Healthy Heart Nutrition for Kids

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

As a mother, grandmother, former cardiac nurse, and wife of a cardiologist, you can safely say that I am concerned about the healthy heart nutrition we are teaching our children. The high levels of salt, fat, and calories in fast food can cause serious harm to your heart and the rest of your body. But the reality of life is that, on any given day, one-quarter of North Americans will eat a fast food meal…many of whom are children.

Sadly, many of the meals served in our schools are not much better. Remember when President Reagan declared ketchup a vegetable? You get my point.

This week, in honor of National School Breakfast Week, why not take time to teach your children, grandchildren, nieces, and/or nephews good healthy heart nutrition, starting with a fun, easy, delicious breakfast.

A great option for those of you with kids at home? A smoothie. Let your kids add the ingredients themselves. This particular recipe is packed with omega-3s for brain health, antioxidants for a healthy immune system, and fiber to keep them full until lunch.

While you’re at it, why not whip one up for yourself? The same omega-3s, antioxidants, and fiber also help to control high blood pressure levels and maintain good cholesterol levels.

Smart Smoothie
(Makes 1 serving)

  • 1 Tbsp. flaxseeds, ground
  • ½ cup fresh fruit—blueberries, a peach, kiwi, banana, or whatever you like
  • 8 oz. organic rice milk, organic skim milk, organic yogurt, or unsweetened juice (you can also use water or a combination)
  • 1 serving size (follow directions on package) of soy or whey protein powder

Put ingredients into a blender and whir. If you want a cold, shake-like taste experience, add ice or use frozen juice cubes. Fresh is best but you can use frozen fruits when fresh fruits aren’t in season. Depending on how you make it, this smoothie can come out so thick, you’ll need a spoon!

For more information on cardiovascular nutrition for kids, visit

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