Nourishing Kids During Summer

Seattle, WA, July 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Summer brings a change in school routines, which can sometimes disrupt healthy eating schedules. Ensuring good nutrition year-round is essential for both physical and intellectual development. By providing nutritious meals during the summer months, we help children return to school ready to learn and thrive.

Milk and Water Have Something in Common
Active kids need to stay hydrated and while water is great for replacing lost fluids, milk offers even more. Cow’s milk is naturally rich in electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which aid in rehydration. It's not just about fluids, though. Milk provides essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and high-quality protein, which is vital for overall growth, development, and health. This makes milk an easy way to fuel kids following physical activity. For kids with lactose intolerance, lactose-free milk is a good alternative.

When it comes to breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner, look for a variety of foods from each food group. Get creative by using vegetables as vessels. Think of a stuffed sweet potato “taco” with black beans, cheese, lettuce, avocado, plain Greek yogurt, and salsa. Or try stuffed peppers with a lean protein, cheese, couscous, onions, and mushrooms.

Offer Kids Fun Summer Treats
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy cold treats, like ice cream. You can also make nutritious delights like Frozen Yogurt Fruit Popsicles, Yogurt Bark, and smoothies, like The Rainbow Unicorn Smoothie and Orange Cream Chiller.

“Offering a variety of foods from each food group daily helps kids meet their nutrient needs,” said Brianne Cowan, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Dairy Farmers of Washington.

Limit snacks with added sugar and instead offer foods with protein and fiber to provide long lasting energy to keep kids going between meals.

“Some yummy and nutritious snacking ideas are apples with nut butter, cheese and whole wheat crackers, snap peas, and yogurt dip, the list goes on,” said Cowan.

Keep it Cool
Freezing certain foods to take on the go is a great way to ensure a cool temperature for some of your favorite meals and nibbles during the summer. For snacks, try keeping string cheese and yogurt tubes in the freezer. Both will defrost within a couple of hours of being removed, leaving you with fresh-from-the-fridge texture and flavor. You also can stick cups of yogurt in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before packing in a lunch for a chilled treat later.

No matter which steps you take, keeping some of your child’s favorite foods and beverages cool - under 40 degrees is ideal, will help keep the items nutritious, safe, and delicious.


Keep it Cool