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By PAMELA REDWINE
When I think of taking my kids to the doctor I think of them having several different tests, but cholesterol never crossed my mind! However, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Instituteâ€™s recommendations, â€śChildrenâ€™s first cholesterol check should occur between ages 9 and 11. The test should be repeated between ages 17 and 21.â€ť The American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed the guideline saying that lowering cholesterol risk in childhood has profound benefits through life.
â€” Obesity, followed by elevated cholesterol and blood pressure are the greatest risk factors.
â€” 17% of all children are now obese which is triple the level just 30 years ago.
The diet and lifestyle recommendations that are graded A includes:
â€” Fat should be limited to 25-30 percent of calories.
â€” Saturated fat should be limited to 7-10 percent of calories
â€” Keep cholesterol to less than 300 mg per day
â€” Drink fat free milk after age 2
â€” Eat plant foods and more whole grains which are all high in fiber. Increase fruits and vegetables.
â€” Exercise 30-60 minutes every day plus match calories consumed.
â€” See a dietitian for ongoing nutrition counseling if cholesterol is too high.
Other recommendations, which received lower than an A, but may also, help include:
â€” 5g plus age for fiber
â€” Getting enough Vitamin D
â€” Keeping blood pressure in check with sodium reduction
â€” Lowering sugar consumed especially in beverages
â€” Use 100% juice and limit to 4 ounces per day
Recipe of the Week
Creamy Ham and Potato Chowder
3 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes
2 1/2 cups 2 percent reduced fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced ham
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) 50 percent less fat shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in ham and pepper; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 11 minutes. Mash potatoes slightly using the back of a spoon; stir in cheese and green onions. Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Per Serving: Cal 192, Fat 5.2g, Pro 12.2g, Carb 24.8, Fib 2.4, Chol 26mg, Iron 0.3mg, Sodium 416, Calcium 228mg.
Recipe Source: Weight Watchers: Five Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes, March 26, 2010
Pamela Redwine is a nutrition and food safety agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Article provided by Oktibbeha County Extension Service; for more information call 662-323-5916.View more articles in: