Today’s guest post is written by Steph from Hungry Harriet, if you would like to know more about Steph, please scroll down to the bottom of this post where you can find her details.
Hooray! School’s out for summer. No early morning alarms, no mad rushes out of the door with one shoe and a shirt on backwards but best of all – no packed lunches. The school holidays are a chance to have some fun and enjoy a well-deserved break but what does that mean for your eating routine and meal times?
Here are my top tips on making sure the children in your life are still eating (reasonably) healthy and getting all those important vitamins and minerals while still having plenty of fun during their break from school:
Show the exciting side of healthy eating
Here in the UK, summer means outdoor activities galore. We don’t tend to have much in the way of warm weather so when the sun has got his hat on, everybody heads straight out that door. From picnics and walks in the park, outdoor activities are a popular choice for the school holidays and one which I always love doing is fruit picking. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries – you name it, I love to pick it and so will your little ones.
Making a day of foraging for your own five-a-day always introduces a fun element to healthy eating and natural ingredients. Pick yourself a couple of punnets from your local pick-your-own site then head home safe in the knowledge the kids will be snacking on something wholesome and nutritious.
Maintain a structured eating schedule
With no alarm clock set for the school run and no particular daily routine, it can be easy to abandon your normal eating schedule. The thing about kids though, is they thrive of routine and this is especially true when it comes to food and drink. Sure, take some time to chill out and slow the pace of life while you can but do maintain structure in the food and drink department. Doing so will ensure your little ones aren’t overeating or undereating.
Don’t go crazy on the sugar
Again, while school holidays are a time for well-earned down time and a chance to indulge in some of your favourite things, try not to go too crazy on ‘the bad stuff’. Regular treats are fine but just make sure your little ones aren’t missing out on vital vitamins and minerals as they’re filling up on ice cream and fizzy drinks.
When you look a little closer, it can be super easy to disguise healthy ingredients as a treat. For example, blend a banana, some natural peanut butter, cocoa powder and vanilla almond milk together with some ice and serve it up as a cheeky chocolate milkshake. Oh and don’t forget to keep them hydrated – flavour some water with chopped fruits and see how it goes.
Introduce them to your favourite foods
School holidays are the perfect chance to spend more time with the children in your life and start introducing them to the food you like to eat. Packed lunches and school dinners can get a little monotonous so take school holidays as your opportunity to shake up their diet and refine their impressionable palettes a bit.
If you are prone to cooking separate meals for you and your little ones, try making extra of what you’re eating instead. Introducing them to more ‘adult’ meals and complex culinary choices will broaden their options and hopefully help you dodge those dreaded fussy phases. Vegetable pasta dishes, hearty salads, egg-based breakfasts and smoothies with a bit of spinach or kale sneaked in are all things children don’t often have access to so now’s your chance.
If you have any tips of your own, leave them in the comment box below!
Steph is a Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and part-time gluten dodger. Not someone you’d like to meet when she’s hangry! You can find her on her blogsite and social media below.