The school summer holidays are a chance to relax, sleep in, and enjoy a break from homework, but it’s best to maintain some routines to stay healthy and avoid a ‘shock to the system’ come September.
Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Routines such as regular bedtimes and mealtimes are important for keeping your children on the right learning path.
“Studies show that memory, learning, attention, mood, behaviour and physical health are all improved through sleep.”
Here are some top tips for healthy eating and drinking during the summer holidays:
There’s room for occasional treats during the holidays but it can get expensive to keep buying a round of ice creams for the whole family – try to plan ahead and take some healthier snacks with you on a day out.
Change 4 Life have some great ideas for healthier lunchbox and picnic swaps that are easy to prepare and fun for the whole family: www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/healthier-lunchboxes.
It can be difficult to keep food cool on hot days, so follow this advice from NHS Choices on how to prepare and cook food safely, including on barbeques: www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-prepare-and-cook-food-safely.
Try to limit your intake of sugary drinks – even fruit juices contain sugar. Water is the healthiest option and the best for rehydration on a hot day. You can make the drinks more appealing to kids by adding novelty ice cubes or chopped fruit and cucumber.
Debbie added: “Eating healthily, regular exercise and good sleep all go hand-in-hand and will make the summer holidays more enjoyable and stress-free for the whole family.”