Tips, Tools and Activity
There are several fun celebrations with food this summer. It is important to practice food safety habits that will keep everyone healthy and safe. Each year, millions of people get sick from food that was not cooked or prepared safely. Safe cooking techniques can help prevent illness.
- Make sure to start with a clean kitchen and wash your hands thoroughly in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before, after and during food preparation. This is especially important after handling raw meat or seafood.
- Use two cutting boards - one for raw meat, poultry and seafood, and the other for ready-to-eat foods such as breads and vegetables.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure you cook meat, poultry, fish and seafood to proper temperatures.
There are plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables in-season this month. Summer is the perfect time for children to discover new produce. Take this opportunity to introduce your children to new fruits and vegetables in a fun way. For example, try making fruit kabobs together. This encourages children to try several different produce options at once, allows them to play with their food and create a kabob to their liking. Take the entire family to the farmer's market and pick fruits and vegetables together. It's a great way to get everyone outdoors and active. Here are a few in-season fruits and veggies to try:
Play Every Day
During the peak of summer, temperatures can skyrocket, which can create a dangerous situation for young children and older adults. Staying well-hydrated helps to reduce heat illness and also can help acclimate you to hot environments. In addition to carrying a bottle of water with you at all times, make sure to keep extra bottles or jugs of water in your car for longer trips. Plan ahead. If you're going on a long bike trip, make sure to plot out spots to refill and cool down. Encourage children to drink water, even when they're not thirsty. It's better to drink first than to wait until they feel sick or dehydrated. Make it fun for kids by having them decorate or design their own water bottles.
Q: What is a fun example of a game that we can all play together that will increase our active time together as a family?
A: Children and adults can have fun with any form of "Follow the Leader." At any age it can be fun to have others in the family follow you while you run, walk or stroll. Each family member will follow suit and imitate your activities. This game can be done at the park, playground or in a safe, indoor space. Have fun with each family member leading, and be creative in the activities that you have your family mimic. Try bear crawling, crab crawling, touching the ground, squats, jumping jacks, hopping on one foot or walking on the tips of your toes. Get up and get moving!