How to keep your kids eating healthily over summer break

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Friday is the last day of school for many children in the Midstate. How can you make sure your kids eat healthily this summer, especially teens, who may be preparing their own meals?

Your kids may want to munch on chips and cookies over the summer, but how do you get them to eat more healthy foods? A registered dietician at Giant Food Stores has some tips to keep your kids on track this summer.

Cheryl Woren is a mom to four kids.

“I make them grazers,” she said.

She teaches them healthy habits for the summer.

“Mornings I always have milk,” Woren said. “I always encourage that throughout the school year, so they’re used to having that as their staple. Always fresh fruit. That is also a key that I have going all the time.”

Getting your kids to eat healthily over summer vacation can be a challenge.

“We’re at our fresh-cut fruit section. This can be really good for kids over the summer because it’s already done and ready to go, so the parents, you don’t have to worry about cutting up a bunch of fruit. It’s all done for you,” said Shanna Shultz, a registered dietician at Giant Food Stores.

Another tip is to try vegetable noodles instead of white pasta. You can get salsa or guacamole in the produce section of the grocery store.

“Gatorade or anything like this is usually used to help with hydration during these summer months, but really all we really need is water,” Shultz said.

You can put some lemon or fruit flavoring in the water. Soda should be limited or avoided if possible.

Shultz says chicken sausages are better than hot dogs and quick for children or teens to make. She says kids can make 90-second rice and frozen vegetables with it.

“In the way of compromise, it’s a matter of having those things available and then maybe having a few treats at the same time available,” Shultz said.

“I argue less about food with my kids. In 14 years of parenthood, I’ve lost a few battles, and I’m winning a few battles,” Woren said.

Another tip is to set a time at night when the kitchen is off limits, so your kids aren’t snacking too late. Shultz encourages you to take your kids to the grocery store with you and try to prepare foods with them if possible.

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