Leisure time brings with it a lot of temptations for children, come to receive some tips that will help you pass the summer holidays in health and peace.
Proper nutrition and children during the summer holidays
We know that food is one of the essential components of a healthy life. It has an immediate impact on the child’s future performance and quality of life, and its long-term health impact is very significant. Providing healthy food for the child enables his healthy growth and development, and contributes to accustoming him, too, to eating healthy food during the various stages of his life.
Hence, food is a central part of family life and has an impact on the delicate and complex network of relationships between parents and children.
Parents’ feelings of guilt increase exponentially when they do not always succeed in the task of providing proper food to their children, which is caused, mainly, by unhealthy and unhealthy eating habits within the family.
In any case, the central foundations of healthy and proper eating habits are simple and uncomplicated:
Eat a variety of food from all food groups (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat and alternatives, quality milk products, healthy fats, and healthy sweets – yes, there is such a thing!).
Eat in an orderly fashion, not one meal that lasts all hours of the day.
Eat while sitting next to a table, without the noise of the surroundings, such as the sound of the television, for example.
Eat healthy food with an emphasis on home preparation and reduce the use of processed foods.
The summer and summer holidays pose a distinct challenge to parents who are trying to continue to provide good and proper nutrition for their children. However, with a little effort (and the help of friends) these challenges can be overcome.
Here is a set of tips and solutions provided by an experienced nutritionist:
The challenge: It’s hot in the summer and there’s no desire to stand in the kitchen to prepare food.
The solution: Most days of the week, rely on cold food that does not require prolonged or complicated cooking, for example, a schnitzel with a whole-wheat bread roll with chopped vegetables or a sandwich on uniform bread (an excellent bread for children) + roast beef or tuna. Grilled chicken, you can buy it from the shops (this is not considered a factory because the chicken is prepared immediately) and combine it with chips or whole couscous for quick preparation. Use frozen vegetables that do not require long cooking: For example, children like green peas without additives. We buy frozen peas and cook them in water with a little salt. Serve with a little olive oil on top and rice on the side. This is so delicious. Prepare common meals with friends: a quality meal every time in a different home – a good solution for working parents.
The challenge: appetite decreases in the summer.
The solution: coexistence with nature, reduced appetite is not in vain. The body faces a challenge, which is to maintain the balance of its internal temperature and not to rise. “Heavy” food raises the body temperature and leads to the consumption of unnecessary energy in the digestion process. Therefore, naturally, there is no desire at all to eat “heavy” foods such as meat dishes and the like. The solution is first: eat cold and light foods that have a relatively low amount of fat (meaning not frying) and secondly: a lot of fruits, cheeses, vegetables, cold soups (chicken soup, soup containing yogurt, chopped cucumber with a little fennel and garlic) Fish and eggs.
The Challenge: Summer boys don’t stick to a daily routine – a situation that encourages eating irregularly and at unusual hours.
The solution: enlist parental authority and build an alternative daily system in which laws apply to all family members, including parents. Setting a specific time to wake up and eat, with emphasis on lunch and dinner times. Try to have at least one meal as a family meal, with the TV turned off (sometimes this is difficult for parents because the conversation often revolves around dinner when at those times there are attractive and tempting programmes). Emphasize a specific time for proper sleep. Boys must be in their room no later than 10:00 at night. Any delay from this clock can lead to damage to sleep quality and disruption of the body’s biological clock with effects on growth and development, in addition to emotional-sensory effects.
Challenge: Children are more exposed to TV advertisements for sugar and unhealthy foods
The solution: jointly watching the ads with the kids and discussing what the ads are trying to market and sell to us. Kids are smart and quickly understand that not everything shown in advertisements can always happen in reality. For example: if you eat morning cereals of this type, you will become strong. If we treat our children as intelligent creatures, it is possible to read the contents and compounds recorded on food packaging together with them: the amount of fat, the amount of cholesterol, the amount of salt (sodium), the number of food dyes, and substances that do not constitute food but the product contains. In this way, children can also be raised in smart consumption and in examining the food consumed with a healthy view. We must, of course, refrain from extremes in the other direction – the direction of excessive health. It is important to enabling children to eat sugars, such as high-quality chocolate and ice cream, entertainment without dyes, and low-fat foods. The important law is: everything is within reason.
Challenge: Not having time to prepare healthy food
Solution: Regulation is the keyword for proper nutrition. Take care to have quality products in your homes. Take care to get what you want to cook today from the freezer. For example, frozen chicken breast to prepare, when you get home. Prepare a mixture of meat kofta and freeze it in individual layers so that you can bring out only the required amount each time. Involve the children in preparing the food. Boys can also help prepareServe salads and help with mixing and table setting. They love it so much and that’s how you raise the kids not to be afraid of the kitchen and of cooking. With regard to restaurants: It is possible to go out to eat in a restaurant, once every two weeks: a good quality hamburger with a green salad and a few chips, or a good pizza or a meal of falafel with a lot of salad without soft drinks, does no harm to anyone. Here, too, it must be emphasized that this should be limited and within reason, and not turn it into a routine.
Challenge: The weather is hot and there is a tendency to dry out, especially outside, in the sea, and in swimming pools
Solution: Boys and adults are more sensitive to dehydration because of the ratio of body area to body size. On the other hand, boys do not drink enough fluids normally. Their thirst alarm system is not mature enough, so parents should remind children and ask them to drink more than they would on normal days. The preferred drink is water or soda. They should be prevented from drinking juices, including natural ones and of course carbonated drinks, such as cola. It is also undesirable, also, to drink water and drink different foods. Prepare cold water in the fridge with chopped lemon and mint leaves (mint has a cooling effect) and bring the children back to this drink. Cold fruits, such as watermelon and grapes, provide the body with many fluids.
We hope you have a nice and safe summer!
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