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Keep Your Kids Healthy this Summer

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Boys Town Contributor

Keep Your Kids Healthy this Summer

It used to be that summertime was when kids became healthy almost by default. Spending the days bicycling with friends or swimming at the pool helped shed winter pounds and helped kids stay lean. Unfortunately, these days, the lure of video games, social media and endless streaming options for binge-watching threatens to keep children indoors and inactive over the summer months. Here are some tips for keeping kids healthy and active this summer.

Encourage Healthy Eating

One thing you can do to help keep your children healthy this summer is to have them help with meal planning and preparation. In fact, that’s one of the suggestions in our “Breeze Through Summer Agreement,” which you can customize, download and print.

Engaging your children in the planning and preparation of family meals has several benefits. First, it teaches them a skill they will use for the rest of their lives. Second, by preparing food from scratch using healthy raw ingredients, they’ll eat healthily — at least more so than if they resort to processed junk foods and convenience-store sandwiches. Third, once your children become adept at cooking, they can become a real help in the kitchen — and who wouldn’t want that?

In the end, meal preparation can be more than just a mundane activity; it can actually become a fun family tradition that brings everyone closer together.

Get Them off the Couch

Keeping children active can be challenging during the summer months. The siren call of video games, social apps and streaming content can keep young ones — especially teens — rooted to the family room couch as they chat and game away the daylight hours.

We’ve put together a list of fun summertime activities to help combat this potentially unhealthy rut. You can customize your own list and print it here.

Whether your children are heading for the municipal pool, walking around a museum or simply setting up a tent for some backyard camping, they’ll be exercising their minds as they exercise their bodies.

The key to all of this, of course, is to make it fun. Summer is a respite from school. As such, it is, as it should be, inextricably linked with fun and freedom. By making positive activities fun, you’ll likely find that your young ones will stay more active and engaged this summer than they would otherwise.

We’ve given you the suggestions; the rest is up to you. So, what’ll it be first? Writing and performing a one-act play? Family game night? A make-your-own-pizza dinner? Let the kids decide.