Tips, Tools and Activities
June marks the much-anticipated start of summer! Think about past summers...what did you do that made them so memorable? Take time this month to discuss as a family highlights from last year and what you are looking forward to this summer. Write down or draw pictures of your favorite things to do during the summer. Make a family bucket list of all the things you would like to do this summer, make sure to include fun physical activities you can do together as a family. This will help your entire home to have a fun, and healthy summer!
During the summer months, there are many things you can eat to stay cool! Think about foods that are ripe in the summer and require little oven time. Frozen grapes can be a simple cool fruit for a hot day. To freeze grapes, first wash the bunch, remove each grape from the bunch, place the grapes on a baking sheet, and place in the freezer, freeze for two hours, and enjoy! Another cool option could include homemade fruitsicles. There are two ways you can make your popsicles, you can either create them using fresh seasonal fruit cut up into small pieces with 100% fruit juice, or you can fill them with your favorite smoothie recipe. Be adventurous in the kitchen this summer and have fun with foods that are tasty and cool.
Play Every Day
Plan to beat the heat while being physically active as a family this summer. Remember children should spend 60 minutes a day moving their bodies to increase their heart rate and breathing, this sort of fun activity can happen at any time during the day and usually anywhere. All children and adults are unique, we grow and develop physical skills and abilities at different rates. Provide a variety of opportunities for active play this month to allow your child to continue to grow and develop at their own pace. It might include tossing a soccer ball up in the air and trying to catch it or chasing after a football that has been thrown. Be creative while using traditional equipment or no equipment. Also consider movements that include running, jumping and climbing. Aim for your family’s movement activities to happen earlier in the day or early evenings to help with the heat, and continue to provide water during meals and in between to help keep everyone remaining hydrated and cool this summer.
Q: My family has started drinking soymilk instead of cow's milk. Is this okay?
A: Cow's milk is the primary source of calcium in our diets and a good source of vitamin D and protein. The protein found in milk, lactose, can cause many individuals to have adverse reactions to milk containing products, in this situation cow's milk should be avoided. This protein lactose helps our body better absorb calcium. If someone in the home has an allergy to cow's milk, identify a back-up plan to ensure meals include plenty of other sources of calcium. Calcium is essential for bone health. Additional foods that can provide calcium for your family include: kale, sardines, yogurt, broccoli, watercress, okra, cheese, bok choy, and almonds.