With snow still on the ground, it’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner. But it is! Before you know it, the kids will be home from school and you’ll be scavenging to find creative ways to feed and entertain them. Your best bet is to start planning now.
Make Gradual Changes
In a video for Clear.md, North Memorial Physician Assistant Beth Rahberg, PA-C, provides tips for keeping your children healthy. These are also good habits to practice over the summer. During the spring months, try to introduce one of these tips every 10-14 days. Then, when summer vacation begins, the kids will move more seamlessly into their new healthy habits.
Tips for Healthy Children
- Get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Take the kids to the local farmer’s market and let them pick out new varieties of fruits and veggies that they find interesting.
- Don’t drink your fruit! Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter or on the front shelf of your refrigerator to encourage kids to snack on whole fruit. Add fresh fruit (like berries or citrus slices) to a pitcher of water for a refreshing alternative to fruit juice.
- Limit screen time to 2 hours or less. Set the limits now, so less screen time doesn’t come as a surprise when summer vacation starts.
- Encourage one hour of exercise each day. The best way to get your kids to exercise is to do it with them. Grab a ball or a Frisbee and head to the park. Hop on your bikes or go to the community pool for some active family time.
- No sodas or sweetened beverages. Sweetened teas, sodas, even sports drinks are full of empty calories and sugar. You’ll save money and encourage better eating habits if you leave those items at the store.
For a longer list of foods to eat and foods to avoid, visit North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss. You’ll also find tips and videos that will help you start an exercise program. And don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!