Summer Activities for a Healthy Family

Self-Esteem Coach Laure Redmond joined us with some simple solution to keep our kids healthy and busy all summer long.

School is out and the long summer vacation beckons. Kids will soon have loads of time to hang out with their friends at the pool, the park and each other's houses. Let's face it, when kids are out of school for the summer, it's not always easy to promote health and wellness, while also trying to figure out what to do with all the extra time. Here are my 8 tips for a healthy, fun-filled summer that won't cost anything and might even save your family money.

  1. Take your hands off the wheel and designate one night per week to each family member as "their" night to plan dinner. Make this assignment a fun opportunity to teach nutrition by requiring that three out of the six food groups (meats & proteins/grains/fruits/vegatables/dairy/fats & oils) must be chosen with each dinner.
  2. Summer is the perfect time to have a talk with your children, tweens and teens about what they are doing online, where they are going and what they are uploading. You may find that you had no idea that the Sony Playstation Portable that you bought your 11-year old last Christmas had a web browser. Or that your sixth grade daughter has had a Facebook account for the past two years. Teach the three different types of online safety: physical; psychological and reputational/legal.
  3. Save a box of recyclable items (boxes, cans, bottles, junk mail, etc.) and have your kids come up with imaginative uses for them.
  4. Section off a garden plot for your child or children to "own" which is a fun way to teach nurturing behavior, while also learning the importance of staying committed to something.
  5. Stay rooted in real-world activities: hiking, biking or just playing outside (water balloon tosses, squirt gun wars and water relays will power up the competitive spirit and cool off the hot summer doldrums). Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
  6. Master the moment! Step back from stressful situations and notice your own reactions. Release your assumptions and consider the big picture.
  7. Encourage summer reading but give it a book club twist. Find copies of the same book at the library and designate a time everyday.
  8. Keep a regular eating/sleeping schedule. Without regular meals and healthy snacks, kids tend to grab and graze.

For more information, visit Laure's website.

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