Eating Healthy this Summer…
Thinking about what I looked forward to and enjoyed during the summer holidays, was mainly going to the local seaside having ice cream and doughnuts as we walked along the beach! Or even occasionally having fish and chips along the seafront. Looking back at it now, it wasn’t the best way to help promote healthy lifestyles or teach me about what I should be eating. Really in the end, as a kid I thought of summer holidays as one big TREAT!
I don’t think much has changed!
In the obesogenic environment we now live in, we are more likely to adopt sedentary lifestyles. Perhaps, instead of being active and playing with siblings or friends, the good ol’ days when we could happily play out in the streets without a care in the world, children are finding video games and watching TV more appealing. Alongside this, Studies have shown that during the summer holidays children are likely to consume as much as five times as much sugar during the summer holiday than any other time of year… with the rate of tooth decay rapidly increasing among 5 to 9 year old, this is HUGE!
So, I have come up with some tips to help keep our children healthy during the school holidays…
I know as soon as you say healthy, sometimes it’s not appealing, but trust me! Healthy can be just as delicious. I will hold my hands up, I am guilty of wanting an ice cream in this weather, but we can make healthier alternative! You may even come up with others yourself…
Frozen Watermelon Wedges, Smoothie Ice Lollies, Frozen Bananas dipped in chocolate, Frozen Yoghurt coated Strawberries. Swap Crisps for Rice cakes or even Apple Crisps… (See Below for Recipe)
Allowing your children to be independent.
I think letting your children choose or make their own snacks can help teach them about healthy lifestyles as well as their cooking skills. By making sure that fruit bowls or vegetable sticks are more at eye level or in sight rather than high energy dense snacks will help encourage these healthy habits. If you are going out, why not let them help making lunch or choose what they want to include within the packed lunch or picnic (within reason and of course, a little bit of guidance). Such as, Crudités with dip, or wholemeal wraps with protein fillings.
Limit Sugary Drinks
As we know, the amount of sugar we consume through our drinks is a lot higher than the recommended daily amount we should be consuming. WATER, WATER, WATER. Always the best form of hydration, but I agree it can be boring, ways of combating this could be… Novelty ice cubes, you can get all kinds of shapes these days, or even try adding fruit to your ice cube, making our drinks look more interesting and colourful. Think of alternative drinks you can enjoy as a family. I really enjoy fruit infused water… for example: Watermelon & Mint, Cucumber & Lime… why not get the children to come up with their own combinations to try.More amount hydration and sugary drinks please see the following link: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/hydration/hydration-for-children.html
Meal planning for the holiday.
Why not get the kids involved with planning what meals to make at home… homemade is always the best option. Not only do you know there are no hidden nasties such as high levels of sugar and salt, but an opportunity to help the children develop their cooking skills, knowledge and a lovely bit of bonding time!
Dealing with Fussy Eaters.
I think the best option is… “What they don’t know won’t hurt them”. Lots of children don’t want to try new things because they like routine and are creature of habit. Not only that, but if their friends don’t want it or like it, they certainly won’t either…Being apart of HES Catering, I think I have mastered the act of smuggling in vegetables into dishes what children enjoy and wouldn’t notice.or example… our homemade tomato sauce, pretty much used at the bases of a majority of dishes packed full of lentils and vegetables. And our homemade pizza has grated vegetables such as carrot and courgette into the base! Try it at home.
Thinking about it another fun activity I loved during the holidays with my family was going to a pick your own. I think it pretty much helped me to appreciate and learn about where my food comes from. Not only that but we got to eat them as we went around picking the fruit! Why not have a fun activity once you’re at home, make a fruit salad with what you have made or incorporate the goodies into other recipes! Get everyone involved.
Hope you all have a lovely summer!