Healthy Eating in Summer: Tips for the Whole Family

Guest blog by Gabriel Patel of HealthWise.com

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Photo via Pixabay

Healthy eating in the summertime can be tricky, especially when there seems to be temptation around every corner: ice cream, birthday party treats, and burgers and dogs on the grill, just to name a few. However, eating well over the summer doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure that your family takes advantage of all the fresh fruits and veggies that are available during warmer months.

Planning ahead is the name of the game, especially when you have a busy schedule. When there are responsibilities like kids to be picked up from day camp, traffic to contend with, and long work days, it’s hard to think about coming home and spending an hour preparing a healthy meal, so having a plan will prevent stress and keep you from stopping at the drive-thru. You can also utilize the grill or slow cooker for all kinds of healthy meals, which will save tons of time.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to keep your entire family eating healthy this summer.

Have the Right Tools on Hand

Starting with the right tools is essential when it comes to healthy eating; not only do you want the best cookware for your needs, you’ll also want to ensure that you keep a few basic building blocks of healthy meals on hand in your pantry and freezer, such as brown rice, frozen vegetables (you can freeze your own if you have a surplus of fresh and don’t want it to go bad), and whole-wheat pasta.

Work Ahead of Time

If you know you’re going to have a particularly grueling week at work, prepare a few meals on Sunday night that can be frozen and easily reheated when you know you won’t feel like putting in the time later on. Casseroles, veggie lasagna, and all-in-one meals — such as brown rice with broccoli, chopped chicken, mozzarella cheese, onions, and mushrooms — are best for reheating. You can also buy a pre-cooked roasted chicken from your local deli and utilize it for several meals, which will save you both time and money. And if you’re looking for some healthy snacks to keep on hand, you can’t go wrong with a nice bowl of tangy guacamole, which is not only delicious but helps keep your gut healthy and in check.

Make a List… and Stick to It

Making a grocery list and sticking to it while you shop can help save you money and keep you on track when you’re trying to eat healthfully. It’s all too easy to walk through the store and spot cookies, chips, and other snacks that beckon to you, especially if you’re already hungry. Have a snack first, or make sure you eat dinner before doing your shopping to prevent impulse buys.

Lead by Example

It can be difficult to convince little ones to eat their veggies sometimes, but if you lead by example and show them that you’re making an effort to stay healthy, it will come easier to them. Make it a point to talk up the fresh foods you eat and pile your plate high with healthy things at dinner. This will help your child make good choices when it’s his turn.

Helping your family eat healthy in the summer doesn’t have to be a stressful or anxious undertaking. With a good plan and a little encouragement, you can get even the pickiest kids to eat their veggies. Take advantage of the local farmers market and allow your kids to come along so they can pick some items of their own; this will help them stay interested.

Jillian Nelson