News Release

Monday, February 14, 2011

New NIH cookbook encourages families to eat healthfully

Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals.

Nutritious meals can be tasty and easy to prepare, according to a new family cookbook from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals has more than 40 kid-tested recipes featuring a variety of healthy entrees, side dishes, and snacks that parents and children can enjoy together. The free cookbook also offers time-saving tips and helpful resources for busy families.

"Good food choices made early in life can support a lifetime of healthy habits. This cookbook can help parents make good decisions about the foods they serve their families," said NHLBI Acting Director Susan B. Shurin, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician. "With a healthy approach to cooking, families learn to enjoy the taste of heart-healthy meals that can help lower their risk of heart disease and other conditions."

The recipes in the cookbook were designed and created for the NHLBI by David Kamen, a professor in Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America, trained chef/instructor, and father of two. All of the recipes are based on heart-healthy principles from the NHLBI, include nutrition analysis, reflect the principles of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and provide guidance for preparing meals that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. The recipes also adhere to the NHLBI's Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which supports an overall healthy eating plan.

Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals was developed in collaboration with the NIH's We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity and Nutrition) program. We Can! is a national education program supported by four NIH institutes and led by the NHLBI. The program is designed to provide parents, caregivers, and entire communities with strategies, tactics, and tools to help children stay at a healthy weight by eating healthfully, being active, and reducing screen time. The cookbook can be used by the We Can! community sites as they implement programs for both parents and youth.

The cookbook as well as individual recipes are available for free on the Keep the Beat: Deliciously Healthy Eating website, and hard copies can be ordered through the NHLBI Health Information Center. The site also features a searchable database, family resources, healthy shopping and cooking tips, videos, and information for the media. Visitors are also invited to engage in an online community through the Keep the Beat Facebook page, which contains information about upcoming events and cookbook highlights. Log on at or contact the NHLBI Health Information Center at 301-592-8573 for more information.

To arrange an interview with an NHLBI spokesperson, please contact the NHLBI Communications Office at 301-496-4236 or

Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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™Keep the Beat is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

We Can! Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition, We Can!, and the We Can! logos are registered trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).