Tips, Tools and Activities
If the heat and humidity are limiting your family activities this month, plan for a family outing to a location that has air conditioning. A trip to an indoor mall can provide a lot of walking area and space to move in. Have a conversation beforehand to discuss that this outing is for a cool retreat and some activity, and not for shopping. Try the public library and enjoy the hunt to find a book for everyone, check out a few and spend time together reading.
As the thermometer continues to rise this month, take a few extra minutes to plan for cool and refreshing meals. Start with offering a variety of color at the meal by serving a salad that incorporates several fresh beans (yellow, green, and purple) and bright tomatoes, and top it off with cheese. Try using fresh basil, mint or cilantro in your dishes.Â Experiment with tuna canned in water as the main protein on a bed of bib lettuce. Finish the dish with garbanzo beans sprinkled on top. Prepare whole wheat pasta ahead of time; once it is cool, add a variety of heirloom tomatoes and parmesan cheese.Â Be creative and find foods that require little use of your oven and help keep your home healthy and cool.
Play Every Day
This month, focus on making fitness fun for your child. To keep them engaged, spice things up and incorporate physical activity without them even realizing it. Plan a capture the flag game around your house or at a local park. Invite other families to make things more exciting. This is also a great game for children to play at a sleep over or any other play date. If they are playing at night, give each team different color glow sticks to run around with. They will be so focused on the game that they won’t realize how much running they are doing. Not only do games like this help children be more physically active, but can also help them develop social skills, teamwork skills, and creativity.
Q: How can I get my family to try new fruits and taste brightly colored vegetables?
A: Remember, adults are being watched and mimicked all the time, so double check your own openness to tasting and trying new foods. Introduce new foods in a fun manner for the entire family. Prepare some guidelines to the tasting event; for starters have everyone taste the food. Other guidelines may include: â€¢ everyone takes at least 2 bites â€¢ we all smile during the entire tasting â€¢ we either declare â€˜love itâ€™ or â€˜maybe next timeâ€™ Include children in the fruit and vegetable selection and preparation process. Older children can research a recipe to incorporate the brightly colored vegetable, or learn a fun and interesting way to present a new fruit.