Healthy Summer Tips For You And The Kids

by Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN

Staying healthy in the summer may seem a little more difficult - it's hot, the kids are out of school, and there are plenty of activities and vacations to keep everyone busy. Luckily, it's really not that hard to stay healthy during the summer. Check out these tips:

Make sure to drink plenty of water, especially in between activities.  Staying hydrated is incredibly important to ward off dehydration in addition to keeping the body in balance.  Avoidfamily summer juices as they are high in sugar.  If you or your child is craving something fruity, try spicing up the water with slices of lemon, orange or other fruits.

Take advantage of summer fruit – Take a break from  apples and oranges and enjoy summer fruits like peaches, blueberries, strawberries, nectarines, plums, and of course watermelon.  These are all great for you and your family, as fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, water and fiber and they taste great too!  You can also use these to make smoothies and even a healthy frozen treat!

BBQ:  make sure to buy extra lean meat and fish or, if you prefer chicken, buy skinless breasts.  When grilling, make sure the food is cooked thoroughly and always try to make a side of vegetables to balance your meal.  Make sure not to fill up on chips and dips before the meal – if you’re hungry, try cut up vegetables or a mixed green salad instead.  
If you pack a lunch, try to include the major food groups.  Make a sandwich with whole grains (whole wheat bread) with some lean protein (chicken, turkey, yogurt, low-fat cheese).   Add a healthy but delicious snack like hummus, yogurt, edamame, or nuts.  Healthy snacks will help keep you both satisfied and not craving sweets or junk food.
Exercise – with warm weather and the sun shining, there is no excuse not to be outdoors and get moving.  Whether you take the dog for a walk, go on a family bike ride, throw a ball around or swim in the pool, pick your favorite activity and take advantage of the good weather.  Exercising helps burn calories and keep the body fit, but just make sure if you’re outside, to apply sunscreen on both you and your child.  

Take a multivitamin each day – It’s important to support your overall health with vitamins and minerals, especially in the summer as we tend to exert more energy.  It’s also a great insurance policy to help make sure they are getting the nutrition we all need. My choice –alternaVites, since they make an adult and children’s formula that is easy, convenient and full of essential nutrients!