By: Carlene Helble- Elite Nutrition Intern
Over the past year more than 60,000 schools were involved in ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’, an online challenge between schools. Students kept track of healthy options they took advantage of within their schools and at home. The first place winner was Enslow Middle School of Huntington, WV (yes, Food Revolution Huntington)! One fantastic thing the school did was to hold a taste test event to help choose healthy lunches to be made in their cafeteria, as well as start a walking club.
Even though school is out for summer, it’s important to remember to help kids eat nutritious foods through their vacation. Snacks are an easy way to help teach your family how to prepare healthy dishes in the form of a ‘mini lesson’ providing some great family bonding time and nutrition education rolled into one. Snacks like these strawberry frozen yogurt squares are a good source of calcium and provide a more nutritious alternative to an ice cream cone. Remember that calcium provides growing kids with healthy bones and teeth! Another good snack to make would be fresh vegetable burritos, filled with fiber and protein, an important component of every part of your body. Try to avoid packaged snacks as they tend to be less nutritious than fresh, home made foods. Cutting up an apple to have with some peanut butter is more nutrient dense than a bag of chips, and will help keep the family healthy during vacation and instill good habits in the kids.
When outside at sports events or family gatherings, it’s crucial that children stay hydrated, especially with hot weather. Remind the kids, and your self, to take a break and have a sip. Some of us don’t even drink as much as we should! Take advantage of the outdoors during summer and aim to be active for 60 minutes per day. Go for a swim, play soccer in the back yard, or flex those creative muscles and make up your own game. You could even take after Enslow Middle School and start a neighborhood walking club. Summer can be a great opportunity to teach your kids how to stay active, and chose healthy foods.