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School’s Out for Summer!
We all remember singing, “No more pencils, no more books.” However, now that I’m a parent, it has an entirely different meaning. During the school year, we keep a pretty structured meal schedule. We have to with our calendar filled with various baseball games, soccer scrimmages, and gymnastics classes. What I’ve found in the summer is that my kids think each and every day is an all-day smorgasbord of unhealthy food from morning till night. After a few years of trial and error, here are some of my favorite summertime-survival tips:
1. Keep your traditional breakfast routine. Sure, summer is for relaxing and slowing down your pace. However, starting the kid’s day off on the right foot is important all year long. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make it tasty with a variety of gluten-free options. The fav cold cereal in our house is Cinnamon Chex. Take plain yogurt up a notch by topping it with Cranberry Cashew Honey Granola. Another fun option is making breakfast smoothies. My kids love picking what fruit will go into the blender and with all of the fresh summer fruits, the options are truly endless! Check out this tasty Strawberry Smoothie recipe for inspiration!
2. “Mom, can I have a snack?” I think I’ve heard that expression 1,639 times (not that I’m counting). Having healthy snacks on hand will help your kids make good choices. We all love Glutino Pretzels dunked in honey mustard and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough LaraBars. My son is currently obsessed with Scooby Doo Fruit Snacks. I love them because they are pre-portioned and easily transportable.
3. Get the kids involved in the daily meals! Let them help plan the menu for the day (or week). Giving them a choice will encourage them to eat what they’ve selected. However, be sure to clarify that “a bag of chocolate chips and a tub of frosting does NOT constitute a meal.” Wait, that’s my mantra, not for my kids.
4. Keep it fun! Make summertime treats special. Homemade Sugar Cookies are always a hit. Too hot to crack up that oven? Try out this no-bake Peanut and Chocolate Chex Bar or Lucy’s scrumptious Chocolate Chip Cookies. Or jump in the car and head out for a dish of ice cream.
5. Last but not least, HAVE FUN! Summer is a time to recharge those batteries. Take an impromptu day trip (be sure to pack plenty of gluten-free snacks). Have a picnic in the park (or your living room). Spend time some fabulously memorable time with your kids before the next round of craziness begins in the fall.