When school is out and summer comes, children have more time on their hands and get bored more easily. Without constant entertainment, many kids turn to overeating snacks. No parent can keep their kids entertained 27/4 (nor should they try). But the important thing is to keep your kids' eating habits healthy and try not to give in to the habit-forming snack eating to cure their boredom.
Replacing sugar-filled snacks like cakes or salted chips with healthier foods like fruit is a great option. The essential step is to form healthy habits in general and have your kids stick to them all summer.
Here are four healthy habits you can try with snack eating this summer with your kids.
1. Make snack baskets each day
Open your fridge each day and let your kids choose what they would like to eat each day. Assign baskets to each child, and give them options. Kids love to get creative! Set a limit to maybe 2-3 snacks a day, with healthy options available.
Let the kids eat freely when they feel like they're hungry. But make it clear that once they've eaten the snack from the box and the basket is empty, it's gone. You won't refill it until the next day. This approach will allow kids to eat their snacks whenever they need something to munch on and teach them about preserving and not giving in to binge-eating.
2. Don’t forget water
With hot and sweaty summer days, it's important to keep your kids hydrated. The problem is that when children feel thirsty, instead of reaching for the faucet or their water bottle, they open the fridge for sweet sodas and other substitutes. Plus, sometimes being thirsty manifests hunger-like symptoms in kids. So keep your children hydrated, and they will learn that their body is craving water and not food.
Have your kids fill their favorite water bottles the night before, then put them somewhere in sight and reachable. A great way to get this habit to stick is by adding different fruit pieces to their plain water. Cut lemon, strawberries, or other summery fruits make drinking their water more fun!
3. Make your own freezer fun desserts
Instead of ready-to-go desserts like ice cream, you can make your own fun freezer snacks. Together with your kids, cut their favorite fruits in slices using cookie cutters, stick popsicle sticks in them, cover them in greek yogurt rich in protein, and pop them in the fridge for a quick and yummy cold summer snack.
4. Don't forget to brush the teeth
Make sure you teach your kids the importance of brushing your teeth and dental habits. For example, explain to them how constantly eating sweets can damage the teeth and cause cavities. Teach them the proper way to brush their teeth, and you can make a fun family activity out of it!
Let them pick their favorite toothbrush and toothpaste, play music and dance around while you're brushing, or come up with your own ideas to make brushing your teeth and maintaining healthy teeth fun for them.
There are many ways youngsters can busy themselves during summers with longer days, hotter temperatures, and no school. But, whatever they do, there's no need for them to let their healthy habits go over the summer months. Healthy snacking habits are important, and making sure they brush their teeth at least twice a day is crucial for healthy teeth and dental hygiene.
Can you overbrush your/your kids' teeth? Or do you have more similar questions? Check out our blogs for more information and tips on maintaining your/your loved one's oral health. When you are ready for your next appointment, give our team a call.