Although the official first day of summer is still a couple weeks away, kids in Orange County are already gearing up for summer, with school out starting next week! For parents this could mean trying to keep your little ones busy throughout their vacation. For some kids, summer can also be a time for packing on extra pounds if they don’t keep active.
A recent study suggests that for the youngest students, summer months may be worse than the school year when it comes to weight gain. Researchers think children may eat more during the summer, when the days are less structured. Also, physical education during the school year may help kids burn extra calories.
Just like adults, kids need to balance the calories they eat with the calories they burn to prevent extra pounds. That means healthy eating and an hour of physical activity on most days of the week.
Luckily, summer’s sunshine offers the chance to get out and get moving. Follow these tips to help keep your kids happy – and healthy – this summer:
- Plan active vacations. Take a trip to the mountains and hike. Or, bike around your neighborhood.
- Limit screen time—including TV and video games—to two hours a day or less. Encourage your kids to go outside and play. Hopscotch, swimming, tag and hide-and-go-seek all count as exercise.
- If they’re interested, sign your kids up for a summer sports league.
- Walk with your family instead of driving to visit friends or run errands in the neighborhood.
- To help strengthen your muscles, try working in the garden together.