Healthy choices for summer
May 27, 2014


The summer season is often an ideal time for people to be active outdoors, travel and reunite with friends and family. Food is frequently the center of many summer celebrations and activities; here are some tips for having a healthy, happy summer!

Stay hydrated and choose water dirst for thirst!

The rising temperatures during the summer season increase your body's sweat production, which in turn reduces your hydration status. To beat the heat, keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Active kids are especially susceptible to dehydration, so keeping water, the original sports drink, available to them at all times is important.

Food Safety

Grilling and eating outdoors is a preferred choice by many on sunny days. One thing to be cautious of when taking your table outdoors is food cooking and holding temperatures. When grilling, make sure your meat is cooked thoroughly by testing internal temperature: 160F for beef, pork, and lamb; 165F for poultry. Keep perishable foods out of the "danger zone" of 40-140F and refrigerate all leftovers as soon as possible. When in doubt, throw it out!

Road trip ready!

Exploring the world via highway is a common pastime for family and friends during summer break, and fast food is likely just an off-ramp away. As a healthy alternative, pack snacks and sandwiches that you can take in the car! Easy on-the-go snacks include trail mix, whole fruit, cheese sticks, pretzels, mixed nuts and granola bars. If you have room for a small cooler in the car, pack it with lunch meat, bread, cheese, peanut butter, jelly and other sandwich necessities for easy road trip meals.

Smoothies vs Shakes

Ice cream is a popular treat to help beat the summer heat, but if you're looking for a healthier, equally refreshing options, give smoothies a try! Simply add your favorite fruit (frozen or fresh), milk, yogurt and ice in a blender and create a nutritious, refreshing beverage.

Laura Wolles is a Children's Hunger Alliance dietetic intern.


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