Anytime is a good time for maintaining healthy habits.
Story: Dr. Keith Kantor
Our eating habits for the summer months compared to the rest of the year should change a little. Summer is a great time to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Always try to eat foods that are in season, watermelon and cucumbers are hydrating, tomatoes, peppers, and fresh herbs can be incorporated into salads for a light meal. Summer tends to be a time when we get lazy and may end up eating more unhealthy convenient foods like ice cream, hot dogs and fast food, simply because we are busy outdoors and not on our regular routine of eating dinner at the same time each day. However, living in Florida means there’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables all year long.
Healthy snacks should be offered to children to promote healthy choices. Offer them fresh fruits and vegetables and make homemade smoothies with yogurt, fruit, leafy greens, and coconut water. Since kids tend to eat similar items in school lunches during, get them involved with cooking on weekends and try new healthy recipes to give them exposure to new foods.
Avoid sugary sweets like Italian ice, ice cream, sodas, and fast food. These options will deplete energy and may cause weight gain or decreased performance if they are involved with sports.
It is important to eat meals at regular times, but I think as long as the options are healthy, the schedule can be loosened during busy times. Toddlers and preschool-age children may need their normal scheduled snacks and meals, but older children can eat when they are hungry or break from outdoor activities.
Water intake should be increased as long as the weather is hot. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in water per day. Avoid drinks such as juice and sodas because they are loaded with unhealthy sodium, sugar, and in some cases, dyes. I prefer Hydroxide quality water. The best Hydroxide Alkaline water I found through my research is AQUA OH! It is all natural and made from limestone.
Encourage your kids to aim to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, limit sugary foods, and stay hydrated in the heat. Plan healthy meals ahead of time to avoid making unhealthy decisions on the go. This is good advice for the entire family not just the kids.
About the writer
Dr. Keith Kantor is a leading nutritionist and CEO of the Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating and Drinking (NAMED) program