Five Tips to Help Your Kids Eat Heart Healthy


Raising kids is hard, but getting them to eat healthy food can be even harder. In light of American Heart Month, Western Wake Pediatrics in Cary, NC, offers a range of pediatric services and nutrition counseling to help your family make healthy dietary choices. If you’re struggling to keep the right food options front and center, try these five tips to help your kids eat heart healthy at home and at school.

1. Make healthy snacks easily available

Going cold turkey on sugary, salty snacks may result in screams or cries of anguish from your kids, but it’s a great way to curb unhealthy eating habits. If you can muster the courage for an all-out attack on junk food, make sure to stock your kitchen cabinet and refrigerator with healthy snacks, such as:


  • String cheese

  • Low-fat yogurt

  • Natural peanut butter (no sugar added)

  • Vegetable chips

  • Baked crackers

  • Whole-grain pretzels

  • Soy chips and other soy snacks

  • Rice cakes

  • Whole-wheat tortilla chips

  • Whole-wheat pita triangles

  • Hummus

  • 100% fruit juice drinks

  • Edamame or chickpeas

  • Cottage cheese

  • Natural fruit leather (no sugar added)

  • Dried fruit

2. Keep fruits and vegetables on hand

When it comes to heart healthy food, keeping a stock of fruits and vegetables your child will eat is essential. Depending on your child’s preference, things like baked sweet potatoes, apple slices, baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, mini sweet peppers, crunchy lettuce leaves, bananas, diced pineapple, peaches, nectarines and grapes are great go-tos.

3: Take one day a week to plan out healthy meal recipes

Taking time out of your normal routine can be tough, but setting aside just 30 minutes during the week to plan out healthy recipes for breakfast, school lunches and dinner will help you achieve heart healthy eating. Think lean meat, fish, vegetables, beans and rice, fruits, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy items, soy products, healthy oils and the like.

4: Go nuts! A healthy source of fat & fiber

With such a variety of nuts to choose from, you’re bound to find a few your child will eat. As raw nuts are typically not cheap, consider buying in bulk to lower the cost. Mix them with dried fruit for added texture and flavor.

5: Start a weekly healthy snack challenge

Start a competition between yourself and your child, or between your kids to see who can eat the healthiest. Lay out the guidelines each week for eating only healthy snacks, marked by a calendar on the refrigerator. For each successful day without junk food, add a special reward to your child’s calendar (extra allowance money, more tv/video game time, more playtime, or whatever your child loves).

Schedule a Nutrition Counseling Session with a Pediatrician in Cary, NC

At Western Wake Pediatrics, our experienced pediatricians offer expert care for infants, toddlers and small children across western Wake County. In addition to nutrition counseling in Cary, our practice provides many services and treatments for children of all ages. If you’re looking for a holistic approach to developmental care for children, contact us to make an appointment with one of our pediatricians.

Western Wake Pediatrics is proud to provide nutrition counseling for patients in Cary, Durham, Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Wake Forest, Chapel Hill and surrounding locations.

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