Summer vacation is a great time to work on improving your family’s eating habits. It presents a break from the school routine and gives us opportunities to teach younger family members good nutrition habits.
- No meal skipping. If you have late sleepers, make sure they still eat breakfast, even if it’s a small one. A glass of 100% fruit juice, a small bowl of cereal or a waffle with peanut butter will prevent less nutritious, convenient between meal fillers and overeating at lunch time.
- Drink more water. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator at kid, eye level. Have them experiment with orange citrus, lime, lemon or combinations of flavors to encourage better hydration.
- Include 3-4 food groups/meal. Counting out the food groups at each meal is a positive lifestyle habit that will help your child maintain a healthy weight, strong immune system and long-term health.
- Basic Meal Preparation. Kids need to feel comfortable in the kitchen assembling ingredients, using cooking equipment and experimenting with different flavors. It’s important they learn how to cook beyond opening a box, can or freezer bag. Last summer my kids learned how to make macaroni and cheese from scratch and favor their homemade version over Kraft. Now if they could only favor using less equipment…
- Enjoying the taste of a meal & conversation with family. The average school lunch is over and done with in 7-8 minutes, that’s not even long enough to eat an apple! Try expanding meal period sit down times for longer periods.
- Clean up. It should be a part of every meal, what’s the song “Everybody do their share”?
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness