It’s summertime, and you want your family to eat healthy. You know you’ve been eating too much junk food and way too much sugar, but how can you turn things around so you’re eating what’s good for you? Here are a few tips to get your family started on the road to healthy eating.
Take Advantage of Fresh Vegetables
Produce is at its peak production time during the summer, so take advantage. Fruits and vegetables will be fresh, ripe and full of flavor and nutrition. Summer is also when local farmers markets are typically open. Farmers from around the community will bring their produce to one location so you can choose fruits and vegetables that were in the field just hours before.
Tomatoes are firm, large and red this time of year. Just one cup of sliced tomatoes will give you up to 40 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. Bell peppers are bright and colorful, and they’re nutritious as well – they contain carotenoids, which have been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Berries are especially good in summer, and they are all high in antioxidants, which bolster your immune system and protect against age-related diseases. Watermelon has the highest concentration of lycopene of any fruit or vegetable, so feel free to eat plenty, as lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that also fights against cancer.
Eat Lean Meats
Instead of eating lots of heavy, red meats during the summer, try some leaner, lower-fat alternatives. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef, and try boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Other protein-packed options include fish, such as salmon or tuna, and other seafood, like clams or calamari. Your grill is your friend here – it gives you an easy, delicious method for preparing your meat, and summer evenings are the perfect time to stand on your deck and grill with a cold iced tea or lemonade in hand.
It’s summertime and it’s hot outside, so let’s be realistic – you’re probably going to have some ice cream at some point. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re going to eat healthy, though, you have to control the amount of sweets you take in. Think moderation, both in portion size and frequency. Or, you can try substitutes, such as low-fat and sugar-free ice cream or maybe a sugar-free sorbet, which contains fewer calories. Try different brands until you find one you like.
Summer is a great time to spend time outside and get good doses of vitamin D that will help you feel better. Along with your healthy diet, you’ll feel better physically, mentally and even spiritually. This isn’t just about food, but an entire way of life. Our mental health is affected by many factors, including depression and anxiety, the amount of stress we’re under, how we deal with sadness, happiness and love, and what we eat and drink. Why not take the time to eat and drink in a healthy way that will optimize both your mental and physical health?
Summer is a fantastic time to eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables are fresh and full of taste, and it’s much easier to get access to them. Your kids might even enjoy eating them more – who doesn’t love fresh corn on the cob? Build healthy eating habits now, and they can carry you and your family all year long.
Written by: Dylan Foster
Photo from Pixabay