Summer has the potential to be the equivalent of your freshman year of college all over again. If you’re a mom, chasing the kids, cleaning the house, and counting down the days until it’s time to get the kids back-to-school, you probably don’t have time to be thinking about yourself. What quick and easy summer nutrition tips can help moms stay in shape and healthy this summer?
Keep a routine.
Don’t let summer be an excuse to slack off completely. The closer you stick to a school schedule (bedtimes, waking times, meals, etc), the more likely you are to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. If you head to the gym four times a day during the school year, don’t skip it just because summer is here.
Do like the kids.
If your children are anything like mine, their summer vacation days are active ones. Even if your children are watching a movie or a television show here or there, they’re likely swimming, playing kickball, or jumping on the neighbor’s trampoline, too. Your children are active, and you should be too. Don’t just lay by the pool and read a book while the kids race and practice diving. Get out there and join them.
But, don’t eat like the kids.
I often wish that I had the metabolism of my six year old. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way. While the occasional fast food meal won’t scar my kids for life, it’s not quite as forgiving on my own thighs. This is especially true if you aren’t as active as your children. Plan your meals accordingly.
Buy fresh, local, and seasonal.
Whenever possible, buy fresh, local, and seasonal options at the grocery store. Try a farmer’s market if there’s one nearby. Grab apples, carrots, cucumbers, and watermelon to snack on during the day at home.
Get out early.
It can be hard to want to be active at noon, when the summer sun is blaring down and you’re sweating the minute you walk out the door. Instead of starting the day slow and getting active hours after breakfast, head out early. Play with the kids on the backyard swing set before breakfast. It won’t be as hot and you’ll feel great starting the day in this fun way.
Don’t be a slave to the stove.
It can be difficult to want to cook a large meal if it’s hot outside. That doesn’t mean that you’re limited to takeout, either. My daughters love “snack dinners.” These often consist of sliced cheese and crackers, grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and apples with peanut butter. We’re hitting on all the food groups without ending up full and uncomfortable. If cooking doesn’t appeal to you, eat a meal like this, moms!
It can be tempting to drive everywhere during the summer. It’s hot, and you crave the refreshing air conditioner you’ll find at the next store. But don’t rely on your car this summer if you want to stay in shape. Park further away. Walk. Or if all else fails, stroll the mall and window shop (without stopping for unnecessary snacks).
What tips would you share with other mothers trying to stay healthy and fit this summer?