The days are getting longer. The nights are getting warmer.
It can mean only one thing – summer is almost upon us. And that means that kids will soon be freed from the shackles of their daily school routines. For them, it’s heaven: Sleeping late. Playing with friends. Hanging out at the pool. But it can also mean that they’re no longer receiving the same level of nutrition they were when they were getting their lunches at school.
So, what can you do to prevent them from backsliding into a sugary haze of processed junk food and brain-scrambling energy drinks?
Well, first of all, you need to let them know what’s expected of them. That way ignorance is no excuse if they deviate from your rules. At your next family meeting (and you should always have family meetings), let your kids know that just because it’s summer, they can’t simply eat and drink whatever they want. Establish a snack schedule: breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks in-between. And make sure you make the snacks yourself (or, better yet, have your kids make them). For a list of healthy recipes, check out the recipe section of HilandDairy.com. Though it seems easier at first, don’t simply buy processed snacks at the grocery store and let your kids have unfettered access to them. Because they will always go for the store-bought snack before the “healthy” alternative every time.
Speaking of getting kids involved…
If they’re old enough, have them help plan and prepare some meals during the week. Meals made from raw ingredients are almost always healthier than those consisting of processed foods. Plus, they’ll be learning a skill that will serve them well in later life. Again, check out the recipe section at HilandDairy.com for some simple and tasty ideas.
Growing kids need protein, too.
Make sure that you praise your kids when they stick to the program.
They’ll be more apt to stick to it if you “catch them being good.” And if they don’t play ball, well, you are still the boss while they live under your roof, and you have ultimate say in who gets to use video games and other electronics. You’ll find that kids become very receptive when access to their precious phones and tablets is in jeopardy…
Whatever you do, remember that summertime is all about fun.
And it’s much easier to have fun when you’re healthy and full of natural energy!