After a long, busy school year kids often just want to hang out and do a whole lot of nothing. Parent beware! For some kids, a whole lot of nothing can add up to a whole lot of weight gain.
The school year probably kept your kids active with recess, gym class, sporting activities and playing with friends. However, summer boredom can make your kids inactive. Many end up spending way too many hours in front of the television or computer eating high calorie snacks and meals. All of this inactivity and unsupervised eating can lead to extra weight gain during the summer.
Help your kids keep from gaining summer weight by setting a daily time limit on television, computer and hand-held games and scheduling one to two activities each day that get them out of the house and moving about. Whether it’s scheduled play time with friends, a bike ride around the block, swimming at the neighborhood pool or a structured sporting activity, keeping your kids active is good for their body and mind.
Don’t rely on fast food. Some families over schedule their child’s summer time and end up eating a lot of fast food on the run. You can avoid falling into this unhealthy eating pattern by planning ahead. When you have to run from your child’s piano lessons straight to baseball practice and it all happens around dinner time it is easy to drive through a fast food restaurant in between. Instead, pack sandwiches, fruit and water in a cooler ahead of time and eat it in the car between activities. Or, keep healthy snacks in your purse or glove box. Good ideas for snacks that won’t spoil in the heat include trail mix, peanut butter crackers, beef jerky and granola bars.