Dr. Andy’s Desk: How to Maintain Nutrition and a (Fun!) Routine This Summer

Dr. Andy’s Desk: How to Maintain Nutrition and a (Fun!) Routine This Summer

School’s out for summer! Remember that blissful feeling you had as a kid, with the anticipation of what was ahead for your summer? A three-month break filled with the promise of popsicles, pool-time, staying up late, sleeping in, and endless playtime with friends.

As parents, though, we know that big changes to routines and nutrition can have implications for our kiddos’ emotional and physical well-being. So, while we whole-heartedly suggest embracing all the fun summer brings, here are some ways to help with keeping some structure to the season.

Kids Summertime Nutrition Is All About Balance!

BBQs, ice cream truck visits, unlimited access to the snacks…Summer eating habits can be quite different from what your children are used to during the school year!

If your child is starting to view sno-cones as their own major food group, try not to sweat it too much; it won’t last forever.

Give them some nutritional “insurance” to offset the not-so-superfoods of summer with a well-rounded multivitamin, like our Kid’s Multivitamin, (two contain a daily dose of vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, Folate, and Biotin). This will help ensure that your kids are getting the essentials.

Another way to boost their well-being is to add our Tummy probiotic to their daily routine. Probiotics have been shown to help with the absorption of nutrients (because when they finally do eat a veggie, you’ll want it to really go the extra mile!) and ease digestive concerns. 

And, the beneficial bacteria in probiotics support brain health and have an impact on mood (read more about the gut-brain connection in my recent blog post here). 

We’re pretty sure they’ll consider our vitamins and probiotic treats since they’re made with fair-trade chocolate, so you should have no trouble getting them to take them.

Create a Loose Kids Nutrition Schedule

Sometimes unstructured playtime can lead to boredom and moodiness, but on the other hand, kids can get too overwhelmed if they have too many activities. It’s all about finding that right mix that includes fun and some downtime.

Consider creating a loose schedule for those days when your kids are home. Some ideas include a consistent wake-up time, 30 minutes of reading/educational time, and plotting out when they can have screen time. 

Another thing we’ve enjoyed doing in our family is creating a “bucket list” of activities we want to do each summer. Baseball games, camping, theme parks, going to a favorite restaurant, etc. 

The goal is to create something for the kids to look forward to and to know what to expect of their day/week ahead, without being too rigid about it. 

Stay Active and Don’t Forget to Rest! 

One of the best parts of summer? The outdoor activities, of course. Being outside is not only fun and a great way to connect with nature, but being in the sun (with proper sun protection!) also boosts vitamin D levels, which helps with mood and regulates your circadian rhythms for quality sleep. 

Speaking of sleep, while I’m all for looser bedtimes in the summer, it’s still important for your family to get enough sleep. After all, good sleep equals better growth, focus, mood, immunity, and happier days. If bedtime battles are plaguing your household, you may try giving your child (or yourself) a piece or two of Good Day Chocolate Sleep supplements (we offer both melatonin and non-melatonin sleep supplements for kids).

As you’re making your loose schedules, be sure to fit in some outdoor activities. And on those rainy days, don’t skimp out on the movement: try to involve your kids in your fitness routine or play some active indoor games with them.

Summer break is a much-needed time for everyone in the family to rest and have fun. Adding a little structure to the days will give your kiddos something to look forward to and rely on, and will also help ease them back into the fall routine when the time comes. So, here’s to relaxing and staying healthy to enjoy all the fun that this season brings!

As always, please consult your physician prior to taking any new supplements.