Kids, Summer, and Staying Healthy

This post is sponsored by iVillage, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Staying healthy is important. Not only for us, but for our kids and our entire family. And staying healthy involves a lifestyle, not just an occasional healthy meal thrown in the mix. So, today I wanted to share a few tips for helping kids stay healthy during the summer. Really though these tips work for all year long.

Let me start by saying I am not an expert here, but these are a few things my family does to encourage healthy eating and lifestyle in our kids.

Get Your Kids Outside

It is summer. The weather is nice in most places. We live in a time where we sit inside all the time. Well, maybe not all the time, but in general we live a much more sedentary life than past generations. We sit at computers. We sit watching tv. Kids sit playing video games. We sit in air conditioned houses. We sit, sit, sit.

Encourage your kids to get outside more. If you live in the country or have a big yard, encourage them to go outside and play. Encourage them to explore the things around them.

If you don’t have a big yard, take them to the park. Play outside with them. Encourage them to get fresh air and to play.

Getting outside is good for us. Not only does it get us moving, I find it clears our minds and gives us a new perspective.

Drink Water

This is especially important during the summer when it is hot and kids are playing outside, but it is important all year long.

Earlier this summer I shared six tips for drinking more water and these tips work great for kids. One of the best things you can do to get your kids to drink more water, and less soft drinks and juice, is to offer only water.

If your fridge is full of pop and juice kids will naturally go for the sugary drinks. If they are thirsty and there is only water to drink, they will drink water.

The amount of soft drinks and juices Americans consume is amazing. Really, the numbers are huge. Not only for adults, but for kids. And with those large amounts of drinks are a large amount of calories.

If you want to encourage healthy eating and living in your kids make sugary drinks like pop and juice a treat, not an everyday thing.

Offer Healthy Foods

This goes along with drinking more water. If your cupboards are filling with sugary snacks your kids will probably eat sugary snacks. If you have a lot of fresh fruits and healthy snacks around, your kids will be more likely to eat them.

If your kids are like my kids they are always hungry, especially during the summer months, so offering healthy snacks is important.

Now, I know kids are kids and having grapes in the fridge does not guarantee that anyone will eat them, but they will be more likely to. And I have found that if I keep the snacks ready to go, they will be more likely to eat them.

I often have a bowl of grapes washed and ready to go in the fridge. My kids can grab a handful of them anytime they want. The same with dried fruit. I keep it in jars where they can grab it anytime they need a snack.

Granola bars and trail mix are another easy option to keep on hand. You can even make your own granola bars or trail mix so that you can control the ingredients.

Get Your Kids Involved In the Kitchen

I have found that most kids will be more likely to eat what they help make. So, if your kids are picky eaters and turn their noses up at healthy food, try getting them in the kitchen more.

This works great during the summer when so much fresh fruits and vegetables are available. Take your kids to the  farmers market or store and let them pick out something new to try or let them pick out their favorite fruit or vegetable. If you involve your kids more they might just start enjoying food more.

And keep offering them. Kids might not eat salad the first time it is served, but keep trying. The more the are offered it, the more likely they will be to eventually like it.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of iVillage
. The opinions and text are all mine.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures