Kids tend to be more active in the summertime than they are during the school year. With increased activity, they may need more frequent snacks to keep their energy levels up and to prevent them from getting overly hungry, which can lead to cravings for less healthy foods.
To avoid that, provide your kids with healthy snacks.
Here are 10 ideas for healthy snacking:
- Watery Fruits such as melon and berries with string cheese
- A carton of yogurt
- Turkey jerky (a good source of protein and helps replace sodium losses that occur through sweating) plus fruit
- Protein bars made with nuts, fruits, seeds, and little added sugar
- Half a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread
- Hummus with baby carrots
- Mixed nuts
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Celery sticks
- Air-popped popcorn
Don’t forget to keep your kids well hydrated too! Plain water is great, but a small amount of flavor may actually encourage your kids to drink more. Sports drinks may be appropriate for active kids, or you can add some pieces of fresh fruit to a water bottle to infuse it with flavor.
You can make popsicles with diluted fruit juice or sports drinks, too. And don’t forget watery fruits like melon: they’re more than 90% water and can really help to replace fluid losses as well as potassium which is lost in sweat.
Food Safety Considerations
Exercising outdoors with your kids is fun and motivating, but how to make sure the food or healthy snacks you take with you are safe to eat?
To protect your family from foodborne illness during warm-weather months, safe food handling when eating outdoors is critical. Follow these simple food safety guidelines, recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Take a cooler with you
Cold food should be stored at 40 °F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Once outdoors, limit the number of times the cooler is opened as much as you can. This helps to keep the contents cold longer.
If you’re taking raw meat, poultry, or seafood with you, keep it securely wrapped. This keeps their juices from contaminating foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.
Clean your produce
Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler — including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
When it comes to leftovers, an easy way to remember food storage guidelines is simple: two hours, two inches, four days – the numbers make up the “2-2-4 rule:”
- Two hours is how long foods can safely stay at room temperature after you’ve taken them out of the oven or off the grill – or, in the case of cold foods, how long they can safely stay out of the refrigerator or insulated cooler.
- The two-inch rule means that you should store leftover foods in shallow containers no more than two inches thick, so they can cool evenly and quickly. If containers are too deep, it takes too long for the food in the middle to cool down.
- The last rule says that you should use your refrigerated leftovers within four days; otherwise, you should toss them out. But many leftovers are pretty tasty, so chances are they’ll be long gone before then.