American Heart Association (AHA) Pediatric Dietary Strategies for Individuals over 2 Years of age:

RECOMMENDATIONS to All Patients and Families:

Balance dietary calories with physical activity to maintain normal growth

60 min of moderate to vigorous play or physical activity daily

Eat vegetables and fruits daily, limit juice intake

Use vegetable oils and soft margarines low in saturated fat and trans fatty acids
instead of butter or most other animal fats in the diet

Eat whole-grain breads and cereals rather than refined-grain products

Reduce the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and foods

Use nonfat (skim) or low-fat milk and dairy products daily

Eat more fish, especially oily fish, broiled or baked

Reduce salt intake, including salt from processed foods

TIPS FOR PARENTS to Implement AHA Pediatric Dietary Guidelines

Reduce added sugars, including sugar-sweetened drinks and juices

Use canola, soybean, corn oil, safflower oil, or other unsaturated oils in place of solid fats during food preparation

Use recommended portion sizes on food labels when preparing and serving food

Use fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and fruits and serve at every meal; be careful with added sauces and sugar

Introduce and regularly serve fish as an entre

Remove the skin from poultry before eating

Use only lean cuts of meat and reduced-fat meat products

Limit high-calorie sauces such as Alfredo, cream sauces, cheese sauces, and hollandaise

Eat whole-grain breads and cereals rather than refined products; read labels and ensure that "whole grain" is the first ingredient on the food label of these products

Eat more legumes (beans) and tofu in place of meat for some entres

Breads, breakfast cereals, and prepared foods, including soups, may be high in salt and/or sugar; read food labels for content and choose high-fiber, low-salt/low-sugar alternatives