Having kids home from school is one of the highlights for families during the summer months. The break from the school routine leaves times for lots of fun summer-time activities.
How do you make sure to keep the family healthy this summer?
Drink smart. Beverages such as regular sodas, sweetened iced tea, energy drinks, and sports drinks contain a lot of added sugar, empty calories, and little nutrition. Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Here are a few tips:
- Make water more fun by adding sliced fruit or cucumbers.
- Kids should drink 2 to 3 cups of low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk a day, depending on age.
- Offer 100% juice in smaller amounts, 1/2 to 1 cup a day, depending on age.
Add more fruits and vegetables. Summer is great for growing and enjoying fresh produce. How do you make it easy for kids to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables?
- Have “Try Day” Fridays by eating a new fruit or vegetable each week.
- Keep a bowl of whole, fresh fruit like apples, oranges, and bananas on the table.
- Visit a farm or farmers market and try some local produce.
Move more sit less. Help your kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Turn on the music, turn off the television, and get your family moving to a healthier beat.
- Bored? Make up games, have relay races, bike, shoot hoops, or play soccer.
- Make up an fun social event: Have a dance or jump rope contest.
- Take a walk together on summer evenings.
Limit screen time. Did you know that American children spend on average 7 ½ hours of their spare time each day in front of a screen? This includes watching television, playing video games, and using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. What can you do?
- Make a family agreement to limit screen time to no more than 1−2 hours a day.
- Don’t let kids’ text the night away! Keep phone chargers in the living room, not their bedroom.
- Reconnect your family with nature. Discover a park, go camping or take a long walk.
Lickity Split Banana Split
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup whole grain cereal
- 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup strawberry yogurt, low-fat
- 1/4 cup grapes, halved
Peel and cut the banana in half, lengthwise. Place the banana in a cereal bowl. Top banana with yogurt and sprinkle with cereal and fruit.
Makes 1 serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 301 calories, 2 g total fat, 143 mg sodium, 67 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber.