February is American Heart Month – a good time to educate your family on the risk factors for heart disease such as obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol. It’s never too early to start thinking about prevention as these things can start developing during childhood.
This year, the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) has asked American families to take a closer look at everyday habits that can help promote a healthy heart. The PCNA recommends small, simple changes in lifestyle habits to help lay the foundation for a heart-healthy future, and one of them includes family dinners together.
They say to make dinners a family occasion – turn off the television and spend the time together as a family. Research shows that “children who shun the tube during mealtime have higher-quality diets than those who watch-and-eat.”
Another one of the recommendations is getting kids involved in meal planning – encouraging them to learn about healthy meals and snacks. “At the grocery store, assign each child a different color and ask them to choose one new fruit or vegetable based on the hue-of-the-day,” they say.
Family meals and meal planning are two things that are dear to my family and me. It’s so easy and fun to get everyone involved and to show your kids that they are a priority, and you want to spend time with them.
So this month, plan some family meal times together…and even ask the kids to help!