Tips, Tools and Activities
The summer months are the perfect time to explore new places with your family. There are plenty of things you can do whether you want to get out of town or stay close to home. Plan a camping trip and get away for a couple days, or just set up camp in your backyard. Have a stick-finding competition to get the fire going, while incorporating more activity into your family’s day. Setting up a bike trip is a great activity whether you are at home or on a trip. Make it even more fun for the kids by incorporating a scavenger hunt. Create a list of things they would find along the way and either have them collect the items or take pictures of them. Add in a picnic along the way or at your destination. Let the kids help prepare the picnic with their favorite healthy recipes or snacks. Research ahead of time to find out if there are any farmer’s markets that you can visit as a family. This is a great way to support local farms and pick up some fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Often eating healthy while on a family vacation or during a road trip can be seen as a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! If you are going on a day trip, plan ahead for your meals, and bring along foods that travel in a car well. Â Make sandwiches using whole wheat bread, bring fresh fruit, cut up carrots, peppers, and cucumbers. Before heading out the door have the whole family wake up with enough time for everyone to have a healthy breakfast that includes protein and some color (fruits and or veggies). Â Pair up foods such as a vegetables and eggs, whole grain toast and nut butter, or unflavored yogurt with granola. These foods have protein and fiber that will keep everyone full and satisfied until lunchtime. Keep a cooler in the car that you can store your lunches in. Packing lunches for the family puts you in control of what your family is eating and will likely save you money. Also, make sure everyone has a water bottle to keep hydrated throughout the day.
The summer can be a busy time for everyone in the family. Vacations, sporting events, and being out and active can tire anyone out. Make sure that your kids are getting at least 9-11 hours of sleep each night so that they can make the most out of the busy summer days. Getting the right amount of sleep ensures that they can be actively involved and learning in whatever they choose to do throughout the days of summer.
Q: Should I give my child a multivitamin if they do not like eating fruits or vegetables?
A: Not necessarily. Get to the root of the problem first. Talk with your child about why they donâ€™t like to eat fruits or vegetables. Most children need to be introduced to a food multiple times before they accept it. When youâ€™re at the store, have your child select some fruits and vegetables that are outside your regular shopping list. Also, try different preparation methods such as steaming, baking, or sautÃ©ing. If your child is still resistant, talk to your doctor before starting your child on any supplement or vitamin.