BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — School’s out but eating healthy isn’t.
"I always recommend trying to find that structure and implement that structure in a way that works for families," said registered dietician and nutritionist Nicole Giumarra.
She said a break from school is a break from the schedule families have adapted to the past nine months. This can change eating habits.
“I think a lot of times, families, when there isn’t a plan, that’s when things can kind of, you know, fall apart," said Giumarra.
That means falling back on unhealthy snacks or getting a lot of take-out over the summer
“Kids, you know, they’re still growing bodies and they still have nutrition needs, and without maybe having a plan in place to have some structured meals, [they're] not going to get the nutrition that they need," said Giumarra.
She recommends having a flexible plan in place, allowing kids to make some of the decisions.
“If you have younger kids, parents really [should] be in charge of, '[This] is what we’re eating and this is meal time, and this is the structure we’re going to follow,' and then letting kids decide, you know, based on their own appetites how much they’re going to eat," said Giumarra.
And older children can be even more involved with the process.
“Maybe sitting down and including older kids and saying, 'Okay, we’re going to have these things available at home for breakfast. What would you like to have for breakfast?'” said Giumarra.
She said themed meals like taco night or letting the kids be in charge of cooking one day can make eating healthy fun too. And Giumarra said to remember not every meal has to be perfectly healthy.