It’s summer time! And, can the holidays be far behind? Of course not! Now’s the time to spend quality time with the kids. Keep them happy and occupied. Make sure they stay healthy and active. And, reconnect with your child’s world – expanding their horizons, learning to live in the here and now - and see the world through their curious, enquiring and
adventurous minds. So, where and how do you start?
Most parents have mixed feelings about the summer holidays. We look forward to these school holidays with mild optimism at best, and dread at the worst. It’s true! We’re keen to bond with our kids (and not have to leap out of bed at the crack of dawn every morning helps), but we know that we won’t get through the summer without any meltdowns by parents and kids, alike.
But whether you’re spending the holidays barbequing right in your own balcony or jetting off to Bali or Barcelona, keeping in mind some simple strategies could help you make this summer not just good, but really, really exciting. And, much healthier! Here’s how…
Healthy holidays make happy holidays
Keeping children healthy as well as entertained can be an uphill climb. It’s tempting, and simpler, to order in pizza or a Big Mac when watching a movie on big screen TV – sometimes with Alexa to make it even easier! But easy doesn’t spell healthy…Here are some healthier alternatives which will help keep your kids healthy during the holidays. Making healthy food choices can be fun…and these tips can get your children eating more fibre, fruit and veg and less red or processed meat, salt, and other unhealthy foods. Not to mention chips and popcorn!
- Serve up sweet and crunchy vegetables like carrots and peppers – it is a great way to get children eating more veg. The kids will enjoy the sweetness and crunch…cutting them into bite size pieces makes these tasty snacks to nibble on
- Lead by example. Eat healthily yourself. If you are eating healthy, your children will too
- Serve up different types of vegetables, allowing your kids to choose the ones they like
- Encourage healthy eating by making it more fun. If your kids are young enough to enjoy, serve up fruit and veggies as funny faces or shapes
- Limit sweets and crisps as treats - offer other rewards such as extra playtime or later bedtime
- Check the salt content of any ready to eat food that you buy. Too much salt isn’t good for anyone and it often hides in plain sight, in foods you might not expect
- Get them moving. Restrict TV time. Take away tablets and mobile phones - especially from the under 10s. Get them interesting books to read. Go cycling, walk in the park or get them involved in coaching camps for any kind of sports
- Children should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This doesn’t need to be done in one fell swoop. It can be broken down across the day. But, do keep in mind, that summer means really hot days in many parts of the country so make sure they remain hydrated and out of the heat during the hottest parts of the day
- Remember, keeping children active and eating healthy over the holidays will not only help them have a wonderful summer, but also teach them ways to keep healthy right around the year.
- If you plan to spend a lot of time outside this summer it’s important to avoid sunburn, reducing any potential risk of getting skin cancer in later life. If they’re playing outside then ensure they stay in the shade, or well covered up, especially when the sun is strongest between 11am and 3pm.
- Keeping in the shade and covering up are the best way to protect skin from long term UV damage. But, for the areas that can’t be covered with clothing, apply sunscreen regularly. The sunscreen should be at least SPF 15 and have as high a star rating as possible.
Here’s wishing all parents and children happy and healthy holidays!