For many children and their parents, summer break means taking a breather from studying hard at school to enjoy fun activities like going to the beach, pool or playground. While these types of activities are relaxing, it’s important for healthy eating to not take a break during summer vacation. Outings like going to the county fair make it all too easy to justify an unhealthy treat—fried pickles, fried nachos, and fried Twinkies are fair food that are attractions themselves in addition to all the fair rides. When you’re heading off to check off your summer bucket list activities, here are some strategies that can help you keep you and your kids healthy on summer break without sacrificing fun.
Picnic at the Playground
Lazy summer days are often spent at the playground. Swinging on the monkey bars, running through the splash pad, and rolling down slides work up the appetite for anyone. If you’re planning on spending a couple hours at the park, it’s best to prepare healthy snacks that can keep your children satisfied and fuel their energy. Here are some tips:
Sandwiches: The classic school lunch also makes for a good meal on the playground. Prepare sandwiches a day ahead and keep them fresh by wrapping them in wax paper and storing them in a container placed inside the fridge.
Water bottle: When heading to the park on a summer day, your children are sure going to work up a sweat. It’s important to keep them hydrated with water. While many parks have drinking fountains, it’s still a good idea to bring a water bottle that contains ice cold water. That can make the difference between a refreshing drink or a parched mouth.
Fruit: Melon fruits like cantaloupes, honeydews, and watermelon are not only tasty, but also hydrating. You hit two birds with one stone with this fruit that satisfies the sweet tooth and also keeps your little ones hydrated.
Munching on Snacks at the Pool
Lounging at the pool is a great way to spend summer days, but it’s also easy to relax on healthy eating habits. Snacks like chips and pizza are often go-to meals for pool parties and lounging around. But healthy snacks do a better job of fueling energy for spending a couple hours at the pool and maintain a healthy body physique for swimsuit season.
Try bringing these snacks to your next poolside outing:
Dried fruit and nuts: Want to bring some fruit but don’t know how it will hold up in the summer heat? Try some dried fruit like dried bananas, rains, or even dried cranberries. Mix them with sunflower seeds or nuts like almonds. Dried fruit and nuts help satisfy hunger and fuel energy.
Pretzels: Instead of a bag of chips, reach for a bag of pretzels. They are a less greasy alternative than chips, and they still hold up in the summer heat. Here’s a tip: to add a little flavor, dip them in some a mustard dressing like Just Mustard from hamptoncreek.
Vegetable tray: Keep hunger at bay and continue to fuel energy with a vegetable tray. Carrots, celery, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes are just some of the vegetable ideas that make for a tasty and healthy snack.
On-the-go Snacks for Traveling on the Plane or Car
What’s a summer without some type of road type or flight for a relaxing vacation? With excitement is just waiting around the corner, getting to the destination—12 hours in a car or a five-hour plane ride—that can make you and your little ones a little “hangry”—you know, angry and hungry? Keep the journey enjoyable and your health in check by taking some of these snacks that are easy to take on the go:
Fruit: This sweet treat always make for a refreshing snack, but you may have a difficult time with keeping cut-up fruit fresh for hours on a long plane or car ride. Try to pack fruit that doesn’t require you to cut up—small oranges like clementines are portable and stay fresh.
Cheese and crackers: Whole wheat crackers topped off with string cheese are satisfying snacks that can keep you fueled, thus preventing you from ripping open several bags of chips to satisfy your hunger on a long trip.
Summer break allows for a time away from school or work, but it doesn’t mean to stay away from healthy eating. Being aware of snacks and other healthy treats that you can bring on the road or to favorite summer activities can help you keep hunger at bay and your healthy on top.