When school lets out, kids everywhere breathe a big, collective sigh of relief. Gone are the restrictive schedules and routines of the school days, and here are long leisurely days of warmth and bliss. While kids are enjoying the freedoms allowed by summer vacation, however, parents should be making sure that one thing doesn’t get too lax-kids diets. Normally, kids are out of the home for 6-8 hours, so they can only eat according to school policies. When they are home, however, they may have the tendency to continuously snack on whatever is available.
Keep Meals Routine
Keeping meals scheduled at around the same time each day can help to keep kids from binging and going for long periods of time without eating. Keeping meals regular may also help to keep kids from snacking continuously on junk food or food that is high in sugar. Eating meals at the same time can have the side effect of helping to keep kids on regular sleeping cycles and may help to prevent mood swings that develop because of hunger, as well.
Stock More Healthy Food
Since school will not be supplementing meals throughout the summer, it is necessary to stock more food. Growing children often eat 5-6 times a day between meals and snacks. Parents should try to keep these meals and snacks as healthy and varied as possible. Keeping plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, cheeses, lean proteins, and nuts around will make it easier to whip together a fast meal or snack platter when hunger strikes.
One way to make it very easy for kids to eat healthy is to grow healthy foods outside. When kids can easily grab a berry or pea from a vine, it makes it fun and may even become part of play. Fresh, locally grown food is also very healthy and can keep kids from going for the snack cabinet.