The summer vacation is a great time for families. An opportunity to spendquality time together, to enjoy fine weather and outside activities. But with the temptation of popsicles and fast food aroun
d every corner, it can also be a challenge to make sure your kids keep up healthy eating habits. Here’s a Top 7 list of things you can do as a parent to make sure your summer is a healthy one.
1.Stick to the schedule
Long days can mean kids have periods when they are tempted to snack, out of little more than boredom. Counter this by maintaining a regular schedule of three meals a day and making sure any eating between meals is nutritious. This could mean trying new combinations such as peanut butter on a piece of fruit, home-made trail mix with raisins, seeds and perhaps dried banana chips or coconut.
Image by US Department of Agriculture used under the Creative Commons License
A big advantage to summer eating is the variety of fresh produce that is readily available. So make full use of seasonal fruit and vegetables to make attractive, colorful dishes and salads. Shredded red cabbage, succulent green peppers, purple pomegranate seeds and black grapes can all make dishes look fun as well as being a great indication that you are providing all the nutrients your kids need.
3. Take to the water!
The trouble with summer thirsts is the temptation to consume sugary drinks, so make sure water is always available. Make it attractive by having some always in the refrigerator and perhaps serving it with a slice of lemon or lime.
4. Get the kids involved.
This is a double whammy you will love! Get the kids to help select, buy and prepare produce for lunch and not only are they more likely to enjoy and appreciate the food but it’s also an activity that makes for a great morning’s entertainment. Suitable projects here could be making pizza with their favorite toppings, courgette muffins, homemade hummus or customized fruit salad. Just gently steer them away from anything deep fried or coated in sugar…
5. Try the buffet
If you're thinking of package holidays or even booking that once in a lifetime Caribbean cruise then choose one that offers a buffet restaurant. That way the children get more choice, they can sample small portions of unfamiliar foods and overall the dining experience is a lot more relaxed.
6. Try before you go!
If you are going abroad , acclimatize the kids beforehand by visiting a restaurant specializing in your destination’s local cuisine. Familiarity with food will stop any temper tantrums from any little ones with a fussy palate, which will make mealtimes less of a chore.
7. Size matters.
Summer meals can be taken a more leisurely pace but just keep an eye on portion sizes to prevent overeating.
So whether at home or away there’s no reason you can’t all eat well and healthy this summer. Happy holiday!