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Tips to Keep the Kids (and You) Fit and Healthy Over The Summer...

by Rona Hollows |

 

The Summer holidays are nearly upon us and whilst schools try to provide a balanced and nutritional menu for their pupils during term-time this can sometimes all go to pot during the holidays... 
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Reports show that it is not uncommon for some children to put on up to 3kg in weight over the 6-week summer break...
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This is partly down to losing the structure of a school day with regular exercise and play times, but also due to kids sitting in front of the TV more or having days out and holidays away meaning more convenience food, ice-creams and fizzy drinks...
Here are some tips to keep the kids (and you) fit and healthy over the summer break: 
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The first thing most parents are greeted with when they pick up from school is not “hello” but normally “I’m hungry” and this continues when they get home from school...
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To ensure your kids are not constantly picking at unhealthy options try to prepare healthy snacks which can be kept in the fridge and taken on days out. Cut fresh fruit and vegetables up and put them in mini Tupperware boxes ready to grab like melon, mango, grapes, raspberries, cherries, strawberries or celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks. Have yogurts and cheese-sticks available and breadsticks and crackers on hand to avoid them hitting the biscuit tin...
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If you are lucky enough to be going on holiday either in the UK or abroad and are driving, flying or going by ferry; try to avoid the junk food and take your own sandwiches or wraps, tubs of salad, low-fat crisps, fruit and low-sugar cereal bars...
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Kids love their ice-creams to help them cool down during the heat but rather than giving them high calorie options covered in chocolate sauce and sweets go for a Mini Milk as it contains only 30 calories...
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Most kids live in the pool on holiday but consider other options like tennis, football or hiring bicycles as a family. Go for walks along the beach and hit the dance floor in the evening to get the kids and yourself active for at least 1 hour each day. Many holiday resorts offer kids clubs so try to encourage them to take part in a mix of arts and crafts and active options...
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If you are planning days out with the kids over the summer try to do as many activities that involve you staying active as a family and making the most of the sunshine like bike rides, walks, swimming and water parks or even opt for a short stroll round the block or to the park with them on their bicycles or scooters...
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If you are a working parent and need to enrol your kids in holiday courses over the summer, try to again choose a mixed range of activity courses and if you have the flexibility of working from home compromise by saying if you let me get on with work this morning we will go out somewhere in the afternoon...
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If your budget is limited and you can’t afford to take them for days out to theme parks or book them on holiday activity courses, there are so many cheaper or even free options you can do together over the summer...
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Check out your local churches, community centres, museums and libraries as they will be running free events over the summer holidays but let your child choose something that interests them as they may even try something new and gain a new interest...
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Visit your local swimming pool to help build your child’s swimming skills and to cool down in the heat and if you are just in the garden get the paddling pool and sprinkler out for them and invite some of their friends over...
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Whatever you choose to do over the summer with the kids they will appreciate you spending extra time with them and making the most of the sunshine and remember to aim for an hour a day of activity to avoid them going back to school overweight but instead happy, healthy and ready for the new school year.
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XO

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