We all remember what it was like as a kid when summer rolled around. Freedom! Time to sleep in, play all day, and come home right around dinner time. There are pool parties, slumber parties, and every other excuse for a party in the summer and why not? The weather is wonderful and there are lots of ways to play and have fun. All that exercise and sunshine sounds like a recipe for a healthy child, doesn’t it? Not really. Here’s how to keep your kids healthy all summer long.
How summer can impact a child’s health
Sure, kids are likely getting more exercise in the summer, but how are those eating habits? Here’s the challenge: During the summer, parents have less control over what a child eats. During the school year, you’re likely feeding them breakfast, packing their lunch, and cooking their dinner at night. While some of those lunches might be served by the school, and some of those dinners might be fast food, you nonetheless have a pretty good idea what your child is eating.
In the summer, things are different. Kids are out the door and playing all day with neighborhood kids, and you may need see them again until it’s time to come home for dinner. Freedom, remember? So, what are they eating during the day? Are they eating at a friend’s house? Maybe getting something from the ice cream truck? Parents lose some control over kids during the summer when it comes to their nutrition.
If they’re not out playing, they’re sitting in front of a TV or computer for hours on end. According to a new survey by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the YMCA, the time kids spend watching TV or playing video games actually increases in the summer. Two-thirds of school age kids spend three or more hours a day in front of a screen when school is out. Chances are, they’re mindlessly snacking while they do it.
What happens when kids choose their own meals
If your kids are old enough to be home by themselves during the summer break, that likely means they’re on their own for lunch. So, what happens when kids choose their own meals? A couple things:
- They eat what they like
- They eat what is easy
- They eat what is available
If your hungry child opens up the fridge at lunchtime and is met with lettuce and carrot sticks, they may nibble on a couple before reaching for cereal or chips or some other delicious treat. So, what can parents do? You can pre-pack their lunch every day and hope they eat it, or you can make sure there are easy, delicious food options in the fridge. Make sure there’s plenty of cut-up fruits, yogurts, veggies with tasty dips, healthy crackers, peanut butter, smoothies, nuts etc. that they can grab and eat. If what’s in the fridge checks off the three bullet points above, your kids will likely eat healthier.
How else can you make sure your child gets the nutrition they need?
One of the best ways to ensure your child is getting all the nutrients they need in their diet is through a high-quality supplement designed specifically for children. Of course, the only way a supplement is effective is if they actually take one every day, so pick one that is a tasty, chewable tablet so they’ll actually want to take it!
What should you look for in a children’s supplement? The best supplements are multi-nutritional whole food supplements. Also, be sure the supplement contains no dairy, egg, yeast, soy, corn, processed sugar, starch, preservatives, artificial colors, fragrances or flavoring. One supplement to consider is Sea Veg® Junior from FarmaSea® which is designed specifically for children.
Summer is a wonderful time of year for kids and adults alike! Follow these tips to keep your kids healthy all summer long!