Your guide to a happy and healthy summer!

Make the most of summer by eating well and participating in physical activity every day. Here are some simple ideas to help you make this summer fun, fit and fantastic!

 

-Have regular family meals: Knowing that dinner will be served around the same time every night and that the whole family will be sitting down together is comforting and enhances appetite. Kids will be more excited to eat healthful dinners and you’ll have the opportunity to grow as a family.

 

-Get the kids involved: Include the kids in grocery shopping, lunch box packing and preparing dinner. Not only are kids more likely to consume the foods they helped prepare but this is also a chance for you teach your kids about the nutritive value of foods or how to read food labels.

 

-Make a family outing to the farmer’s market: Farmer’s markets are an excellent way to buy fresh, local fruits and veggies. Some booths offer samples your kids can try and the live music and atmosphere is a positive food experience your kids are sure to enjoy.

blueberries_and_strawberries

 

-Make sure there are plenty of healthy snacks available in the house: Stock the cupboards and refrigerator with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and healthy beverages like water, 100% juice, and milk. When there is an abundance of healthy options kids will become used to reaching for those items instead of empty calorie snacks like chips, soda, cookies or candy.

 

-Have fun with food! Top whole grain pancakes with a banana slice smiley face, make forest out of broccoli florets and celery sticks or create fun fruit kabobs with pineapple, strawberries and grapes. Kids like to play and when they get to play with their food it’s so much more fun to eat!

 

-Limit foods high in sugar: You don’t need to cut out sugary foods entirely but rather make them “special occasion” foods. Make a habit of eating watermelon slices or 100% fruit popsicles for a sweet treat. Once in a while indulge in an ice cream sundae bar or homemade cookies. The treat will be even more special and kids will learn to eat these foods in moderation.

 

-Limit foods high in salt: Cut down on packaged, processed and fast food. Instead buy fresh or frozen foods and choose low sodium or low salt options. Replace salty snacks like potato chips and pretzels with nuts, seeds and fresh veggies.

 

-Get movin’! Encourage your kids to be physically active by reducing screen time and encouraging them to play outside. You can also encourage them to dance to their favorite music or walk to the nearest park to play.

-Have them help out: Get kids active by having them help carry groceries, rake leaves or walk the dog.

 

-Seize summer: Summer is the perfect time to be active. There are so many fun opportunities that great weather has to offer. Swimming, canoeing, biking, hiking, camping, roller blading, running, or playing sports, the sky is the limit!

kids-swimming

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