School’s almost out and the kids are happy to welcome summer days full of outdoor fun. Whether it’s city living, summer camp or trips to the cottage – your children’s activity levels are bound to be high. Be prepared with quick and highly nutritious snacks to refuel their energy throughout the day.
The trick to healthy summer snacking?…find tasty and fun substitutes for junk! Going healthy doesn’t have to be boring.
- Boycott the ice cream truck! When your kids hear ice cream jingle coming down the street, have an alternative ready. Go for organic ice cream. It’s free of food colouring, preservatives and harmful hormones. If you’re out and about in Bloor West Village, Peach Tree health food store sells organic ice cream cones, shakes and smoothies.
- Forget the freezies! They are chemicals and sugar in a tube and create unnecessary garbage. Healthy popsicles can be made at home from 100% juice and delicious fudgsicles from chocolate soy milk.
- Keep them hydrated. Make sure your kids are drinking lots of water (reverse osmosis or mineral water). Try making your own sugar-free lemonade by sweetening with stevia powder, a natural sweetener that is actually good for you.
Here is a great alternative for all those power sports drinks with excess sugar, food colouring and preservatives.
Super Power Water
Fill a water bottle with 1⁄2 pure filtered water, 1⁄2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice (not from concentrate), 1 Tbsp of maple syrup or honey and a pinch of unrefined sea salt. Shake vigorously and add ice if desired.
It may be difficult to monitor exactly what goes into their body when they are at camp and away from you (How many parents wonder whether the apple made it into their child’s mouth or into the garbage?) At least when your kids come home, make sure to have healthy snacks to offer. Chopped veggies and dips, fresh fruit, homemade trail mix (raw nuts and seeds mixed with unsulphured dried fruit), whole grain muffins…are all good choices.
So many fruit and veggies are local and seasonal right now. Taking your kids to the farmers’ markets (preferably organic markets like High Park and Dufferin Grove) will spark interest in the colourful variety of fresh produce. Allowing them to pick and choose what looks appealing will encourage them to eat healthier.
For most kids, a nice big juicy piece of watermelon is even more fun and tasty than a junky treat from the corner store.
Remember, while so many of our kids’ yearly routines slide when summer hits, there is no need to sacrifice their diet. They can have fun and eat healthy too!