Does it seem like when summer rolls around your family’s routine gets completely off-track? Sometimes with everyone coming and going during the dog days of the season, keeping up with proper eating habits is tough. Through the playdates, ball games, family trips and picnics, wise choices can fall by the wayside. Try these great tips to help your family eat right and healthy this summer.
Let’s eat out. One of the best things about summer is eating meals outdoors. Picnics, barbecues and pitch-ins are wonderful ways to enjoy the season. There is something about settling into the sunshine and fresh air and savoring good food that can’t be beat. Planning a picnic? Country Living notes the key to success is in choosing a great picnicking spot. Make sure you spread your blanket in a place with adequate shade to protect family members from sun and heat. Ready to fire up the grill? Grilling is the epitome of summer eating. Try these healthy and delicious side and main dish recipes that are perfect for the whole family.
Handle with care. If you’re taking your cookout on the road, be conscientious about handling food properly. Remember many outdoor eating spots you might look forward to enjoying don’t offer running water, let alone a full kitchen. One suggestion is to do as much food prep at home as possible, however you shouldn’t prepare foods more than a day in advance.
Wash and slice vegetables and fruits, and marinate your meat ahead. However some experts note you should never reuse marinades; even if it’s for the same meal, soaking raw meat in a marinade and then throwing it on a salad or some pasta is too risky. Also package foods separately to avoid contamination, and bring separate utensils for raw foods versus cooked foods. Include clean containers with lids for leftovers, and plenty of ice for both getting the meal to your destination and for bringing it home. And of course, keep hands clean when it’s time to eat or prepare food. Pack some baby wipes, hand sanitizer and paper towels to cover your bases.
Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water on hot summer days can be challenging, especially when it comes to kids. But without sufficient water intake, Forbes explains you and your family members are at risk for fatigue, lightheadedness, constipation, muscle cramps and headaches. If you find the only water your kids will come close to is in the pool, offer them fruits and vegetables.
According to some experts, some of these healthful snacks contain as much as 96 percent water. Cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, peaches and, of course, watermelon are wonderful, watery treats. And for the adults in your group, avoid alcoholic beverages on days when everyone is particularly at risk for dehydration. Alcohol can cause you to urinate more frequently, potentially making dehydration come on especially quickly.
Enjoy electrolytes. If you and the kids are playing hard on hot summer days, chances are you’ll be working up a sweat. Make sure your family members are replenishing their bodies’ electrolytes. Electrolytes are needed to stay hydrated and keep your mind and body performing properly. Many moms and dads are familiar with some of the electrolyte-enhanced drinks on the market. However, many kids will turn their noses up to those options. Thankfully there are satisfying and healthy alternatives in the form of tasty treats. Try keeping yummy fruits such as watermelons, mangoes, cherries, bananas and strawberries on hand to replenish electrolytes in the heat.
Seasonal delights. One of the best things about summer is the wonderful opportunity to enjoy good food. Plan meals and outings carefully and avoid putting anyone’s health at risk. With some smart strategies, summertime eating will be wholesome, healthy and fun.
By: Dylan Foster