Set your kids on a heart healthy path

Ensuring that children eat healthy when they are young will hopefully set them on the right path for choosing healthy meals for the rest of their life, says a local pediatrician.

Dr. Shirley Cridland, a director with the Cayman Heart Fund, says parents who introduce a balanced diet at an early age give their children the best start for a healthy life.

Infants of six months old who are fed cereal, vegetables and fruit to complement breast milk or formula develop a taste for these healthy foods, and continue to enjoy them as they grow. Offering drinks of water before starting fruit juices decreases their preference for sweet drinks later on.

‘A healthy diet for children should limit the intake of fats, salt and sugars,’ advises Dr. Cridland. ‘When feeding children from the family pot, these should be added after taking out the child’s portion. A balanced diet, along with regular exercise, is vital for healthy growth and development.’

To highlight the importance of living a heart healthy life for young and old alike, the Cayman Heart Fund’s weekend of heart healthy activities takes place from Friday to Monday, 16-19 May.

On Friday, there will be a symposium for Cayman’s medical professionals to get the latest information on cardiovascular disease from some of the profession’s most eminent cardiologists from the US.

On Saturday, the first annual Heart Health Fair will take place at the Family Life Centre on Walkers Road from 9am to 3pm. This event will include fun activities for children such as a Kid’s Corner with Dr Cridland and Teri Quappe, another director of Cayman Heart Fund.

Health professionals will weigh and measure children and parents can check their growth on charts. There will be games, face painting, a bouncy castle, demonstrations and prizes.

There will be tips for making healthy meals and snacks and information on preventing cardiovascular disease.

Cayman Heart Fund has also organised a 5K Discover your Heart Fun Run/Walk, which will kick off on Monday starting at 7am from Camana Bay.

WHO THEY ARE

The Cayman Heart Fund is a non-profit, non-government organisation dedicated to the reduction of heart and circulatory disease in the Cayman Islands. Heart and circulatory disease, known as cardiovascular disease, is the biggest health problem in the Cayman Islands.

For more infomration, telephone 928-2366 or visit www.caymanheartfund.com

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