If only it were as easy as “an apple a day.”
Building healthy habits is vital for any kidney-conscious family, but it’s a tough job – especially if you’re running from school, to sports, to recitals, and more. Fortunately, by concentrating on a few essential routines, even the busiest family can work to maintain kidney health every day.
Check out these four kidney-friendly tips that will get your whole family on the right track for a healthy, nutritious lifestyle.
Make a Family Exercise Plan
Regular exercise can support circulation, healthy blood pressure, and overall weight maintenance. All of these factors have been shown to play a role in kidney health and function.
To get you started, some ideas for fun family exercise activities include:
- Volleyball, badminton and other backyard sports
- Push-up contests
- Weekend playground trips
Get Regular Checkups
Regular checkups are important for maintaining healthy kidneys as well as your family’s overall health and nutrition. At regular checkups, your doctor can monitor blood pressure, conduct urine tests, and measure other indicators of kidney function. If you haven’t already, it’s essential to schedule an “establishing care” checkup with a local physician to start an ongoing relationship with a doctor you trust and who knows your family history.
Staying hydrated helps to reduce the concentration of waste products in the kidneys, which helps maintaining healthy kidney function.
There are tons of easy, creative ways to make sure your family gets enough water every day:
- Mix it up with flavored water and seltzers
- Use water-tracking apps
- Make it a friendly family competition
Follow a Kidney-friendly Meal Plan
Kidney-friendly meal plans such as the low-oxalate diet are becoming more and more popular among kidney-conscious families. The low-oxalate diet involves reducing intake of oxalate, which we get primarily from eating leafy greens, though it is found in a range of vegetables and other foods and beverages. It’s a kidney-friendly solution that is also important to maintaining a healthy calcium-oxalate balance.
Cooking low-oxalate for your family is easier than you might think. Check out these kidney-friendly meals and snacks your family will love:
- Garlic sage turkey
- Salmon burger with rutabaga fries
- Thai noodle bowl
- Green bean salad
- Ten low-oxalate snacks on the go
- Low-oxalate juices and smoothies
The low-sodium diet can also support your family’s kidney health maintenance program. A balanced sodium intake plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure and, ultimately, normal kidney function. For this diet, it’s essential to look for low-sodium labels on your food while shopping and to reduce the amount of salt you use while cooking.
The low-phosphorous diet is another kidney-health solution you may have encountered. This diet mainly involves avoiding processed foods, which can have the complementary effects of reducing your sodium and sugar intake. When following the low-phosphorous diet, check your food packaging labels for “phos” to know what to avoid.