Right about now, we are all knee-deep in summer. And from campouts and bike rides to river rafting and beach trips, just about every outdoor activity requires a tasty treat. As you’re packing your picnic baskets and ice chests, mindful of your child’s health, both oral and overall, what are you mindfully making sure to include? What are you tossing in without much thought? Which items are causing you to cringe because they’re chock-full of all the no-no’s?
With the kids out of school and hanging around home more than normal, it seems like they are always hungry, constantly eating, emptying our cupboards at an alarming rate. Whether you’re out on an adventure or lounging around the house, Dr. Vakili recommends you stock up on what’s healthy.
The Why Behind Healthy Summer Snacks
If your kids catch on to your healthy summer eating plan and whine and complain, here are some simple one-liners that you can dish out. Help your children understand that:
Eating healthy will:
- help you get big and strong — your body is growing quickly right now.
- give you extra energy on the lake, on the hike, as you paddle, in the pool, etc.
- keep you from getting sick and missing out on all the fun summer activities. prevent cavities that can be painful and lead to infection
Healthy Snack Alternatives
We know the drill. Kids love sweets, and since it’s summertime, they feel like they’re entitled to more treats than we usually allow. So it is up to us to have on hand more healthy options that help curb their craving for sugary treats. Let’s face it. Some things are just best out of sight and out of mind. Resist filling your fridge and freezer with ice cream and soda. Walk right past the chip and cookie aisles. We’ve compiled a list of healthy alternatives that will surely satisfy ever-hungry kids.
Apple slices—dip in yogurt or peanut butter.
Cheese cubes with your favorite veggies or fruit
Fruit kebobs—thread bananas, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes, kiwis, etc. onto a skewer.
Homemade frozen yogurt—make a smoothie with your favorite fruits or freeze store-bought yogurt.
Carrot or celery sticks—dip in hummus or guacamole.
Whole grain crackers and cheese.
Bowls of cashews, peanuts, almonds, raisins, and sunflower kernels.
Watermelon—insert popsicle sticks into slices and stick in the freezer.
Drink lots of water or milk to stay hydrated
When it comes to taking care of your kids’ pearly whites, foods high in calcium that promote strong teeth, low in sugar that ward off decay, and full of water that aid in rinsing away bacteria all contribute to excellent oral health. It may take a little extra thought and effort upfront, but in the long run, you’ll have happier, healthier smiles on your kids.
Have a great summer!!
Dr. Vakili & team