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Healthy Eating Tips: Keep Your Kids Healthy & Happy This Summer
The weather is warm, the pool is open and school is out! As kids put away their textbooks in exchange for video games and lazy afternoons, it can be easy for kids to mistake boredom for hunger. Add in regular ice cream stops with the family, hot dogs at the ball park, and cotton candy at the fair, and you’ve got the recipe for a summer-long bad-eating binge. But while summer schedules can make healthy eating challenging, we’ve come up with these tips to encourage healthy nutrition for your kids this summer.
Set a Routine
As summer vacation begins, many kids may take for granted their newfound freedom and get in the habit of skipping meals and snacking throughout the day. A good eating routine is important to establish healthy eating habits in children. Always start with breakfast – the foundation of good eating habits, and try to ensure your child eats every meal at approximately the same time every day. Setting solid meal times should help curb over eating or under eating, help the body know when it is time to eat next and reduce the need for snacking, which can wreck good eating habits all together.
Don’t let summer be completely carefree. Keep your kids eating healthy all year long by making meal planning a priority for your family. Plan ahead by coming up with healthy summer recipes for each day of the week, using ingredients already found in your fridge or pantry. You can even encourage healthy eating by making meals a few days in advance and creatively using leftovers for your child’s weekday lunch.
Make Snack Time Fun
Hit the “reset” button on unhealthy eating habits picked up during the school year by making snack time fun! Engage your child in hands-on “snack-tivities”, and let them make their own snacks! Healthy options to consider are fruit kabobs, watermelon popsicles and smoothies! And don’t forget to take advantage of the most bountiful time of the year. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen table for easy and convenient snacking!
Keep Your Kids Active
During summer vacation kids find it too easy to spend a large part of their day in front of a screen – TV, computer, phone, etc. Limit your child’s screen time by encouraging physical activity. Whether your child loves sports, science, hands-on exploration, art or swimming, summer camps allow them to keep their body and mind active, all while doing what they enjoy. If camp isn’t your child’s thing, set up play dates with their friends to shoot hoops, skateboard, bike ride, jump rope….and the list goes on. No matter how your child stays active this summer, instilling physical activity into their daily routine will motivate them to practice healthy eating habits all summer long.
How will you ensure your kids stay healthy during their summer vacation? Share your thoughts in the comments section.