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Feed Your Child's Heart

The way to a healthy heart might be through your child's stomach, New dietary recommendations from the American Heart Association stress better food choices and physical activity to combat obesity-related health problems, including heart disease.

Suggestions for infants include feeding babies breast milk exclusively for the first four to six months, and continuing breastfeeding throughout the first year. Once solid foods are introduced, parents are urged to stick with healthy foods, introducing them repeatedly even if the child refuses at first. Juice shouldn't be offered until 6 months of age, and then should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces daily.

Children ages 2 and older should get 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Their diets should be low in sugar and fruit juice, and include vegetables, fruit, and skim or low-fat milk. The guidelines suggest using vegetable oils rather than butter or animal fats, and whole-grain breads and cereals rather than refined-grain products.

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