Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Top 10 Tips for a Healthy, Happy Summer!

Tips from Marin Gilbert, one of our dieticians at Dayton Children's for a healthy, happy summer!

  1. Start the day off right with a healthy breakfast. Sleeping-in while on break is not a good excuse to skip the most important meal of the day! A simple bowl of non-sugary cereal with low fat milk and a banana will provide energy for the morning.
  2. Aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Summer is the season to experiment- try new tastes, a variety of colors, and enjoy different shapes and textures!
  3. Include a variety from all food groups. Each night, try dividing your dinner plate into four sections- two sections should be vegetables, one section starch (rice, bread, pasta), and one section protein (poultry, fish, beans, etc.). Have a glass of milk with dinner or yogurt and fruit for dessert!
  4. Limit sugary drinks. Avoid pop, fruit drinks, and juice- the calories add up fast! Instead, try fresh fruit, sugar-free drinks and lots of water.
  5. Water, water, water! Staying hydrated during the summer months is especially important. Water is the best beverage to keep you cool AND quench your thirst.
  6. Limit screen time to less than 2 hours per day. Take advantage of your summer break by enjoying outdoor activities, reading a good book, or catching up with friends and family.
  7. Get movin’! Strive for 60 minutes of active play every day. Some ideas include hiking, roller blading, biking, swimming or dancing.
  8. Allow your child to be involved food choices. Take your child to the store with you and let him/her pick out a new fruit or vegetable weekly. Also, find some kid-friendly recipes and allow your child to help you with the preparation.
  9. Limit fast food eating. Busy summer schedules and vacations can mean increased dining out frequency. Try to cut eating out to two times per week or less. When you do go out to eat, plan ahead by picking a restaurant with healthier options.
  10. Set a good example. Your children will be looking to see what is on your plate! If you would like your children to be healthy eaters and have an active lifestyle, you must do the same.