Plan Healthy, Eat Healthy : Tips for Maintaining a Good Summertime Diet
Updated: Feb 6
Summer is an active time of year for most families. Kids are playing outside or going off to camp, families are headed to vacation, and dads and moms are playing golf or doing work in the yard. With the entire family on the go, making sure everyone eats healthy and on a regular schedule can be a hard thing to manage. This summer, try out these tactics aimed at putting healthful foods in front of everyone and maintaining good eating habits even when the entire family’s on different schedules.
Summer’s a good time to get the kids involved in planning meals. Taking them to the grocery is a good way to teach them about nutrition and find out what kinds of foods and healthy summer snacks they like best. Try to plan meals that are easy to prepare and don’t require firing up the oven every day. Hamburgers on whole wheat buns and fresh vegetables (roasted or grilled), grilled chicken, salmon patties, a summer salad (tomatoes, onions and cucumbers) and a corn and black bean salad are hearty and healthy summer fare with readily available ingredients. Tortillas are a common ingredient in Mexican dishes and make popular summer fare for many people. This summer, try substituting cabbage leaves instead for a healthier take on enchiladas. Plus, cabbage has more vitamin C than oranges.
Everybody loves a good summer cookout. If the weather’s not too hot, it can be a fun and relaxing experience combined with some outdoors play before and/or after dinner. Get everyone involved in preparing dinner together and encourage the kids to pick out one menu items each, something they really enjoy eating.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is key during the hot summer months to avoid cramping, dizziness, fatigue or heat exhaustion. It’s also a good strategy for avoiding overeating, replacing the fluids you lose playing and keeping excess weight off. It can be tempting to quench your thirst with soft drinks or fruit juices during the summer. Always try to do it with water before anything else.
Maintain A Healthy Eating Schedule
Summer is one time of year when activities are apt to cause people to eat late, a bad idea if you’re trying to maintain control of your weight. Eating dinner too close to bedtime can become a habit, but it’s hard on your organs (especially the heart) and you’re likely to be tempted to reach for something quick and easy that’s not very healthy.
When kids spend the day at the pool or play baseball or soccer with friends, they need something to re-energize their bodies. Instead of sugar-filled snacks, prepare snacks such as carrot or celery strips, cherry tomatoes, melon cubes, berries, apples or peaches. Baked potatoes, whole grain toast, turkey sausage and spaghetti make for filling and nutritious snacks during the day when mom and dad aren’t home.
Fresh Food Fun
Summer’s a great time for finding fresh foods at outdoor farmers’ markets, food fairs and berry picking outings at local farms. Many families who operate truck farms open self-serve roadside vegetable stands during the summer that offer corn, peppers, cucumbers, squash, beans and many other vegetables and fruit. It’s a great way to find fresh, healthy food at a lower cost than you’ll find at the local store.
Summer is a time for outdoor fun and exercise. This year, couple your activities with a healthy diet and well-planned meals that emphasize fruit, vegetables, whole grains and protein. And get the whole family involved in meal planning.
Dylan Foster is a writer at healthwellwise.com. He enjoys writing about topics related to how our homes affect our health and happiness. When he isn’t writing for the website, he works as an office assistant and enjoys hiking local trails with his dog, Samson.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.