Parents and children across the country welcome the school summer holidays as it’s a chance to relax, sleep in and enjoy a break from homework and the school run. However, to avoid a complete ‘shock to the system’ come September, it’s best to maintain some routines to stay healthy.
Dr Preeti Shukla, Clinical Lead at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:
“Routines such as regular bedtimes and mealtimes are important for keeping your children healthy. Studies show that memory, learning, attention, mood, behaviour and physical health are all improved through sleep.”
Here are some top tips for healthy eating and drinking during the summer holidays:
Occasional treats are fine but six weeks is a long time and not only can it get expensive to keep buying a round of ice creams for the whole family, but doing this is also not good for health – try to plan ahead and take some healthier snacks with you on a day out.
Change 4 Life has some great ideas for healthier lunchbox and picnic swaps that are easy to prepare and fun for the whole family. Get your kids involved in preparing and choosing what goes in their lunchbox. They are more likely to eat it if they helped make it: www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/healthier-lunchboxes.
Keeping food cool on hot days can prove to be difficult, try following this advice from NHS Choices on how to prepare and cook food safely, including on barbeques: www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-prepare-and-cook-food-safely.
Try to limit your intake of sugary drinks as they are the biggest source of sugar in children and teenagers diets. A single can of fizzy drink such as cola contains 8 teaspoons of sugar, even fruit juice contains sugars. Water is the healthiest option and the best for rehydration on a hot day. You can make the drinks more appealing to kids by adding novelty ice cubes, or chopped fruit and cucumber.
Dr Shukla added:
“Eating healthily, regular exercise and good sleep all go hand-in-hand, and will make the summer holidays more enjoyable and stress-free for the whole family.”