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HF 599

Heart Health for Kids: 12 Eating Tips for Young Healthy Hearts

  1. Choose foods high in calcium. Aim for 3 servings of dark green vegetables, nuts, or low-fat dairy (skim or 1% milk, low fat cheese, cottage cheese and cream cheese and light yogurt.

  2. Make most grains you eat whole grain. Go for cereals that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Say yes to oatmeal, brown rice, and whole grain pasta. Choose 100% whole wheat, bread, bagels and tortillas more often.

  3. Eat more whole fruit and veggies. Choose fresh or frozen fruits and veggies instead of juices or purees found in pouches.

  4. Have more high fiber foods. Add kidney beans, black beans, and lentils to meals and snacks. Hummus is a good bean-based dip for veggies and whole grain pita bread.

  5. Say yes to water! Limit soda, energy and sports drinks.

  6. Snack from a bowl or plate, not a bag or box. For a quick, tasty snack try veggies, yogurt, fruit, nuts, peanut butter, low fat string cheese or crackers.

  7. Keep sweets as treats. Enjoy cookies, cake and candy as treats in smaller servings.

  8. Go for soft margarine in a tub. Reach for margarine with no trans-fat. Avoid stick margarine.

  9. Cooking with canola oil and olive oil is best. These are good sources of monounsaturated fat also called “good fats.” Avoid coconut oil as it is very high in saturated fat.

  10. Foods that are baked, grilled, roasted or steamed are lower in fat. Skip deep-fried foods.

  11. Amounts are important. Keep an eye on the amount of meat and starchy foods you eat. Think of a plate that is ½ veggies, ¼ meat and ¼ rice, potatoes or pasta as your guide. Go to http://www.choosemyplate.gov for details.

  12. Learn the label language. Look at the Nutrition Facts label. Choose foods with low or no saturated fat (less than 4 grams per serving) and no trans-fat.

Teach Back

What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?

What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?

Who to Call

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions, please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.