Keeping Summer Healthy
One of the greatest parts about summer is the very necessary break from the hustle and bustle of the busy school year. Between constant meetings, practices, homework, and just all around frenzy at times, summer truly is the perfect time to unwind!
While relaxing and enjoying the benefits of summer is absolutely wonderful and necessary, don’t forget about the importance of maintaining a healthy routine for your kids. There are easy and effective ways to help your kids have both a fun and healthy summer!
How Can I Keep My Child Healthy This Summer?
The first step in helping your child stay healthy throughout the summer is to create new routines that promote physical activity, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits.
Summer is full of endless possibilities for your kids to be active and have fun in the sun! It is crucial for your kids to get enough exercise and fresh air. In fact, according to the CDC, kids are recommended to get at least 60 minutes of outdoor time per day, and there is truly no greater time of year for an emphasis on physical activity than the summer.
Here are a few of our favorite ideas for some outdoor entertainment this summer:
- Take a walk with friends or family
- Ride your bike through your neighborhood
- Go for a swim
- Visit a local splash pad
- Make some s'mores around a campfire
- Play catch with dad
- Try a new sport
- Go fishing at a local pond
- Take a walk along the beach
Promoting physical activity is a great way for your kids to get their daily dose of vitamin D and stay healthy. It even doubles as a way to limit screen time throughout the summer without your kids even realizing it!
Staying active throughout the summer is imperative, and so is a good night’s sleep! It is easy to fall out of a normal bedtime routine during the summer, so be sure to remember that a healthy sleep routine promotes a healthy child!
Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule this summer means ensuring that your child is getting the proper amount of sleep. The CDC recommends 8-12 hours per day for children and adolescents. We recommend sticking to a typical dinner time when you can and limiting screens too close to bedtime.
Healthy Eating Habits
While summer presents many opportunities for our favorite snacks and sweets, we want to be sure not to over indulge! Creating healthy eating habits starts at home. Be a great role model for your children by offering them plenty of fresh fruits and veggies this summer.
Summer is a great time to focus on fresh produce by planting a garden with your kids, taking them to a local farmer’s market to pick out their favorite items, and even allowing them to help you cook in the kitchen. All of these ideas will not only allow you to spend more time with your kids this summer but they will also help teach them the value of healthy eating habits. It’s a win-win!
What Are Some Healthy Substitutions for Summertime Favorites?
Sure, fresh fruits and veggies are delicious and nutritious this time of year! But let’s not forget about some of our other summer favorites - you know, the ones that aren’t nearly as healthy for us. I’m talking about popsicles, ice cream, potato chips, cookies, sugary drinks, etc. These items are fine in moderation, but let’s take an opportunity to be creative and offer some healthy substitutions for our kids this summer!
I think it is safe to say that just about all kids love a good frozen treat! This is an easy category to establish some fun and healthy substitutions. Rather than offering your kids sugary ice cream and popsicles, try using yogurt instead! There are tons of ways to use this healthy alternative, including mixing it with fresh fruit and pouring it into popsicle molds, blending up some to create yummy smoothies, and spreading some with peanut butter or dark chocolate to create a tasty yogurt bark.
On The Grill
There’s nothing like a fresh plate hot off the grill in the summer! Try replacing meats high in saturated fat like hot dogs and hamburgers with new and unique items this summer, such as homemade veggie burgers and fresh veggies. Looking for a great veggie burger recipe? Try this one here!
Believe it or not - fresh veggies are always great alternatives too! Test out grilled portobello mushroom dippers or colorful veggie skewers on the grill instead!
Snacking in the summer is essential, especially for kids! But rather than grabbing a bag of chips or box of cookies from the pantry and eating way too much, try out a few healthier options with more portion control.
Fresh veggies with hummus makes for a great summer snack. It contains lots of protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. Try cutting the veggies into fun shapes for the kids too! You also can’t go wrong with fresh fruit kebabs, a yummy smoothie, frozen banana bites dipped in dark chocolate, oat smoothies, or no-bake oatmeal balls. These alternatives can be just as easy and also kid-friendly!There are so many ways to help your kids stay healthy this summer. Just remember to focus on plenty of physical activity, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits! For inspiration on healthy treats and snacks that are inclusive for those with diet restrictions, check out our growing recipe box here!