When June rolls around, school is finally done and the summer begins! With that comes the challenge of staying healthy without the routine of school, activities, and homework. Here are some tips to keep your family eating healthy:
Keep kids on schedule for meals and snacks.
This helps prevent constant snacking. Try to have only healthy snacks at home. There are so many amazing fruits and vegetables during the summer! Eat different colors of fruits and vegetables– the more the colors, the healthier the mix.
Make smoothies for a cold treat instead of serving ice cream.
Combine different frozen fruit pieces and Greek yogurt, which is high in protein. You can also make popsicles with freshly squeezed or pressed juices.
Stick with healthy breakfasts to start the day.
Oatmeal with fruit is a great option. Eggs are a great source of protein and can be incorporated in burritos, casseroles or just scrambled with whole grain toast.
Firing up the grill? Be smart about it.
Summer is all about barbecuing but include healthier options instead of routinely grilling steaks, hot dogs and other foods high in fat and salt. Garden burgers and turkey burgers are great. Lean meats such as pork and chicken or seafood such as shrimp and salmon are flavorful options after marinating. Substitute chips for healthy sides such as carrots and celery. Make dips with low fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Stick to low fat condiments such as mustard and use low fat dressings for salads. Grill fruits such as peaches and pineapple for dessert with some brown sugar glaze– yum!
Pack a lunch!
Bring your own food when going on trips to amusement parks, museums, and other local excursions. Pack healthy sandwiches, fruits and multi-grain snacks. Make it fun and bring a picnic basket if going to a park.
Bring your healthy habits with you when you hit the trail.
Camping is a fun summer activity, but it's tempting to fill up your car with prepackaged foods that are high in fat and salt. Make sure to pack lean meats such as chicken for chicken kebobs, plenty of fruits and other healthy snacks.
Don't forget to drink. Have water available at all times. Encourage your children to sip water every 15-20 minutes during outdoor activities. Offer water first if your child is thirsty. Juice should be a treat– When you do offer it, opt for fresh juice or low sugar store-bought juice.
Keep your kids ACTIVE.
Make summer an opportunity to explore the world around them! Swimming, hiking, running, biking are all great activities to keep your children moving. Don’t forget to put on sunscreen: Apply it 30 minutes prior to going out and take it with you everywhere you go. Even “sweat-proof” sunscreens should be reapplied every 80 minutes. Limit "screen time," including video games, hand-held devices and television, to one hour a day.