Happy Memorial Day! Summer is here, and it feels like it finally! Summer is the season that good nutrition comes easier, with the variety and availability of so many fresh items. Here are some simple tips to remember for this summer to “fit” better nutrition in to you and your family’s life, perhaps with a new twist.
“Water Water, Everywhere” Hydration–
I could probably write several blogs about how important it is to drink fluid, especially water, during the summer months. Water makes up most of your body. You need water to digest and metabolize nutrients, to keep your skin healthy, and to simply make your body run efficiently.
Strangely enough, the old adage to consume 8 oz of water 6-8 times a day is still spot on. I like water, but I also like to mix it up a bit to make it more interesting. Last summer, I added some sliced lemon and crystallized ginger to a pitcher and chilled it—it was the most refreshing thing I served one day with some family over. Another time I sliced up fresh cucumber and added fresh mint from my garden. I often just add a few slices of lemon or lime and stick my cup in the freezer for a while to make a slushy. Another new favorite is Crystal Lite Pure, which adds flavor but no artificial sweeteners for those who don’t like plain water.
When your children are running around all day, it is important to remember how important water is to them as well. My son for the longest time didn’t like popsicles, but he would drink a smoothie or slushy that was mostly water with a little orange juice or his personal favorite, V8Fushion Peach Mango juice and crushed ice. Make sure a cold drink is the first thing you give along with a snack after a flurry of activity, especially if they have been outside.
Breastfeeding moms and moms with infants have even higher needs for hydration temperatures are high. Infants and small children lose a lot of their body water through their skin, but it is not noticeable since they don’t “sweat” noticeably like an adult. Moms need to keep up milk production by drinking enough fluids as well.
Lastly, fresh fruit that is high in water content is also a safe bet to add more water to your diet. Peaches, watermelon, and tomatoes are all great choices.
“You Go Grill” If you can cook it, you can grill it!
I am a huge fan of the grill. Keeping my oven in my kitchen off almost all summer is a great feeling. You can make so many things on the grill-pizza, vegetables, corn, fish, fruit.
I love to throw mushrooms, peppers, zucchini and tomatoes on skewers, and add peaches and pears on another. You can grill turkey, pork loin, and veggie burgers-the sky is really the limit!
Visit your local farmers market or section of the supermarket that uses local fresh produce and support the farmers that bring us this value packed nutrient bursting fun!
Laura Zurita is a registered dietitian and Montgomery County mom to a 6 year old and wife of a picky eater. The are avid hikers and readers, and are very happy the Phillies baseball season has returned in full swing!