If you thought high cholesterol was a problem that only affected adults, you were wrong. High cholesterol can also affect young children. In fact, many of the problems adults have with high cholesterol actually began when they were children. If you have children, now's the time to start protecting them against high cholesterol, especially if you've been diagnosed with it. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it's a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about having your children tested for the disease as well. Here are four healthy steps you can take to help your children avoid the problem.

Include Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

If your kids aren't eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, they should be. Fresh fruit and vegetables help reduce cholesterol, and keep your kids healthy. Not only that, but offering fresh fruits and vegetables to your kids helps satisfy their appetites, so they stay full longer, which reduces their desire for unhealthy between-meal snacks. Try to keep plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in the kitchen for them to eat throughout the day. If your kids are in school, send fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks for them.

Stay Away from Trans Fats

You might not realize this, but there are a lot of trans fats in processed foods. Unfortunately, trans fats can increase your kids' risk for high cholesterol. Some of the worst culprits for trans fats are snack foods such as chips and cookies. If your kids eat a lot of processed snack foods, they could be at risk for high cholesterol. Instead of offering processed snacks, try switching to more natural snacks. It's also important to limit some of the saturated fats your kids eat, such as cheese and butter. While cheese is a healthy snack, it should be eaten in moderation.

Limit Fast Food

Kids love fast food. Unfortunately, it's not a very healthy source of food for your kids. In fact, some fast food options can be downright unhealthy for them. If you do choose fast food as a treat from time to time, encourage your kids to choose healthy options, such as salads and yogurt instead of the french fries.

Encourage Physical Activity

If your kids are like most, they don't get nearly enough physical activity each day. Even if they have a physical education class each day, that's still only about 30 minutes' worth of physical activity. To help keep your kids' cholesterol levels within a healthy range, encourage physical activity. Have them get outside to run around after school, and on the weekends.

High cholesterol is a serious health risk. To prevent high cholesterol from affecting your kids, follow the tips provided here. Be sure to talk to pediatric services about other ways to combat high cholesterol.