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How to Avoid the 'Summer Slide' with Kids' Eating

From: Parenting

Do you wish your children could and would eat healthier during the summer?

Would you like to see you son/daughter continue their healthy eating habits that you have established during the school year?

Good information here from

Do you think the long days of summer mean more time for active play and kids eating lots of healthy, ripe fruits and veggies? Think again. The 2015 YMCA Family Health Snapshot Survey—conducted in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight—says kids' healthy habits decline during the warmer months, and nutrition is on the list of habits that fall by the wayside. Here are some ways to help you prevent a nutritional "summer slide" for your kids.

Follow the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Rule

It's tough sometimes to know if your kid is getting enough exercise and nutrients, but there's a benchmark that's pretty easy to remember, says Matt Longjohn, MD, MPH, National Health Officer of YMCA of the USA. Every day, your child should be getting:

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables (make it more veggies than fruits)

  • 4 full glasses of water

  • 3 servings of lowfat dairy

  • 2 or fewer hours of screen time (including TV, video games, tablets and computers)

  • 1 hour of physical activity

"The activity doesn't have to be vigorous," says Longjohn. "It could be walking, or some of it could even just be standing rather than sitting. Make sure they're getting outside and moving."

Not only is activity important for your child's physical fitness, but it also prevents extra snacking that can occur when sitting around the house playing video games.

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