Resources for Curbing Kids’ Summer Weight Gain

3 min read

By Jacquelyn Goetz Bluethmann

GVRL Healthy living ebooks

Ice cream, popsicles, and other sugary snacks are certainly plentiful in the summer months, one of many factors for children being at a greater risk for weight gain during their time off from school. Research available from the National Summer Learning Association has shown this to be true. Without the structure of school, children gain weight two to three times faster in the summer months.

It’s a cause close to First Lady Michelle Obama’s heart and one of the main reasons the Obama administration launched its “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” campaign. The campaign has the duel goal of curbing summer learning loss and preventing childhood obesity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips for teens on staying fit. They include eating three meals a day with four servings of fruit, five servings of vegetables, and four servings of dairy; curbing soft drink consumption; and getting nine to 10 hours of sleep a night. For exercise, teens should look for aerobic activities that increase heart rate. These could include basketball, running or swimming.

Similarly, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is actively sharing fitness and wellness tips for kids. The AAOS notes that children should have 35 to 60 minutes of exercise each day to stay healthy while also building strong bones. Among the tips shared on the AAOS website are for kids to a daily log of minutes spent on activity indicating walking, jogging and hiking are good ways to build bone strength and increase heart rate. The AAOS encourages parents to select toys for their children that encourage physical activity. Those could include frisbees, kites or jump ropes.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages families to take a walk after dinner or to undertake a physical activity everyone can do together like laser tag, miniature golf or bowling. It also notes the importance of a solid breakfast with whole-grain cereals and muffins made with bananas, raisins or blueberries.

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