Heart-Friendly Foods That Your Child Needs

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Healthy Kids

Curb high cholesterol early on with these treats

Research clearly shows that kids with high cholesterol often become adults with high cholesterol-especially if they're overweight. Worse, the arteries of kids with high cholesterol can show signs of hardening as early as age 20.

That's why children as young as 2 with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease should get their cholesterol checked now, says Edward A. Fisher, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. If total cholesterol is 170 or higher and bad LDL cholesterol is 110 or higher, encourage more physical activity, and serve up reduced-fat, reduced-cholesterol fare. Recheck cholesterol levels after 6 months, then once a year.

Start with these kid-friendly, heart-healthy goodies. Note: Fats should not be restricted in children under 2.

Blender drink. low-fat yogurt, calcium-fortified orange juice, and berries
Homemade pizza. whole grain English muffins, reduced-fat cheese, and veggies
Chicken nuggets. baked, skinless chicken breast
Mac 'n cheese. reduced-fat Cheddar, fat-free milk, and frozen veggies
Milkshake. 1/4 cup low-fat frozen yogurt, fat-free milk, and 1/2 chocolate sandwich cookie
Homemade baked goods. bran or flaxseed muffins, and canola oil instead of margarine or butter
Berry cones. sorbet and fresh berries in a wafer cone
Tortillas. lean chicken strips, reduced-fat cheese, and fat-free sour cream
PHOTO (COLOR): Berry shakes: yummy, low-fat and heart smart

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By Julia VanTine

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