Plan a healthy summer diet for
Moreover, with the exams soon coming to an end and summer vacations beginning, your kid is going to spend more time in the sun, engaging in physical activities, leaving him/her tired and hungry. “During this season, my son is exhausted and hungry all the time. While it is possible to maintain a routine, during school days, it gets difficult to do so once the vacation begins. As a result, he ends up eating all kinds of junk food, leading to weight gain,” says Hemangi Jhaveri, mother of a 10-year-old.
In fact, an international study conducted last year tracking 5,380 children through kindergarten and first grade found that the Body Mass Index (BMI) accelerated at a faster rate during the summer break than the school year. While it is essential to inculcate healthy eating habits in your kid through the year, it becomes even more important during the summer time. Here’s your guide to creating a healthy summer diet plan for your kid.
Set a routine
So what if your child doesn’t have school during this season? Make sure that he/she eats the meals on time. “If your kid is an early riser, have breakfast between eight and nine in the morning, eat lunch between one to two in the afternoon and complete dinner by nine, if you want to put your child to sleep early,” says clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan.
Make easy-to-digest meals
While your child might have the urge to reach out for a packet of chips, avoid preparing heavy, oily fare. After all, summer is a time when your kid is going to be out in the sun and eating a heavy meal before or after exhaustive physical exercise can lead to nausea. Instead, make simple home cooked meals like rice and dal along with cucumber salad, etc.
Get innovative with milk
While milk is the most essential source of calcium and must be included in your child’s diet, forcing a glass of milk down his/her throat won’t do you any good. “Give milk in form of lassi, buttermilk or opt for fruit milkshakes,” says Dr Krishnan.
Choose fresh fare
During this season, food gets stale very fast. If your kid’s academic year hasn’t ended yet, avoid giving cut fruits and vegetables in tiffin boxes as bacterial growth accelerates in cut produce and may lead to gastric disturbances.
Stock up on summer fruits
According to nutrition expert Pallavi Patange, parents should stock up on lots of summer fruits, because eating them will help prevent kids from developing any vitamin and mineral deficiencies. “A slice of watermelon, berries, mango, oranges, lychee, etc keep kids hydrated through the summer,” she adds. In order to ensure your kid is having enough water through the day, fill up a bottle of water containing glucose and ask your kid to carry it at all times.
Get creative with recipes
“Kids love it when food is presented to them in an interesting manner. make aam panna and add fresh mint leaves to it,” says Krishnan. Patange adds, “You should avoid giving your child any kind of drinks bought from stalls as you don’t know where the water comes from.” Instead, dish out delicious fruit popsicles at home.