Help Your Children Eat Well During Summer Vacation

Involve your kids in the shopping and cooking for family meals, experts suggest

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- With summer vacation fast-approaching, parents should take an active role in promoting routine healthy eating among their kids, advises the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

To that end, the ADA is offering some practical tips to help parents whip up healthy meals that kids will enjoy, all the while promoting a learning environment that encourages a youthful appreciation for eating well.

"For many families, the summer break can lead to a disruption of the normal routine and a diversion from the eating habits established during the school year," registered dietitian Katie Brown, the ADA Foundation's national education director, noted in an association news release.

It's important to ensure everyone "is eating the foods they need when they need them," she explained.

To help parents achieve that goal, the ADA has fashioned a website entitled "Kids Eat Right." It is designed as a one-stop shop for weekly nutritional updates (in the form of articles, videos, recipes, eating tips) to promote the fundamentals of healthy eating.

One of the best ways to help your kids eat right is to involve them in every step of the process, registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson Amy Jamieson-Petonic said in the news release.

This includes involving children in both the shopping and cooking process leading to a communal family dinner. Parents should also encourage -- and, if necessary, organize -- daily physical activity and outdoor fun, according to the association.

"Your kids should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week," noted Jamieson-Petonic. "So don't let them spend the summer sitting on the couch."

More information

For more on the American Dietetic Association's tips, visit Kids Eat Right.

Alan Mozes SOURCE: American Dietetic Association, news release, May 24, 2011

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