The summer break has well and truly arrived. It will be no surprise to parents that research has found that British parents allow their children to have five times the amount of sugar during the summer holidays then they normally would at any other time. The worst offenders appear to be ice-creams and sugary drinks. The main reasons being a more lienent approach to sugar, a way to prevent boredom and treating the children. However, the reseach also found that 80% of parents were also concerned about the amount of sugar their children consumed over the holidays. So, how can you ensure your children remain healthy this summer, without ruining their summer break?
It is quite tempting to make treats, such as ice-cream, a expected end to a meal. However, this can slowly be seen as a given and no longer a special treat, if it is done too often. Try to break the habit by making sure the children eat properly at dinner time, thus making them less likely to want anything more.
Sweets = Treat
Try to remove the label of treat, naughty or bad, when mentioning ice-cream, biscuits or sweets. There is no such thing as good or bad food but there is a big difference between a good and bad diet. Children will do what they see their parent do, so if you speak negatively about your body then it's likely that will transfer to your child. The more you educate your kids the better. For example, if you say you can't have orange juice, explain why and let them know that they can have it on the weekend.
When you're on holiday, all normal procedures go out the window. One of those is portions. Portions can be huge whilst on summer holidays, as you may be out and about or on a break. We would suggest getting them to share and having lots of fruit and vegetables on the side.
Make exercise fun for you and your kids. Go for a walk, take out the bikes or scooters or even play a sport. Being outside for twenty or forty minutes can make a big difference. Especially when it comes to bed time, as exercise will help them to sleep better at night.
Ensure your fridge is well stocked and prepared with healthy snacks. As with all of us, snacking will occur when they're bored. Berries, veggies, yoghurts, nuts and fruit salads are great snacks. They also can be made into fun looking snacks too.
Going to the dentist is a good way of finding out whether your little one is having too much sugar. Going to the dentist during the school summer holiday is ideal. Plus promoting good oral hygiene is never a bad thing.
These are only a few suggestions, that you may already do, but if you don't why not give them a whirl!