I’m a nutrition expert – these are my top 5 cheap and easy ways to keep your kids healthy during the summer holidays | The Sun08/16/2022
THE summer holidays can be one of the toughest times of the year to keep your kids on a healthy routine – especially on a tight budget.
With late summer BBQs, ice creams in the sun, holiday meals out and more, coming up with cost-conscious ways to make sure your kids stay healthy can be a burden.
The Sun spoke to nutrition expert Rob Hobson to share his top tips for keeping families happy and healthy throughout the summer holidays without breaking the bank.
Everybody deserves to splash out every now and then, which is why Rob has teamed up with Flora to give Brits his best health hacks tomake it easier than ever to still enjoy a guilt-free summer splurge.
Everyone loves an ice cream in the sun, but they're almost always super expensive and loaded with sugar.
For a fun and fruity-alternative, try making homemade yoghurt fruit pops – a great option to replace ice lollies.
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Simply peel and cut large bananas in half and skewer them on a wooden lolly stick.
Dip them in your favourite flavoured yoghurt then place on greaseproof paper and freeze.
Rob's top tip: "You can make them in batches to save time, and it’s way cheaper and healthier than packaged ice creams.
"They also show your kids that healthy options can be just as tasty as sugar-laden sweets!"
Lemonade is also a favourite summer-staple, but supermarket bought options can be extremely high in calories.
Instead, making it at home with the kids can be a fun project that is far healthier – but still just as refreshing.
To start, begin simmering 100g of caster sugar with 250ml of water and add some lemon peel.
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Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add 5 juiced lemons.
Throw in some extra water and ice, this is a healthier alternative that is still sweet and hits those summer cravings.
Fruit can also be used to create some fun homemade fruit juice replacements.
Try jazzing up water with fun flavourings made with frozen berries, cucumber, fruit chunks and mint leaves.
Rob added: "Adults can make the most of these by using chopped cucumber ice cubes and fresh herbs to make a summer gin and tonic or cocktail!"
Breaking the fast
Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day.
Making sure their breakfast is nutritious is the ideal way to set your kids up to enjoy their day full of energy and fun.
Instead of routine breakfast cereals, which can be both expensive and full of sugar, Rob recommends making a refreshing and nutritious batch of overnight oats with only four ingredients.
He said: "Mix oats, apple juice, dairy-free milk, and lime juice together and soak overnight.
"Not only is it rich in protein and fibre, but these ingredients also have key nutrients to support children’s growth and development, such as iron and magnesium."
While still being sweet and delicious, this healthy option is way cheaper than most cereals – costing a little over £1 for five portions.
Start by mixing 200g jumbo porridge oats, 250ml milk or alternative, 250ml carton apple juice, 1 tbsp honey and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon into a bowl.
Then just leave in a fridge to soak – which will stay fresh for up to five days.
The nutrition expert also said overnight oats are also a great way for children to explore interesting and cost-effective toppings, like grated apple or tinned fruits such as pineapple and mango.
This health hack is a great way to trick your kids into doing what they so often hate – eating more vegetables.
Lay out bowls of vegetables and use them to create necklaces, rings, and bracelets they can eat throughout the day.
Choose seasonal vegetable to keep the costs down, such as, courgette, carrots, and tomatoes.
Rob said: "It's all about time-efficient health hacks and making meal times fun.
"This is a double whammy with your kids – not just enjoying cooking with them, but also keeping them healthy at the same time.
"Use what’s left over from the edible jewellery to make tasty and healthy veggie fritters to remove waste.
"You can even ditch the oil and use FLORA as a way to add extra flavour.
“Instilling healthy eating behaviours in children early on in life can help to encourage good eating habits across their lifespan."
Don't get in a flap about snacks
Keeping up with your kids extra demand for snacks can be a sneaky financial burden throughout the summer holidays.
Batch cooking healthy snacks with store cupboard essentials is a delicious and cost-effective way of keeping children full – and it couldn't be simpler.
Discovering your own low sugar flapjack recipe utilising bulk bags of rolled oats and dairy-alternatives such as Flora will help your children get important Omega 3 and 6 in their diet.
Baking is also a fun activity for the whole family which keeps everyone entertained with a tasty reward at the end.
Swap out the meat
Meat can be one of the most expensive additions to a weekly food shop.
While still enjoyable in moderation, now more than ever it can be important to swap it out for a cost-conscious option.
Rob said: "Meat can be a very expensive part of the food bill.
"Switch animal protein for cheaper canned beans, pulses and chickpeas when cooking lunch and dinner recipes such as curries and salads.
"Try batch preparing a delicious Moroccan couscous salad, packed full of vegetables and chickpeas. This can also be replicated with most vegetables to avoid food waste.
"Not only are these foods a good source of protein, they also provide key nutrients and minerals including fibre, zinc, iron, and magnesium."
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Rob's final expert advice
Everyone knows that you can't stop kids from eating only healthy food all the time – and you don't have to!
"If you can get them to enjoy just some of this stuff in moderation that put's your kids on the right direction," the nutrition expert said.
"If you keep telling kids they can't have stuff, then it's probably going to make things worse.
“This summer, Flora wants to ensure that kids and their parents have an enjoyable time while staying healthy.
“Instilling healthy eating behaviours in children early on in life can help to encourage good eating habits across their lifespan.
“There are many health hacks for adults to do with children or for children to do with their friends that can help them to explore the fun side of healthy eating this summer, without spending a fortune.”
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