0

Vitamin D Overload!

Sun exposure is very important for our bodies. After all, it is our body’s primary form of receiving the Vitamin D that we need to function at our best. There are numerous benefits to maintaining optimum Vitamin D levels, including a healthier immune system and improved mood. However, it doesn’t take much sun exposure for our body to soak up the Vitamin D that it needs. In fact, excessive, unprotected sun exposure can be very damaging for our bodies. This is true for people of all ages, but especially for children. “Most kids rack up between 50% and 80% of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18…” (www.kidshealth.org) So, how do we protect ourselves, and our children, from the damaging effects of the sun?

The most important thing you can do is to use sunscreen frequently. Every time you will be spending time in the sun, be sure to lather on the sunscreen. Sunscreen is designed to filter the UV Rays from the sun before they reach your skin. Using it appropriately will significantly reduce your risk of getting a sunburn. Not only are sunburns painful and unpleasant, they are also very dangerous. It only takes one blistering sunburn to double a child’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. (www.sunsafetyalliance.org)

The second thing you can do is to monitor sun exposure. Although summer days are best spent running around the neighborhood with friends and practicing canon balls at the local pool, too much sun exposure can be harmful for our bodies. Not only do you run the risk of getting sun burnt. But, there is also the risk of overheating and/or getting dehydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water! As a general rule, consuming 8 oz. of water per hour (that you are exposed to the sun) will keep your body hydrated and help regulate your body temperature.

Spending time playing and being active outside has so many health benefits. Therefore, we always encourage finding activities for you and your family to enjoy outdoors. This time of year, it is just extra important to pay close attention to our bodies and be sure we are taking care of them properly. Now, take these tips so you can get out there and enjoy your summer!

Advertisements
2

Staying Energized When You’re Stuck Inside

Okay, as the summer heat really settles in, it gets harder and harder to get outside. Not to mention, there are many safety concerns for both you and your children when it is too hot. The last thing you want is for the kids to get in the habit of watching movies or playing video games all day. So, what do you do? You find fun, interactive ways to entertain the whole family. Since helping your family stay active is what we do, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite things to do when we’re stuck inside. Here it is!

Play Twister: A game like Twister provides the structure of a board game. But, it gets everyone moving and stretching. It’s not only important to get active. It’s also important to stretch your muscles and keep them moving. You’re entire body will feel better!

Clean the house: I know this probably won’t sound that appealing to your kids.  But, there are ways to make it fun. First, make sure that the entire family gets involved. Then, turn on some active music and have everyone show off their best dance moves while they sweep, dust and scrub the bathroom. You never know, it could become one of your favorite family traditions.

Find a fun kids workout DVD: We’re all familiar with Jane Fonda tapes and Tae-Bo. But, now we have fun DVD’s that have been made just for kids. These DVD’s will get your kids moving and burning calories. All while they are having fun! Here are a couple to get you started.

1)      Up, Down and All Around    2)   Yoga for Kids

Let the whole family cook dinner: This one isn’t as much about being active as it is about engaging your little one’s brains and teaching them about nutrition. Getting them in the kitchen gets them away from the TV and gives you a great opportunity to teach them all about the food groups, healthy foods and how to build healthy meals.

These are just a few of our favorites. But, there really are a lot of ways that your family can stay active in the heat of the summer. If you need some more ideas, be sure to check out our website at www.ncescatalog.com or visit us on Facebook. Plus, you can always give us a call (800 NCES BOOKS) or chat live with our dietitian.

0

Packing the Perfect Picnic!

When you walk out the door, there is no denying that summer is here. At least that is true here in the Midwest. Summer means that the kids are out of school, and you are likely going crazy by now trying to come up with activities to keep them entertained throughout the day. Well, here’s one you may not have thought of; go out for a picnic. Picnics provide a great opportunity for families to spend time together. Everyone can get involved in preparing the picnic, transporting the food and enjoying the fun! Here are 5 tips to ensure that your picnic is a big hit with your kids!

  1. Pack a well balanced meal – This is important to remember when preparing any meal, especially for your children. Be sure to include a protein, grain, veggie, fruit and dairy. Tip: Freeze some mixed berries ahead of time. They’ll make a great dessert to satisfy their sweet tooth and keep them cool!
  2. Take plenty of H20 – Our bodies are composed of 60-70% water. Therefore, it is important that we consume plenty of H2O, especially when it is hot outside. Make it a goal that everyone consume 8 oz. of water each hour while you are out in the heat enjoying your picnic.
  3. Keep the cold stuff cold – Always remember food safety! To reduce the risk of sicknesses due to bacteria, cold food needs to remain cold throughout your trip.  For any non-perishable items, a picnic basket is great. However, you’ll need to keep the cold items in a cooler with ice. Tip: Reserve the bottom of the cooler for the cold items. They’ll stay cooler down there.
  4. Think about the extras – Of course you’ll need food on your picnic. But, what else do you need? A couple things to take would be bug spray and sun screen. Always make sure that everyone is wearing sun screen when you are going to be spending time out in the hot summer sun.
  5. 5.       Take a long a good ground-cover – Don’t you want to be comfortable? Sometimes, grass can leave your legs a little itchy. A good ground cover will keep you clean, and itch-free.

At NCES, we love helping you keep your family happy and healthy! If you ever have any questions, visit us at www.ncescatalog.com, or on Facebook or Twitter. You can also email us at info@ncescatalog.com or Chat Live with our Dietitian! Plus, be sure to check out our new MyPyramid Handouts for Adults, Kids and Tots.

0

Drinking Safely! Yep, it’s Possible!

It’s July and 100⁰+ outside! Can you picture it… floating on a raft in the pool, sipping on an icy Piña Colada topped with fresh pineapple and cherries! It sounds great, doesn’t it? Everything is great in moderation. But, it’s important to remember that the things that we drink impact our bodies as well; and I’m talking about more than just the size of our waistline. To make it easy, we have put together a list of the top 3 points to remember when enjoying some ‘fun in the sun’, especially when alcoholic beverages are involved.

1.       Temperature:  The outside temperature plays a big role in how our bodies react to the alcohol that we consume. The amount that you may be able to ‘normally’ consume inside at a comfortable temperature may be drastically different than the amount you should consume in excessive heat.

2.       Impaired Judgment: Relaxing by the pool tends to make us all a little less cautious than we usually would be. So, when we start drinking alcoholic beverages, it is not uncommon for our judgment to become impaired. There are many dangers at the pool including hard surfaces, as well as the risk of drowning in the water. These risks are very real and we need to have a healthy respect for them.

3.       Get Plenty of Water: Both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, causing them to contribute to dehydration. Combined with excessive heat, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble very quickly. So, it is very important to drink at least 8 oz. of water every hour to stay hydrated.

Summer is a great time to have lots of fun. But, it’s still important to remember to be responsible when enjoying poolside time with family and friends. As always, if you have more specific questions regarding health and nutrition education, visit our website at www.ncescatalog.com, call us at 800.NCES.BOOKS or chat live with our dietitian here.