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How To Embrace The Outdoors This Summer

Summer is the season for barbeques and fun-filled family activities! Between having more free time and wiggle room in our schedules – as well as nicer weather – the possibilities of new experiences outdoors in the summer are endless! One thing to remember during the summer months is to enjoy what the season brings, along with the foods that come with it, like burgers, ice cream and popsicles! But to keep growing brains healthy, the key is moderation, and filtering in healthy foods whenever possible.

Barbeques are such a fun summer tradition, and a great way to get outside and have a bit of one-on-one time with the family. A simple way to make sure you’re getting the healthy brain fats we talk so much about would to be to choose protein choices are grass-fed, organic or wild caught. One of our summer favorites is this delicious flank steak recipe, served with some colorful veggie skewers!

At Behaved Brain, we suggest taking advantage of the summer season by incorporating as many fruits and vegetables into the day as possible. There are a number of ways to incorporate healthy eating into your summer diet, especially If you have a garden! Summertime means that your garden is likely growing at its peak, ripe with fruits and veggies ready to be picked and incorporated into colorful summer meals. Not only is gardening a fun and educational activity for the kiddos, but it’s a great way to incorporate healthy choices into their diet. You’d be surprised what your kids will eat when they had a part in growing it!

Speaking of which, a lot of parents don’t take advantage of allowing their children to participate in the decision-making process. Including and educating children on healthy eating will help them embrace positive nutrition choices as they grow up.

One of our favorite (and easy) recipes to whip up in the summertime are smoothie popsicle sticks! We recommend Simple Green Smoothie Blends, which you can pick up at the grocery store. They have several blends and recipes that can easily be made into popsicles. Not only will the kids love making these, but they are super refreshing and nutritious on hot summer days!

Popsicles make a tasty and healthy summer treat, even if you don’t have a pre-made blend. All you need to create your own are fresh fruit slices, apple juice, popsicle molds and sticks! You can find more popsicle stick recipes here.

Another one of our favorite summertime recipes are veggie and fruit skewers. They are a safe and fun way to show kids how to make and eat the rainbow. Plus, almost like magic, when food is on a stick, kids are more likely to eat it! Check on food networks article on 10 skewers no kid can resist!

It’s finally summertime, so try to take advantage of those bright sunny days and warm nights by taking your meals outside as much as possible with your family. Some of the benefits of being outside include increased happiness, increases creativity, increased cognition (or imagination!), increased exercise, and so much more. Replacing screen time with outdoor time will dramatically change the way your children interact with the world.

Try playing fun games that not only the kids will love but will also increase their (and your) memory and concentration, such as the Lawn Matching Game! It’s just like your regular matching game only giant and is meant to be played outdoors. This doubles as a DIY project, too! However you choose to spend your summer, do as much as you can to embrace the outdoors while they are here. Your brains will thank you for it!

Be Well,

Katie Gately
Behaved Brain Wellness Center
Healthier Kids – Happier Parents