Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in South Africa for both men and women. Despite these high numbers of people being at risk of heart disease and stroke, it is preventable if one makes the choice to understand the risks and decides to implement necessary lifestyle changes.
Our children also learn from us and setting a good example is how you can reinforce how they can eat well and lower their risk of developing heart diseases. Other guidelines you can follow as a family and especially for your children are the following:
Serve your child mostly fruits and vegetables, with whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.
According to Fry’s, these are also the appropriate portion sizes for children.
Fruits and Veg:
5-7 servings per day (about 1/3 of the plate) Includes all fresh vegetables and fruits e.g. apple, banana, berries, pineapple, watermelon, dried fruit, salad, tomatoes, spinach, kale, cucumber, corn, baby marrows, mushrooms, etc.
Grains and Starches:
7 servings per day (about 1/3 of the plate) Includes all whole-grain products and starchy vegetables e.g. brown rice, quinoa, oats, cornmeal, potato, sweet potato, butternut, barley, whole-wheatbread / crackers, etc.
2-3 servings per day. Includes all legumes and soya products as well as nuts and seeds e.g. Fry’s products, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, beans, chia seeds, peanut butter, etc.
3-4 servings per day. Includes all oils and added fats e.g. avocado, tahini, nuts, seeds, nut kinds of butter, olives, olive oil, sunflower oil, flax oil, etc.
Outside of the plate:
3 servings per day of non-dairy milk / milk products. Includes all plant kinds of milk / milk products e.g. soy milk, almond milk, soy yoghurt, etc.
When we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same.