Easy Steps to Help Your Child Lower Their High Cholesterol
It is a tough day when you get the call that your child has High Cholesterol and is only 9 years old. Instead of thinking how we got here, I sat down with her and came up with a plan that everyone could follow and made the changes easy and simple. It also does not require you stop eating out but instead make healthy choices.
Tips to Lower a Child’s High Cholesterol
Increase their intake of Fruits and Vegetables. It is recommended to eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Don’t expect your child to jump right on new vegetables or fruit. Introduce one at a time until they find the ones they like. You can also serve with low-cholesterol dips such as this Lemon Hummus Recipe or yogurt based dips.
Switch to Whole Grain Products. Use Whole Grain Pastas, Breads,Crackers and Cereals instead of traditional “white” pasta and bread. To make the switch to whole grains easier, mix whole wheat pasta with white pasta. Start at 25% whole wheat to 75% white and gradually increase the amount of whole wheat until you are serving 100% whole wheat pasta. For breads start with a lighter whole wheat and try offering it toasted. My daughter feels more full from the whole grain bread and it is now her bread of choice. A bonus is the bread doesn’t tear or smoosh like white bread.
Use Skim and Low Fat Milk,Yogurt and Cheeses. Skim milk has the same nutrients as Whole Milk without all the fat. Slowly make the switch using the same methods as you would with whole grain products.
Skip Cream Based Soups and Sauces. Switch to vegetable soups and those that are broth based.
Avoid High Fat, High Cholesterol and High Calorie Toppings. These include butter, margarine, gravy, sour cream and gravy. Instead use yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, herbs and grated Parmesan cheese. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter offers a low calorie butter and Olive Oil Spray that delivers great taste with a fraction of the calories.
Switch from Vegetable Oil to Healthier Oils. Better options are Sunflower, Canola, Corn, Olive and Soybean oils. Use a spritzer to avoid using more than what is needed. Switch to Non-Stick Vegetable Sprays for cooking as well.
Serve Lean Meats. The best options are chicken, turkey, and fish. If opting for beef or pork, choose tenderloin, loin chops, top round, chops and ham. Remove any visible fat from meat and don’t forget to remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
Skip Fried Foods and opt for Healthier Cooking Methods. Steam, Bake, Broil, Grill, or Poach your meals. My favorite way to get moist meats is to cook them in my Slow Cooker. It makes it so much simpler because dinner is ready when I get home.
Do 1 Hour of Physical Activity a Day. If they don’t like to move start with 10 minutes of physical activity and add 10 minutes every few days until they work up to 60 minutes. Pick activities they like such as bike riding, roller blading, swimming, and walking the dogs. Find a class or a sport they want to take and sign them up. Get active yourself to show them how easy it is.
Ditch the Sweetened Drinks. Opt for water and low-fat or skim milk. If your child doesn’t like plain water opt for low calorie water enhancer. You can slowly cut down the amount you use over time and soon they will be drinking it plain.
Don’t think you have to jump right in and do all the changes at once. I wouldn’t recommend it because many children will resist to many changes at one time. Instead pick 1 or 2 things a week and slowly implement them. Make these changes as a family and don’t single the child out as different or they will feel like an outsider. Be honest and explain to them the changes you are making and keep an open dialogue with them. Don’t forget to ask for their input and ideas. Children will feel more in control if they are part of the process. Before long your child will have lowered their high cholesterol and be on their way to a healthier lifestyle.
Change up Your Menu and get your kids cooking with our Recipes Kids Can Make!
Check out these Water Bottle Crafts to use up Those Leftover Water Bottles!
Topic: High Cholesterol