contain high amounts of salt and keep the salt shaker away from the dinner table.
Add Heart Healthy Foods to Your Child's Diet
Another way to keep your child's heart healthy is to add heart healthy foods to your child's diet. Foods that are low in saturated fats and high in omega-33 fatty acids are very beneficial for the heart. Some of the foods to incorporate in your child's diet include beans, salmon, red grapes, almonds and soybeans.
Encourage Your Child to Exercise
Physical activity is very beneficial for the heart, so encourage your child to exercise regularly. Instead of letting him play video games or watch television all day, motivate him to play outside with his friends. Regular exercise will also improve your child's immune system and boost his mood.
Keep Your Child at a Healthy Weight
If your child is overweight, he is more likely to experience heart problems. That is why you should do everything you can to keep him at a healthy weight. Encourage your child to eat balanced meals that are filled with lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Pay attention to your child's intake of junks foods like pizza, chips and candy. These foods are filled with calories and can contribute to weight gain.
Get Regular Checkups
It is very important to take your child to his yearly health checkups. Dizziness, excess sweating, turning blue around the lips, and palpitations are all symptoms of a problem. His pediatrician can examine his symptoms and make sure his heart is functioning properly. If your child's heart is not working properly, his pediatrician can suggest special programs, diets, and medicine.
Keeping your child's in good shape does not have to be difficult. If you follow these helpful tips, your child's heart can stay healthy.