Heart Healthy Nutrition for Heart Month!
February is heart month, and there is no better time to focus on heart healthy nutrition. Kellie is a pediatric dietitian who works closely alongside the pediatric cardiology team at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital to support the growth and to optimize the nutritional health of our heart warriors. Check out her top tips for supporting your child’s (and your own) nutrition!
Everyday life can be very busy and healthy eating can be overwhelming, especially with so much information about health and nutrition. Let’s take a step back and focus on a few simple steps to fueling your family’s heart health.
Tips for a healthy heart:
❤️ Prepare meals at home as often as possible using simple, whole ingredients.
❤️ Include vegetables and fruits as part of as many meals and snacks as you can.
Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables and fruits are all great options. Children and adults ‘eat with their eyes’, so try to ‘eat the rainbow’ throughout your week.
❤️ Choose high fibre foods and whole grains.
Did you know most of us do not consume enough fibre each day? Higher fibre foods and whole grains are good for our heart. Boost your fibre intake by including more vegetables and fruits, beans and lentils, and more whole grains foods such as quinoa, brown rice or pasta, and barley.
❤️ Be mindful of added salt in foods.
Salt is commonly found in processed and packaged foods. Compare nutrition facts tables to choose foods that contain 5% daily value (DV) of sodium or less. When cooking, use herbs and spices such as garlic, oregano, chili flakes, flavoured olive oil, etc to add flavour.
❤️ Did you know there are fats that are beneficial for your heart?
Try preparing more meals with vegetable oils such as olive, canola, and soybean oil. Walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fatty fish are great for our heart and provide a source of Omega fats.
Choose one of these tips to start with and find creative and fun ways to prepare meals together!
Have questions or need more support? Contact us to learn more!
Kellie Guan, Registered Dietitian, BSc. Nutrition, Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital
Kellie is from Melfort, SK and has been living in Saskatoon for the past 9 years. She attended the University of Saskatchewan and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition through the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. She has been working as a clinical dietitian at Royal University Hospital for over two years.
Kellie finds her role particularly rewarding in that she can develop ongoing relationships with families and is able to watch her patients thrive overtime. In her spare time, Kellie enjoys anything food related, reading, spending time with her Australian Sheppard, and travelling.