Beyond the couch
Watching Olympians compete is great but even better if it spurs us on to exercise more; so organize a kids' mini-Olympics in your garden or local park and record their efforts as they race, hurdle over cushions, jump in the sandpit or play ball games. Arrange a swim-athon at your local pool, a long bike ride or badminton session - ask the children for ideas, they'll have plenty.
Olympic colours on a plate
Keep their energy levels up and their hearts healthy by giving them healthy snacks and meals this summer. Serve up a plate of 'Olympic rings' made from rings of red, yellow, orange, green and even brown peppers. Mini corn on the cob, mangetout, French beans, broccoli and carrot sticks are delicious with a dip or sauce - whiz up a tin of pineapple (drained) with a little yoghurt or let them make their own sauce using combinations of chopped garlic, ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and tomato sauce. Stir-fry small pieces of chicken, tofu, prawns or fish with garlic, ginger and a dash of soy sauce (it's high in salt so use it sparingly) and colour it all with sliced pepper, carrots and courgettes. Bean sprouts, pak choi and water chestnuts are tasty additions too. Serve with plenty of egg- or rice-noodles or some boiled rice and take up the chopstick challenge, you'll eat more slowly that way.
Nutritious healthy food and plenty of exercise brings out the best in athletes and will do just the same with your young ones, so make this an Olympic heart-healthy summer for all.
Heart Research UK