Hudson Valley Parent

HVP February 2020

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30 Hudson Valley Parent n February 2020 will give your body different antioxi- dants and nutrients, as well as fiber," she said. "Plus, they fill you up." Cook at home. Cooking foods from scratch may sound time-con- suming, but it can help reduce your intake of salt and sugars, which can have an impact on overall health. Encourage kids to eat heart-healthy snacks like fresh fruit and low-fat dairy to keep them full and fueled with good nutrition. If your family is accoustomed to snacking on foods from commer- cially prepared packages and eating take-out neals on the regular, plan to switch them for more nutriontial options ahead of time. "Take an hour or two on Sundays to work on prepping some quick eating items for the week," said Westinghouse. "Grill up a bunch of chicken to have on hand. Roast a tray of veggies. Boil up some whole grains like brown rice. Then quickly throw them all together in a bowl with your favorite dressing or sauce." Start by swapping one or two drive-through or convience-pack- aged meals a week with dishes made at home. You can also set a goal to try one new fruit or vegetable a week until your family has a go-to list of favorites. As you and your kids master one change, continue on for the next. It can be hard to get picky eaters to try new things but it's worth it. Remem- ber that slow and steady is the way to go for new habits that contribute to lasting health. By ROXANNE FERBER R omantic hearts may be top-of- mind during the month of Feb- ruary, but it's also a good time to think about heart health. There is nothing romantic about heart dis- ease and, with the Dutchess County 2016 Community Health Status Report showing that heart disease is on the rise and the number one cause of death over accidents and cancer, there's reason for concern. Fortunately, there are plenty of precautions that can be taken to help avoid its onset. Opt for smart lifestyle choices. Healthy habits like diet choices and exercise can help pre- vent heart disease. As well, making lifestyle changes, like quitting smok- ing, eating a colorful range of whole foods, giving up excess sugar, and minimizing stress can help reduce your family's risk of developing risky heart disease. So, how does a busy family make heart health a priority? Begin by looking in your refrigerator. Families should consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and lean protein to give their hearts everything it needs to power the body. According to Liz Westinghouse of Saugerties, a registered dietitian, certified dietitian and nutritionist, certified personal trainer and mother of two, everyone should eat their rainbow each day. "This will always be something that I suggest - eating fruits and veggies of different colors each day Make time for movement. Once you have a few healthy swaps under your belt, focus on movement. Not every kid has access to team sports, nor can every family get to the local YMCA or gym. But most families can incorporate extra heart- healthy movements into their days by literally taking small steps. Ex- perts recommend that people engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day, five days per week. February is American Heart Health Month – how are you taking care of yours? Alicia Gambino's two kids enjoy hiking, a heart-healthy exercise that's fun for the whole family.

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