Many parents and children across the country are trying to make the most of the school summer holidays as it’s a chance to relax, sleep in and take a break from the school run. However, to avoid a complete ‘shock to the system’ come September, it’s best to maintain some normal routines to stay happy and healthy.
Eating healthily, regular exercise and a good night’s sleep all go hand-in-hand and will make the summer holidays a lot more enjoyable and stress-free for the whole family.
Dr Aliya Bhat, GP and children’s lead at Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Routines such as regular bedtimes and mealtimes are so important for keeping your children healthy and well behaved. Studies have shown that memory, learning, attention, mood /behaviour and physical health are all improved through sleep alone.”
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Government has recognised that some families will face increased pressure on household budgets. That’s why the Covid Summer Food Fund has been launched, which will enable children who are eligible for free school meals to be supported over the summer holiday period.
The payments for the Covid Summer Food Fund will be met centrally by Department for Education (DfE); this is in addition to the free school meals national voucher scheme. The support will depend on your circumstances and could include; receiving food parcels, using the DfE national voucher scheme, and receiving alternative vouchers for local supermarkets. You can find more information about this at www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools
For some great ideas on healthy and tasty family meals and snacks, Change 4 Life has a wonderful, easy to use website. Here you will access lots of delicious cheap recipes and step by step cooking instructions so you can include the children and make preparing family meals more fun. You will also find a list of fun activities to keep your whole family fit. You can access the website at www.nhs.uk/change4life
The NHS website also has some useful information for parents. Find out handy food facts such as what do 100 calories look like, how you can eat on a budget, vegetarian /vegan diets and access NHS website’s calorie checker to look up the calories of more than 150,000 different foods and drinks quickly and simply. www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/?tabname=food-and-diet