Heart healthy diet (1858)

Key points below

What is a heart healthy diet?

This diet includes foods that promote heart health. It also limits foods that can increase risk for heart disease in the future. This diet may include many foods that your child already eats, but some changes may be needed. Making these small changes now can be a big help for your child’s future health.  A heart healthy diet may also help your child have a healthy weight. 

Use the Nutrition Facts label to help make heart healthy food choices:

Limit Saturated and Trans FatNutrition label

Look for foods that have:

Increase Your Fiber Intake

Serving size

All of the information on the label is based on one serving.  The package may contain more than 1 serving.  If you eat more (or less) than one serving, you will get more (or less) nutrients than noted on the label.  

Limit Sodium

Choose foods with 15% of the daily value or less per serving.

Limit Added Sugar

Choose foods with the least amount of sugar, ideally less than 9 grams per serving.

Choose whole grains.

“Whole” must be the first ingredient (look for “whole wheat” or “whole grain”).

Tips for choosing fats wisely

Heart Healthy Diet Tips 

Plan Healthy Meals

Cut Back on Added Sugars

Increase Fiber 

Reduce Sodium

Choose Healthy Fats

Choose Healthy Beverages

Category Foods to include Foods to leave behind 
Milk and dairy foods
(3 servings per day)
Skim or 1% milk; low-fat cottage cheese; low or non-fat yogurt; part-skim mozzarella cheese; light string cheese  2% or whole milk; cream, sour cream or cream cheese; whole milk yogurt; cottage cheese (4% milk fat); high-fat or processed cheese (American, cheddar, Swiss, Colby). 
Meat and eggs
(2 to 3 servings per day)
Lean meat, fish, or poultry; lean ground turkey; boiled, poached or scrambled eggs, egg substitutes; 97% fat-free deli meats; canned fish packed in water; dry beans and peas; natural peanut butter. Breaded, fatty or fried meat, fish or poultry; poultry with skin; bacon, sausage, salami, bologna, hot dogs, brats or pepperoni; Lunchables®.  
Breads and grains
(6 to 11 servings per day) 
Whole wheat pasta, bread, and English muffins; Brown rice; Plain oatmeal or whole grain cereal; whole wheat crackers or light microwave popcorn.   Ramen® noodles; waffles, pancakes, pastries, biscuits, muffins, croissants, granola, sugary cereals; fried snack foods (chips, corn snacks).
(3 to 5 servings per day) 
All vegetables are great! Choose more non-starchy vegetables. Avocados and olives have healthy fats and can be eaten in moderate amounts.  Avoid fried vegetables. Limit starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn and peas) to a ½ cup serving per meal. 
(2 to 4 servings per day) 
All fresh and frozen fruits. Look for canned fruits in light syrup or water.  Canned fruit in heavy syrup. Avoid juice, even 100% juice. 
(Use sparingly) 
Choose oil or margarine with more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat (olive and canola oil); margarine with no trans fat, light salad dressings.  Butter, hydrogenated oils or fats; lard; white sauce, cheese sauce or gravy; margarine with trans fats. 
Desserts and sweets
(Use sparingly) 
Try fruit or light yogurt for dessert!    All sweets should be limited to one serving 1-2 times per week or less. 

For other health and wellness information, check out this resource: https://kidshealth.org/ChildrensWi/en/parents  



Call your child’s doctor, nurse or clinic if you or your child have any concerns or your child has special health care needs not covered by this information.