With two months away from school, work and the routine of day-to-day life it can be easy to give in to junk food requests, hours in front of the iPad and last minute eating out - and that’s just us mums!
Here’s our top tips for keeping children healthy, happy and active this summer.
1. Stock the fridge. Keeping a full larder of food will make it easier to have healthy snacks and meals ready. Prepare cut carrots, cucumber, peppers and cherry tomatoes, peaches, grapes and berries ready for little ones.
2. Use the extra time to get the children to make their own dinners. Pizza is a great way to get them involved. Buy the ready made bases and get them to cut the mushrooms, grate the cheese and spread the tomato sauce. They will love seeing their creations in the oven and then eating them.
3. Lead by example and sit eating healthy food with them. With the longer days and without the rushing around, you can enjoy your lunches and dinners together.
4. If you are travelling this summer make the most of the different foods and cuisine in that country. Get the children to explore farmers markets and pick fresh berries and fruits from the trees.
5. Try something for the first time. Make a completely different meal or give them a vegetable they have never had. They might like it!
6. Limit sweets and treats for weekends and get the children to do chores for treats. At the end of the week 5 stars could equal a chocolate bar or ice cream. They will feel rewarded for their hard work and you will get help around the house. Try making homemade ice lollies with real fruit and coconut water. Ikea and Ace hardware sell some fun shaped moulds.
7. Get active and outside as much as you can. If you are on holiday, there will be lots of green spaces, beaches, hills and natural landscape to enjoy. Within the UAE get the kids swimming in the early evenings and running around in one of the many indoor kids camps. See here for our picks.
8. Children should not be sat in front of the TV, iPad or computer games all summer, so limit screen time to an hour or two a day. Break up time in front of the screen with wake up shake up activities. Just ten mins every hour will get the kids awake and ready to exert some energy.
9. Explore your imagination. Use the time to engage in your children’s pretend play. Make camps and play schools, doctors, shops with them. You will all benefit and they will keep their minds busy.
10. Drink plenty of fluids and refrain from giving too much juice or soft drinks. Water is the best for hydration, whether inside or out.