Ah, summer. Fun for kids, panic for parents. It means a break from everyone’s usual routine, and that can be both good and not so good. Less structure can soon lead to boredom and unhealthy snacking. Here are a few ideas to keep kids healthy and active over their summer vacation.

Ideas for Eating Healthy

With a little prep, you can make it easy for your kids to choose a healthy summer snack like these:

  • Veggies and ranch dressing dip
  • Low-fat cheese sticks and beef jerky “chips”
  • Pretzels, pita or tortilla chips with bean dip or hummus
  • Fresh fruit with yogurt for dipping or smoothies
  • Half of a banana with a smear of nut butter
  • Make your own popsicles by freezing fruit juice in the ice cube tray and adding wooden sticks

Ideas to Stay Active

  • Encourage kids to be social. They spend a lot of time with other children their age during the school year. Without school to connect them, it might not be so easy to stay in touch with their friends over the summer. If your children are young, set up play dates. Encourage older children to meet up with friends “in real life” (not just by texting and social media) to ride bikes together or play outside
  • Help kids stay physical. Playing video games and eating junk food is an easy idea to occupy time but not the healthiest. YourTown Health recommends that children get 60 minutes of physical activity each day. This should include aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.
  • Help your children make reading a daily habit. Have them pick out something fun to read at the library to show them that it doesn’t have to be a chore (or homework assignment). Children learn when their brain is active.
  • Summer is a great time to explore your town. Check out your local community calendar. From story time at the library to arts and crafts, nature walks and youth sports, there are lots of fun events planned this summer.

From everyone at YourTown Health, we wish you a happy, healthy summer!