Whether you are working or off for the summer, summer typically brings about a change to your normal routine. Maybe you are adjusting your work schedule, changing the menu for the family or changing your workout time to beat the heat – there is likely a change. One thing that we all have in common is that there are certain aspects that we need to consider in order to stay on track, while enjoying the fun. Below I have outlined some quick tips to help get the wheels turning on changes you may want to consider for both you and your family.
We have all heard that people can confuse thirst with hunger. If we add a busy summer schedule on top of that, we are even more unlikely to hydrate when we should. I often find that patients will say that they do best with water during the week when they are at work because they are on their normal schedule. One of the best tips for this is to work on being more intentional with your water intake and having a plan in place. If the recommendation is that you get 80 oz water per day, then a quick way to track that is to aim for refilling your 20 oz bottle at the beginning of each meal + adding in an extra 20 oz when you do your physical activity for the day.
CHOOSE A RAINBOW OF COLORS.
When summer time rolls around frozen treats are a must. This summer why not try to include nature’s sweet treat – fruit. No matter what preparation method is used, fruit it chock-full of vitamins and cancer fighting antioxidants. Kids typically love this sweet treat and this is a great chance to get them involved in food preparation and experiencing new textures. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy fruit for dessert or a snack are dipping it in yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon, grilling it, and freezing it in muffin tins with yogurt sprinkled with walnuts. Did you know fruit can also help you meet your total fluid intake for the day?
According to the Centers for Disease Control it is recommended that adults aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Children’s activity needs are even higher, at 60 minutes per day. Due to the high temperature in the summer, it can be a challenge to meet the current recommendation. Kids are creative – it’s what they do – so find ways to help your little ones stay active. Whether it is going to the splash park, going on a family walk or just finding a dance video to do in the living room – help them find options that they enjoy. They will likely just enjoy doing an activity with you.
DON’T SKIMP ON THE ZZZ’s.
Sleep not only helps with allowing time for the body to rest and heal, but it is also vital to the weight management process. During the summer we tend to stay up later and sleep in. While it is great to allow the body to rest, it can also lead to skipping one of the most important meals of the day – breakfast! It is expected that some nights you are just not going to make it to bed at a decent time, but do your best to stay on track with getting in those zzz’s. Your body and your appetite will thank you. Did you know that lack of sleep can lead to poor food choices and overeating? Now you know!
CREATE A ROUTINE.
Summer brings its own set of challenges. During the school year your kids are likely in a routine and have set bed times, physical activity and regular meal/snack times. To have a successful summer, finding a new routine can be crucial. Aim to have a sleep pattern with regular bed times to prevent sleeping the day away. Consider making a board that they can use to help track if they have been active for the day or not. To prevent boredom eating, aim to have set meal/snack times and work towards not offering food outside of those set times. To help keep your kids satisfied, be sure you pair carbohydrate (whole grain/fruit/vegetable) with protein. If your child struggles with getting in a certain food group, then work on finding a way to include it during their snack. With implementing these changes, it will make getting into the school routine much easier for the upcoming school year.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE.
Family meals are invaluable. Summer is a great chance to get the family outside for some quality time. To mix things up, schedule time to get the family outdoors to play a game and be physically active. Aim to have a couple of picnics outside this summer. Have your kids help plan the menu and help with food preparation. They will likely be excited about helping be involved in a new and fun activity.
We would love to hear what plans you have set in place to help you and your family stay on track this summer! Feel free to leave a comment on the tips you would recommend for a successful summer.