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February is American Heart Month and we want to encourage you to make one day (or every day) heart healthy. We want to make it easy to include the whole family so grab your kids and try out our heart healthy day of activities from sunrise to sunset!
Get your day started with a Breakfast Blueberry Smoothie. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals making them a heart-healthy choice. Be sure to take a morning break to do some yoga – consider the book Good Morning Yoga, a Pose by Pose Wake Up Story by Mariam Gates. If your kids enjoy crafting, make My Healthy Hearts. This easy craft is made by cutting out a large heart shape from construction paper and letting kids cut out pictures from old magazines of things that make a healthy heart. You can talk with them about everything from the foods they eat, exercise, sleep and things that make them happy as all things that contribute to a healthy heart.
For lunch try Avocado Toast your way using the Avocado Toast Cheat Sheet from Delish! Avocados are full of heart healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, and they boost your HDL (good) cholesterol levels! After lunch, even though it may be chilly out, bundle up and go for a walk. You can make the walk fun by trying a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt!
Warm up in the evening with our Grow Fit inspired Sweet Potato & Black Bean chili for dinner. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A and C, and are also a low-fat source of vitamin E. They provide a good source of potassium, folate and fiber! Don’t forget that you can eat the skins, so there is less prep work if you skip peeling them. (Also, sweet potatoes and yams are very similar, but they are not the same nutritionally. Yams are healthy too, but have less nutrients and fiber.) Legumes, including black beans, provide a great source of fiber and in turn, lower blood cholesterol levels. If your family needs to burn a little more energy off at the end of the day, consider planning an Evening Pajama Jam! Just throw on your favorite PJ’s, clear an open space and turn on the tunes! Follow your kids lead and you are sure to get your heart pumping!
Breakfast Blueberry Smoothie
2 C fresh or frozen blueberries, washed
1 C fresh spinach, washed
½ C plain Greek yogurt
½ C milk
1 Tbsp honey (for children 1 year and up only)
1 ½ C ice
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, diced
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 C water
Serve with whole grain cornbread.
Recipe adapted from: https://www.noracooks.com/vegan-sweet-potato-black-bean-chili/