Hello Hot, Hello Healthy: How to Eat Smart During the Summer

The warm weather brings with it the promise of a cool, sweet treat on a sunshine-filled afternoon. It can mean drinks with friends on the patio and burgers piled high with bacon and cheese. Unfortunately, all of the fun foods of summer can also lead to weight gain at the most inopportune time. Keep scrolling for tips to keep the scales balanced and your diet on track.

Go Digital

If you’ve ever thought that keeping up with exercise, calorie count, and dietary restrictions was simply too hard, you haven’t visited Old Man Internet lately. We live in the 21st century, and that means we have access to a host of tech-based tools that can help us do all of this and more. My Fitness Pal is a great application for keeping up with your own diet and exercise routine. Other services, such as Mealtime and EatThisMuch -- both of which are featured on Digital Trend’s list of top meal-planning apps -- take the guesswork out of dinner. When you have family members with special health concerns, you can stay on top of their nutritional and medical needs using the Jinga Life app.

Swap Your Craves for Your New Favs

One of the most creative – and effective – things you can do this summer to avoid unnecessary health deterioration is to switch out some of your favorite guilty pleasures with healthy measures. For example, make popsicles out of pureed fruit and Greek yogurt. You can also swap out some of your favorite meat-based dishes with those that center around vegetables or healthy grains. If your family can’t drop their carnivorous tendencies, consider switching the ground beef in your tacos or spaghetti, and for a slightly leaner meat, ground turkey.

Get Grilling

Another great thing about summer is that it’s much easier to cook outdoors. Not only does grilling your food eliminate the need for fats and oils but, in the case of vegetables, it’s much faster, meaning it will remain more nutritionally intact than vegetables cooked in water on the stove top. Many foods, such as chicken and fish, may even taste better when cooked on the grill. A word of caution, however: dealing with open flames can be dangerous. Always keep your grill at least 10 feet from structures and trees and never allow anyone younger than 16 to operate it. For more info, Angie’s List offers several beneficial backyard barbecue safety tips.

Image via  Pixabay

Image via Pixabay

Find Fresh Fare

It’s a proven fact that kids who get to grow or pick their own food are more likely to try new things. If gardening isn’t something you can sneak into your schedule, plan a weekly trip to your local farmers market. Eating fresh, local food is an experience for your children’s taste buds. Besides, food sourced near home tends to have more flavor packed in!

Plan a Dessert Night

Sometimes it’s okay to indulge. Make it an event by planning a dessert night once per week, allowing the kids to have a say in the evening’s confectionery pleasures. However, don’t let them get crazy, and set a few ground rules ahead of time. This should include that the dessert must be homemade, be planned for and prepared by the family together, and adhere to a different theme each week. There are so many benefits to cooking with children, and dessert night is a great introduction. Children who cook with their parents learn valuable life skills, and it’s an awesome opportunity to open up a conversation about making healthy decisions.

It takes a bit of planning and preparation, but it is possible to make sure your swimsuits don’t fit snugly by the end of summer. Involve your whole family and get creative in the kitchen. You never know what kind of lessons you can teach your kids over the grates of a grill.

This content was written by Alexis Hall. If you want get more information about it, please access singleparent.