You are never too young, or too old, to take care of your heart. As a first time mom, I’ve become very aware of what I eat as well as what I feed my family. When my son was an infant, it was easy to give him milk, cereal, and pureed fruits and veggies. When he became a toddler, his palate changed. He would eat chicken nuggets for every meal if he could.
It wasn’t until the last year or so that I thought about the “health” aspect of eating healthy to help prevent heart disease and all cardiovascular diseases. High blood pressure, physical inactivity, and high stress levels are just a few of the risk factors I can change to prevent heart disease from affecting me and my family. Luckily, my blood pressure has been normal, but I think I can always add more physical activity to my day, which in turn, can help reduce my stress.
I’ve always felt that it’s easier to talk about eating healthy than to actually eat healthy. My son is my number one priority, so making his snacks and meals as healthy as possible is on the top of my list. When I make his snack baggies of fruits and veggies, I do the same for my husband and me. When I began doing this, I was surprised about how much of a difference it made in our meal planning and just all around eating healthier. I’ve become “that mom” who only lets her son drink water and milk and 100% juice on a rare occasion. I always have organic yogurt and fresh fruits and veggies as a snack ready to go at any playdate or outing. When you have baggies of fruits and veggies in the fridge, it is just as convenient to grab as any other “less healthy” option.
My son is now 2 ½ and he would rather eat fruits and veggies any day over a cookie or sweets. Having a healthy eating plan has broadened his palate and makes our time around the dinner table entertaining and enjoyable; like his mommy he is still not a fan of peas. I’ve also found that by having him help me shop for groceries and make meals, he is more interested in eating what is served. We are expecting our second boy in May, and I am excited that he will have a big brother that can teach him healthy eating habits; who knows, this baby might like peas. J I know that my future of chasing around 2 boys will increase my physical activity and my stress levels. . . well the jury is still out on how that will play out. Regardless, I am happy to be on the right path with my family to keeping healthy hearts.
More resources on heart health:
- The Heart Truth: Throughout American Heart Month, The Heart Truth will inspire women to care for their hearts and make lifestyle changes, while at the same time offering advice From the Heart.
- American Heart Association: Many resources on heart health.
- Make Blood Pressure Control Your Goal: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site about controlling blood pressure.