Recently, articles have been circulating discussing the spike in childhood obesity during the summer months. Summertime doesn’t have to be an unhealthy time for kids. It’s important for parents and caregivers to be proactive and accountable for making sure kids are being offered healthy food options and providing times for exercise and physical activity fun.
Here are 6 ways to ensure healthier kids during the summer months:
- Enroll kids in daily activities – If this is a realistic option financially, get kids signed up for summer day camps or sports teams to provide them with plenty of physical activity opportunities.
- Engage in family exercise – To avoid the heat, schedule morning or evening physical activities together as a family – try a walk, a bike ride, or even enjoy the neighborhood swimming pool.
- Monitor amount of snacking – During the school day, it’s difficult to snack out of boredom, so try and determine if kids are snacking just because, or if they are genuinely hungry.
- Encourage healthy snacking – Eliminate or make junk food hard to find! Create a healthy snack drawer that is easily accessible to kids and cut up fresh fruits and veggies and store in the fridge in single serving containers.
- Limit screen time – This one is huge! Long summer days allow for more time spent on video games, watching television and of course using handheld devices. Set a daily time limit to make sure technology doesn’t take over your day (and your kids!).
- Promote good sleep habits – Getting enough sleep is so important for good health. This can prevent sickness and when refreshed and rested, one is more likely to make healthier choices when it comes to food and exercise.
Let’s all commit to focusing on these healthy ideas for the rest of the summer to get the kids off on the right foot once school starts!