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

From: Parenting

By: Elena Donovan Mauer

The results are in: Kids aren't eating as healthily in the summer as they do the rest of the year. Here's how to keep their nutrition on track when they're on summer break.

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

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