4 Great Ways to Stay Fit With Your Kids This Summer

How can you maintain a healthy family lifestyle throughout the summer? These 4 ideas should steer you right through the end of an active summer season!

How can you maintain a healthy family lifestyle throughout the summer? These four ideas should steer you right through the end of an active summer season!

01 of 05

Beyond popsicles and Pirate's Booty

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I consulted Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, the senior food and nutrition editor at Health magazine, for some new ideas in summer snacking. Here are her recommendations:

*Adult cereals that are easy for little fingers to pick up, such as Puffins from Barbara's Bakery
*Melon slices. They are refreshing and full of antioxidants. You can also cut them into special shapes with a cookie cutter.
*Cheese sticks and berries
*Frozen grapes (only for kids older than 5)

02 of 05

More DIY treats

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These snacks take a little prep, but are worth the time.

*Kid-size sandwiches made out of mini whole-wheat pitas and filled with hummus and halved cherry tomatoes or almond butter and banana slices
*Mini yogurt parfaits with vanilla low-fat yogurt, cut up fresh fruit, and granola. "Put them in plastic cups with lids," she says. "They are a much healthier alternative to the giant and often sugar-filled parfaits you find at delis and other shops."
*DIY popsicles made from 100% juice.

03 of 05

Try geocaching

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Our family has gone crazy for this treasure-hunting phenomenon. By plugging your location into a handheld GPS, you can find hidden containers, or "geocaches," in your area.

We've found several stashes in our neighborhood alone, and we now have a purpose to our hikes beyond exercise.

Visit

Geocaching.com to enter your address, then plug the geocache's coordinates into your GPS, and start hoofing it. Bring a pen (to sign the log in the sealed package) and a trinket to leave behind.

Be sure to note how large the cache is. We spent a long time looking for a box, only to discover the cache we sought was smaller than a film canister.

04 of 05

Healthy storybooks to pass the time

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It often seems easier for authors to communicate a revulsion to vegetables than to impart an enjoyment of healthy food. But we’ve found some great exceptions.

*Tops and Bottoms is a particularly amusing folktale that takes place in a garden plot.
*Sesame Street Healthy Snacks Activity Book is a great one for the road. Cookie Monster relishes an apple and stickers are great for travel.
*Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! features vegetables as coveted treats for three hungry bunnies.
*Brave Potatoes is our family’s favorite vegetable book. Never has the lowly tuber received such love from a children’s book author.

05 of 05

Plan a fun farm stay

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The experience of working on a farm will forever change your child's perception of the grocery store.

For anywhere from $15–$250 a night, your family can stay in a working farm and take part in the chores.

Sleep in the Hay and Farmstay U.S. are good programs. They vary in the level of participation—some simply provide relaxation and scenery, and others offer a chance to get your kids' hands dirty.

Kids can also participate in the

Weatherbury Farm Kid program at a farm near Pittsburgh or travel to East Hill Farm in Troy, N.H. for crafts, campfires, and games, as well as milking and feeding activities.

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