We can breathe out; the summer holidays are finally here! It is time to relax, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the festivities of the season. It is evident that parents are becoming more conscious of the value of their children’s nutrition and invest a lot of time and energy into teaching their children good eating habits and providing them with a nutritious diet throughout the year. During the holidays delicious treats and yummy foods are everywhere and it would be very easy to allow healthy eating habits to slip and fall by the way side.
Unfortunately though, excessive intake of sugar, artificial colourants and preservatives could make children over excitable or even irritable. It is possible to keep things on track and make holiday time fun and enjoyable at the same time.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Try to keep up a normal meal and snack routine; this way you avoid children getting over hungry and thus snacking on anything available; but also avoid them filling up on the wrong things and not having an appetite at mealtimes.
- Start the day with a nutritious breakfast, a positive start will set the tone for the day.
- Enjoy holiday treats and special meals, but keep the good balance and have them in moderation.
- Fun in the sun makes all children hungry! a. Pack healthy snacks for outings to the beach, whole grain crackers, popcorn and fruit are great options. b. Chill peeled litchis, mango and watermelon pieces and serve as a poolside snack. c. Raw vegetables like carrot, baby corn, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and celery with a tasty dip make a crunchy-licious snack or picnic food.
- There is nothing like an ice-lolly on a hot day- Fruit and yogurt smoothies can easily be frozen in lolly moulds and make a nutritious yet delicious frozen treat!
- Keep moving! Active children eat well and sleep even better!
Simple recipes to try…..
2 cans tinned fruit in natural juice
Empty tinned fruit into a freezer bag and freeze. On a hot day remove from freezer, thaw briefly and then blend until smooth.
Makes 3 small cups.
1 medium banana
1 cup low fat strawberry yogurt
½ cup low fat milk
½ cup apple or grape juice
Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into ice-lolly moulds or mini paper cups; cover and freeze for at least 5 hours.
Written by Claire McHugh – BSc (Dietetics) RD – Specialist Paediatric Dietitian