Spring and summer have always been my favorite times of year. The temperatures start to warm up, and I can pack away my winter jackets for the season. The sun stays out later each day, so I have more time in the evenings to enjoy walks outside. And the fresh fruits and vegetables become more abundant than ever.
During the spring and summer, trips to the farmers market are a favorite activity of mine. Nothing beats the taste of locally grown produce, freshly picked and sold to you right from the growers. I share this tip with many families and children that I see here at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
I asked other registered dietitians here at Nemours what tips they share with families looking to eat healthy during the warmer months. Here’s what they said.
Jaclyn Costantino: “Try homemade frozen fruit pops for a yummy, healthy and refreshing treat. Just mix together yogurt, berries and milk; pour into a popsicle mold; freeze; and enjoy! Have fun with it and let your kids pick their favorite fruits to add.”
Marlene Rafferty: “Select snacks that satisfy hunger. Try selecting fiber-rich whole grains, fruits or vegetables, and pair them with a good source of protein to curb your hunger longer. The possibilities are endless! Some easy go-to snacks for the day include:
- 1/4 cup of almonds with an apple
- plain Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries
- 5–6 whole-grain crackers with string cheese
- baby carrots and hummus”
Emily Hartline: “I love to freeze grapes for a chilly and nutritious snack after running outside.” (Safety note: To avoid choking, just make sure not to give whole grapes, frozen or fresh, to babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Cut grapes into quarters.)
It’s All About the Planning
Jaclyn knows that spring and summer are a busy time for families, often with many activities planned for the evenings. So she offered this healthy tip: “Plan your healthy menu ahead of time and prepare as much as you can before the week starts. This helps you stay on track during the week, and can help avoid grabbing quick, last-minute meals or snacks, which may not be the healthiest options.”
Spruced Up Water
Natalie Navarre: “Sweeten water naturally with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Some favorites include oranges, strawberries, cucumbers and basil.”
Eat a Rainbow
Nicole Fragale: “I like to add a variety of fresh and frozen vegetables as toppings when I make homemade pizza. I use whatever I have in my fridge and freezer. Frozen broccoli, fresh chopped onion, cauliflower, and red and yellow peppers are a few of my favorites. The more colorful the pizza, the better it is for you.”
Lauren O’Hara: “Spring and summer are the best times to fill your plate with fresh, brightly colored fruits and vegetables.” Her favorites? Watermelon, strawberries, blueberries and mangos.
With these tips, we hope you can begin these warmer months with colorful, nutritious options the whole family can enjoy.
Get More Ideas
Check out these recipes for kids from Nemours’ KidsHealth.org.