Seattle's Child

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Encouraging healthy summer eating habits for kids

Planning healthy meals for kids

Summer’s spontaneity can often lead to irregular eating patterns. Maintaining balanced nutrition is crucial for children’s growth and sharp minds. Here’s how to keep kids nourished and ready to take on any summer adventure.

Healthy eating habits for kids: Hydration and Nutrition

Hydration is key in summer, and while water is often the go-to, don’t overlook milk. Milk contains essential electrolytes like potassium and sodium, which play a crucial role in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, especially important for active kids during hot months. For those with lactose intolerance, lactose-free milk provides the same hydration and nutritional benefits without discomfort.

Creative Meals

Summer is the perfect canvas for creative meals that are as fun to make as they are to eat. Transform cucumbers into boats and fill them with a mix of cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, feta cheese, and fresh herbs, topped with a light vinaigrette. Follow up with a summer berry parfait, starting with rich Greek yogurt, which is rich in protein and essential for children’s development. Add granola, then a layer of fresh Washington berries. These simple, nutritious dishes are perfect for kids to assemble and enjoy.

Refreshing Treats

Who doesn’t love cool treats on a warm day? Try homemade frozen yogurt fruit popsicles or easy smoothies. Get creative and use a variety of berries and fruits mixed with a swirl of creamy yogurt for that perfect blend of taste and nutrition.

Smart Snacking

Between sun-soaked adventures, snacking can help maintain energy levels. Pair fiber-rich foods like apple slices with some nut butter or whole grain crackers with slices of cheese. These combinations provide a balance of taste and nutrient-dense energy to keep kids satisfied and ready for their next summer activity.

Chill Factor

In the summer heat, refreshing snacks are important. For a quick cool-down, freeze yogurt tubes. Alternatively, use leftover granola and berries to create a chilled yogurt bark – spread yogurt on a tray, top with granola and berries, and set it in the freezer. Once solid, break it into pieces for a crunchy, cool treat. Even a brief freeze can transform yogurt cups into a creamy treat. These cool snacks are not just enjoyable but also a safe way to beat the heat and keep energy levels up.

Building Healthy Eating Habits for Kids

Cultivating a love for nutritious eating early on can set a foundation for lifelong healthy choices. Share screen-free meals outdoors to reinforce the value of eating together. Try making food fun by shaping fruits and sandwiches into playful designs or let them be the chefs, picking out fruits and veggies, and getting hands-on with meal prep. It’s all about turning healthy eating into an opportunity to explore new foods and flavors.

With these tips in mind, let’s make this summer fun and healthy. Here’s to staying hydrated and enjoying the flavors of the season.

About the Author

Dairy Farmers of Washington champions and supports our state’s dairy industry, helping make Washington a unique place to live. We take pride in promoting Washington’s exceptional products and collaborating with partners who share our commitment to sustainable and delicious dairy. For more in-depth nutrition information and tasty recipes, visit our website at

About the Author

Dairy Farmers of Washington