Tips, Tools and Activities
Are your kids participating in sports this summer? With increased activity outdoors for kids during the summer, it’s important they get the right “fuel” from their meals each day. When feeding kids who are about to head to a sports practice or game, the best meals and snacks combine protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. This can include vegetables, fruit, whole grain bread and lean sources of protein (ground turkey, chicken, nut butter, cheese). Most importantly, make sure to plan ahead with healthy snacks for long periods of time when they’re not at home and lots of water to stay hydrated in the heat. For more information on fueling kids for sports, and meal suggestions for the entire day, check out this infographic from www.eatright.org.
Weekdays in the summer can be packed with work, activities, playdates, camp and social schedules that make it difficult to plan dinner. With everything thatâ€™s going on at once, it may be convenient to pick up fast-food or order food to be delivered. Start planning ahead this month, and organize a few quick meals that can allow your family to have dinner together this summer. At the beginning of the week, brainstorm or write down a tentative menu with five to seven healthy meals; have a family grocery store trip to pick up all the ingredients. Have your children pick out a new fruit and veggie they would like to try this week. Identify simpler recipes that are easy to prepare if youâ€™re in a rush. Stock your fridge and cabinets with quick, healthy staples, such as frozen vegetables, eggs, marina sauce, brown rice or whole grain pasta. These items can be a quick base to a healthy meal. Prepare multiple portions of main ingredients, such as grilled chicken or ground turkey, to reheat throughout the week. Make sure to get the whole family involved and assign everyone different jobs to prepare healthy meals on weeknights.
Play Every Day
Play time is proven to help children develop important skills and lead healthier lives. Are you looking for new games that keep your Â kids moving? Playworks, a national nonprofit supporting youth development and physical health by providing safe and inclusive play programs for children, created and sorted hundreds of games that will get kids moving, for little or no cost at all. Whether you need a longer game for periods of inactivity, a quick game to keep the kids occupied outdoors, or even a way to get the whole family involved in activities, check out the Playworks Games Library.
Q: My spouse and I have been losing weight together and think our son would benefit from following a low-carb diet, should he be on the same diet as us?
A:It's great to work as a family to be healthier, but children going on diets that were intended for adults may not produce the same outcomes. Kids have different nutritional needs, are growing, and should eat a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of foods that provide the proper amount of nutrients. If your child is at an unhealthy weight, talk with your pediatrician or a registered dietitian about a plan that will meet your child's specific needs. In addition, make healthy habits an activity for the entire family to take part in. Prepare and eat meals together, find activities everyone enjoys, such as bike rides, hikes or active games, and make healthy choices a daily habit.