We are two days into summer vacation here in New Hampshire and already I am hearing:

“What can I eat?”

“There is no food in the house”

“I am Starving”

Sound familiar?   What is it about summer and hungry kids?  Aside from the obvious;  they are home all day and are also probably more active.  Does it seem that your kids are eating or talking about being hungry every waking moment?

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

SIT DOWN AND HAVE A MEAL.  Although, on paper, this seems obvious, often, when kids do not have set schedules mealtime structure falls to the wayside and snacking/grazing takes over.  Although flexibility is important during the summer months, sit down meals add a component of structure and balance to the day.

PROTEIN AT SNACK TIME.  Kids love carbohydrates.  Crackers, pretzels, cereal, fruit, cookies etc… This list goes on and on.  Including a protein source at snack time will help keep your child full for a longer period of time (adults too). Smear some peanut butter on a graham cracker, dip pretzels in greek yogurt, munch on home-made trail mix that includes heart healthy nuts or slice up some cheese to go with crackers.  Check out additional healthy snacks.

PACK A COOLER.  A small portable cooler can save both your sanity and your money over the warm summer months.  Before heading out the door to a game, practice, the beach or a hike, take a few minutes to fill up a cooler with healthy snacks and water.  Re-usable water bottles are 1/2 the cost of water at a convenience store and will eliminate the “Can I have a sports drink” whine when you stop for gas.

INVOLVE YOUR KIDS IN FOOD DECISIONS.  Let them help with meal planning and preparation.

PREPARE FOOD AHEAD OF TIME.  If your kids are old enough to be home on their own, prep as much of lunch/snack as you can before you leave.  Wrap up a turkey or PB and J sandwich and store in the fridge, bag up some cheese slices and whole wheat crackers or cut veggies/fruit to dip in humus or yogurt.

IF THEY CAN SEE IT/ THEY WILL EAT IT

HYDRATE/HYDRATE/HYDRATE. More often than not, a “hungry kid” is really a “thirsty kid”.  Check out some tips to keep your kids hydrated.  Additional hydration tips.

A little structure and planning can help keep the bellies full and whining at bay!

GARDEN UPDATE

Wo:od Chuck  1   Mr Forever Diet:  0

Check out the “pumpkins”….

I hope he enjoyed them!IMG_0258