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Prevent Heart Disease--One Day at a Time!
Heart disease is the leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States and most countries. Diet plays such an important role in the development of major risk factors of heart disease including hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and arthrosclerosis. It’s so important to teach children from a young age the importance of eating healthy and exercising daily. Implementing diet and exercise based methods of prevention would not only be more feasible, but ultimately more cost effective than relying on drugs to combat this life threatening condition.
Anytime there is an opportunity to eat more fruits, vegetables, fiber, and fish, you should take advantage of it! What better way then with different themes of the week that are very general so you can change it up to make it seem like its something new each week! Different themes for different days will give you and your family something fun and exciting to look forward to during the months to come. Follow these fun and exciting ways to keep your family on track for a heart healthy diet!
Sunday: Snack Attack Sunday
- Have your kids help you put together some healthy snacks for the week that they would like when they get home from school. You can have a make your own trail mix day, pre-portion crackers, make peanut butter sandwiches or maybe they could help you pre-bag some of the vegetables you cut up.
Monday: Mix and Match Monday
- This day includes trying different fruits and vegetables in different dips. This encourages your family to explore their tastes and to try new combinations they may have never tried before. Plus you are getting some added fruits and vegetable servings in them daily. Examples include: Apples and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, celery and peanut butter, veggies and low fat ranch.
Tuesday: “Two’s day”
- No matter what it is you have on your plate, you have to at least take two bites of everything for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Make sure that you get a least 2 servings from every food group during the day today. You can have a check list for each family member on the fridge so every time you finish a meal you can check what you have consumed off the list! Maybe make it a competition to see who can get all their servings in first!
Wednesday: Whole Grain Wednesday
- What a great way to introduce your family to new whole grain products! You can switch it up from just regular old whole wheat bread by adding some barley to a soup. Or, quinoa makes a great high protein starch in replacement of regular rice to a meal. Oatmeal is another filling option your family can have at breakfast which has been shown to help lower cholesterol! On this day make sure you are getting one serving of grains at every meal.
Thursday: Taste the Rainbow Thursday
- No I don’t mean skittles, but there are so many different fruits and vegetables with a variety of different colors and nutrients. See who in your family can eat the most colors in one day! Make it a fun and friendly competition!
Friday: Finger Foods Friday
- Who needs utensils anyways? Only foods that can be eaten with your fingers can be consumed on this day. Maybe even have a make your own pizza night with your family. It's a great way to get everyone involved in the dinner making process and it's always fun for your kids to eat something they made themselves. Another great opportunity to add some extra vegetables on top of that pizza!
Saturday: Shapes Day Sunday
- Everything on this day has to have a fun shape to it! Cut all your foods into different shapes. Foods that have shapes to them are always more enjoyable to eat! Examples include: Heart shaped pancakes, ghost shaped sandwiches, triangle shaped low fat cheese. Bust out the cookie cutters on this day!!