The summer holidays open up a wealth of opportunities for kids. However, for parents it can be a challenge to figure out exactly how to find fun activities which also keep your family fit and healthy over the six-week holidays.
In this guide, we’re offering our top tips on the best nutrition, exercise and kid-friendly activities to carry out this summer to ensure your family stays on top form.
Nutritional needs for kids
Encouraging kids to eat healthily can be a challenge at the best of times, but during the summer holidays it can be even more difficult. Kids of different ages have different nutritional needs and it’s important for them to maintain a healthy diet all year round, even during the summer holidays when there are so many temptations such as ice cream on offer.
Below we’ve taken a look at the nutritional needs for kids of different ages to give you more guidance.
Nutrition for 0-2 year olds
Early nutrition is vitally important for the development and growth of children. Children aged four months and younger aren’t able to digest food normally yet, so complementary feeding should be introduced from six months onwards.
Breast milk provides all the nutrients and sustenance that a baby needs, therefore, it’s recommended to feed your children breast milk until they are able to digest more complex foods.
Nutrition for 2-5 year olds
When your child reaches the two-to-five age bracket, you can introduce low-fat and high fibre foods into their diet. This includes foods such as a mixture of white, brown and wholemeal bread, as well as raw fruits and vegetables. In addition to this, give your toddlers plenty of water and milk to support health and growth.
Nutrition for children aged five and above
When your child is aged five and over, they can eat a wider variety of foods and can follow the NHS Eatwell Guide for nutrition. This is the same guide that adults should follow to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Healthy summer meals for kids
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet during the school holidays can be a challenge due to eating out more often, the lack of routine and spending more time at home than usual. However, with a bit of forward planning you can make sure your kids’ diet stays on track!
See our favourite summer meals for kids below for some inspiration.
Hidden veggie meals
If you struggle to get your kids to eat more fruit and veg, why not hide them instead? Hidden veggie meals can help you to mask the look of fruit and vegetables so they appear more appealing to fussy eaters. See the recipe below from Eva Katona, the blogger behind Captain Bobcat, for inspiration on how to make fruit and vegetables look more attractive
Ice lollies with hidden veggies :) https://t.co/cenixfMGDs— Captain Bobcat (@evakatona) 8 June 2018
Chicken and veggie traybake
- Chop red onions, courgette, potatoes and peppers into large chunks and place onto a large, non-stick roasting tray along with a minced clove of garlic.
- Drizzle three tablespoons of olive oil over vegetables, season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes.
- Season chicken thighs with olive oil, salt and pepper or another marinade and add to the tray of roasted vegetables.
- Roast chicken and vegetables together for an additional 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and then serve.
If your children are reluctant to try new healthy foods, the Vitabiotics Wellkid Peppa Pig Multi-Vits can help to provide additional nutritional support for your kids. These are tailored vitamins for kids designed for children aged between three and seven, and they provide a range of nutrients to support kids during the crucial stages of growth.
Of course, multivitamins should not be used as an alternative for a healthy balanced diet, but they can give you peace of mind that your child is getting the nutritional support that they need.
Establish a daily routine for kids
During the summer holidays, it’s easy for your family to slip out of its normal routine without the structure of the school day to work around. Despite this, it’s important to establish a daily routine for your kids so that they get enough sleep, exercise and food over the summer. Read our top tips on how to do just that below.
Draw up a routine chart for your children
A routine chart can help your kids see clearly what activities and jobs should be carried out each day. The more fun, colourful and interactive you make your child’s routine chart, the better!
Some of the stages you could include in your kid’s summer holiday daily routine include:
- Waking up
- Holiday club
- Family activities
To make your routine more enticing to your kids, you can include stickers and rewards for completing each stage. If you’re stuck for ideas, click here for some simple family routine examples that you could introduce this summer.
School holiday ideas to keep kids active
Getting enough exercise is just as important in the school holidays as it is during the rest of the year. With kids having more gadgets, games consoles and mobile phones to play with, it can be difficult to entice them to explore the great outdoors.
“Every weekend, my husband and I try to plan some form of outing, so that our family can get some exercise and we spend quality time together. In summer, we'll take the kids for a walk to get ice cream, or maybe visit the local National Trust. It's important that children are encouraged to enjoy nature, especially in a society where we're so focused on technology.”
Lylia Rose blogger, Victoria, also offers her advice on how to make sure your kids get enough exercise during the summer.
Get out & about as much as possible to local parks, woods, the beach & up hills. It gives the kids a good dose of fresh air & vitamin D when sunny, plus exercise. Have fresh fruit ready for when they get peckish and bottles of water to hand https://t.co/ijR0MqZDBz— Victoria: UK Money & Lifestyle Blogger (@LyliaRose) 8 June 2018
Don’t forget to check your local newspapers and websites such as Money Saving Expertfor holiday programme activity ideas to keep your kids healthy and happy all summer long.
Things to do in the summer holidays at home
If you and your family are spending most of the summer holidays at home this summer, there are a wealth of fun and affordable activities that you can carry out to keep your kids entertained for hours.
If you’ve got toddlers or young kids, we’ve got a whole guide on the best at-home activities to keep them entertained over the six-week holidays, so take a look for a spot of inspiration.
If your kids are slightly older, you can set up activities such as picnics, movie marathons, sleepovers and cooking to keep them occupied during the summer holidays.
Maintaining healthy habits over the summer holidays can seem difficult at first, but with our top tips and a bit of preparation, you can keep your family on top form during summer with ease.