Healthy Habits for a Happy Summer

kids practicing healthy summer habits while fishing

As the temperature rises and the school bells ring their final chimes, many children are anticipating the freedom and fun of summer break. However, amidst all the excitement, it is important to prioritize the health and wellness of your child. Summer offers a unique opportunity to instill healthy habits that can have lifelong benefits. From staying active to promoting wholesome foods, here are a few practical tips for ensuring a happy and healthy summer.  

child playing outside during the summer

Planning Fun Summer Activities 

  • With longer days and warmer weather, summer is the perfect time for children to engage in outdoor activities and exploring the world around them. Physical activity not only promotes physical health but also can boost moods and enhance cognitive function. Activities such as riding bikes, swimming, outdoor sports, or simply going for a walk in the park can be wonderful ideas for getting outdoors.   
  • To make staying active more enjoyable, involve the whole family in the adventures! Plan weekend hikes, organize backyard games, or take family bike rides around the neighborhood. By setting an example of an active lifestyle, you’ll instill healthy habits that your child will carry throughout their lifetime.  
  • For a more relaxing activity, sensory play is also a wonderful option. Setting up a sensory play station in your backyard or at the beach filled with sand or water for your child can be a great way for them to enjoy the outdoors while exploring new senses as well. Provide them with buckets, shovels, and molds while encouraging them to engage their senses fully in the tactile experience. As they sift thought the sand or splash in the water, you can invite them to notice and describe the sensations they are seeing, feeling, and hearing in that moment. This can not only promote relaxation, but also can stimulate creativity!  

Eating Nutritious Foods 

  • Summer is abundant with fresh fruits and vegetables, making it the perfect time to incorporate nutritious foods into your child’s diet. Visiting local farmers’ markets together is a great way to encourage your child’s curiosity with this by allowing them to pick out colorful produce to try. Involving your child in experimenting with new recipes that feature seasonal ingredients, such as salads, smoothies, and grilled vegetables is a great way to teach them about the importance of healthy eating. Encouraging them to help wash, chop, and cook the foods they chose can empower them to make nutritious choices and foster a sense of ownership over their food choices.  Here are some additional tips for getting kids excited to cook at home.

Staying Hydrated  

  • With the sun shining and outdoor activities in full swing, it is important for children to stay hydrated throughout the summer months. Water is essential for regulating body temperature, supporting digestion, and maintaining overall health. 
  • Encourage your child to drink water regularly throughout the day, especially during physical activities. Make sure to keep a reusable water bottle handy and create a habit of refilling it together. Offering hydrating snacks such as vegetables and fruit popsicles are also a great way to ensure water intake through the day.  

Practicing Sun Safety 

  • While playing in the sun is always fun, it is important to protect your child’s skin from harmful UV radiation throughout the summer. Make sun safety a priority by applying sunscreen with a high enough SPF before heading outdoors, even on cloudy days. Involving your child in a fun sunscreen application can help them remember the importance of sun safety. 
  • Make sure there is the option of shade during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10:00am and 4:00pm, and encourage indoor activities if the heat is overwhelming. Choosing protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses can also help by shielding your child from the sun during these peak heat hours.  

kids using smart safety habits while riding bikes during the summer

Summer is a wonderful time to explore, go on adventures, and have fun, but it is also an opportunity to prioritize the health and wellness of our children. By incorporating these tips, you can help your child thrive throughout the summer months and beyond. Adding these healthy habits into your family’s routine can set the stage for a lifetime of wellness.

If you want to learn more about how pediatric therapy can support healthy summer habits, please contact us here. The Clubhouse wishes everyone a happy and healthy summer!  

Written by Sarah Steele  

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